Posted: 8:41 PM- Salt Lake City's Civilian Review Board, which was rendered inoperable last year by a series of resignations, met again today and prepared for a new series of investigations into police conduct.
It was the board's first official meeting in 11 months. They did not consider any misconduct cases but heard Mayor Ralph Becker and Police Chief Chris Burbank commit to the board's success.
Becker said the board must safeguard the Bill of Rights and public confidence in the police. Burbank pledged to give the panel full access to police reports and evidence. Burbank said he relies on panel's judgment in helping adjudicate allegations of misconduct and has cited the members' rulings when he has terminated police officers.
"There are times when an officer's judgment is so far outside of what I consider reasonable, I ask them to leave," Burbank said.
Most of the 14-appointed-member review board resigned or stopped attending meetings in 2007. There had been simmering complaints from members about having their findings overruled by Burbank and the former chief, Rick Dinse, and complaints the police department was not sharing evidence with the board.
Conflict peaked in April when someone disclosed to The Tribune that the review board sustained an allegation of excessive force used against a Korean War veteran. The


information would have been announced publicly a few days later, but the city investigated who leaked the news early. The source of the leak was never uncovered but the suspicion angered board members and spurred enough resignations to prevent a quorum.
The review board has had critics as well. The president of the police officers' union assailed the board over the leak in the war veteran case and accused board members and the board's former investigator, Ty McCartney, of being biased against accused officers. Becker took office in January and opted not to retain McCartney.
The board's new investigator, recently-retired FBI agent Rick Rasmussen, said today he has received access to all police materials.
The review board still has five vacant seats and discussed today how to solicit applicants. The quorum today also decided not to retroactively review cases it missed in the last 11 months and which have been adjudicated by Burbank. Instead the board will begin from scratch by taking new cases as they arrive.
The board's vice chair, Claudia Hope O'Grady, after the meeting acknowledged board members were frustrated to see their rulings vetoed by police chiefs, but hoped better access to police evidence will solve that problem.
"If we have the same information, then we should agree," O'Grady said.