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The chair of Minneapolis' civilian oversight commission resigned last month after revealing she is moving out of state, leaving a third vacancy on the fledgling commission tasked with weighing police complaints and making policy recommendations on reform.

Mary Dedeaux-Swinton, a longtime community volunteer from Ward 7, notified city officials June 25 she would be stepping down from her leadership role because she and her husband are moving outside Minnesota.

"I hope that you all feel some sense of accomplishment because, contrary to what some have expressed or believed, this was a brand-new body one year ago," Dedeaux-Swinton wrote in an email to colleagues on the Community Commission on Police Oversight (CCPO), expressing her gratitude and acknowledging the headwinds that slowed their progress.

"Though we may not have done what some considered 'enough', this volunteer body has (often painstakingly) laid the groundwork for a successful future. As you have witnessed, this past year was filled with unexpected internal and external obstacles and some disappointment," she continued. "I will leave this endeavor feeling positive about my and our contributions, though."

She was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

Along with seven of the body's 15 commissioners, Dedeaux-Swinton's term technically ended on May 31 — although they were each expected to keep serving until either being reappointed or their replacements confirmed by City Council. She had reapplied to the role in March.

Her departure marks yet another setback for the Oversight Commission, the city's latest attempt to establish a credible civilian review process. Fourteen months after formally launching, the commission has held review panels on just 18 complaints against police and made no policy recommendations on police reform.

And while the group's bylaws grant them power to take part in the police chief's annual performance review, it has yet to do so.

Turmoil within Minneapolis' Office of Police Conduct Review (OPCR), a city division dedicated to investigating civilian complaints against the Minneapolis Police Department, last fall stalled the Oversight Commission's ability to convene review panels on pending misconduct cases and recommend whether discipline should be imposed.

Fartun Weli and A.J. Awed, both prominent Somali American community members, abruptly resigned from the commission in March amid fallout from the termination of the city's civil rights director and the resignation of her top lieutenant.

They each cited the "politically motivated" removal of Civil Rights Director Alberder Gillespie and failures of mayoral leadership as among the reasons for their exit, saying the lack of support affected their ability to serve in the current framework.

Their positions have remained dark ever since. The city opened the application period for one month in March; only 12 people applied for all seven positions — four of whom are current commissioners, according to data obtained through a public records request.

There were no applicants for Ward 10, where Commissioner Alexis Pederson did not reapply.

That marked a dramatic reduction compared to the record 160 applicants received last spring, shortly after the new commission formed — the most for any city committee or commission since at least 2010.

Council Member Jamal Osman this week nominated Amiin Dakane, who manages a local security firm, as the representative from Ward 6 to complete the remainder of Awed's two-year term.

However, Dakane's application was not among the 12 who sought the job during the designated application window. In fact, no one applied for a seat in that ward.

"This isn't the strangest thing I've seen in Minneapolis City government, but it's pretty darn close," Chuck Turchick, a local government watchdog, wrote in an email Monday pointing out the discrepancy to elected officials and the city's federal monitor, Effective Law Enforcement for All (ELEFA). No one responded.

"It is a significant problem," Turchick said in an interview. He questioned whether the city had advertised enough for the open positions.

In response to a Star Tribune inquiry, City Clerk Casey Carl acknowledged that following an "unsuccessful recruitment period" last spring the city chose not to formally reopen the process and instead allowed Osman to suggest a potential candidate, as permitted under city statute. Dakane then filled out the required application forms.

Bridgette Stewart, a former firefighter and community organizer with the Agape Movement operating inside George Floyd Square, was nominated by Council Member Andrea Jenkins in Ward 8.

Both Dakane and Stewart's appointments — along with the four reappointments of sitting commissioners — are listed as discussion items on Wednesday's agenda for the City Council's Public Health & Safety Committee. They require approval by the full council.

It's not yet clear how new commissioners will be chosen for Wards 7 and 10, vacated by Dedeaux-Swinton and, eventually, Pederson. City officials will consider prior applicants from 2023, prioritizing those who live in the respective wards, or take nominations from council members in coming weeks, Carl said.

On Monday night, commissioners voted to postpone the election of a new chair and vice chair to the upcoming Aug. 5 meeting, a date by which they anticipate two new members will be seated. Vice Chair Latonya Reeves will serve as acting chair in the interim.

In an interview, Commissioner Louis Smith lauded Dedeaux-Swinton's patience, commitment and experience — she was the only member to have served on a previous Minneapolis oversight board — in guiding the new commission.

"I'm going to miss Mary's leadership, but there's a core group of commissioners who are really committed to this work," Smith said, noting the body has gained more traction in recent months. "We know it's a really serious undertaking, and so we're not dependent on any one person for our success."