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Seattle police union board votes to remove outgoing president now

By Jessica Lee Seattle Times

SEATTLE – The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild board of directors has voted to remove outgoing president Ron Smith before his resignation takes effect at the end of the month.

Smith, who became guild president in 2014, announced his departure Tuesday amid backlash from a Facebook post, saying the resignation is effective July 31.

In a news release Thursday, the guild said the board, instead, has voted to end his term now because of his recent comments to the media. The board voted unanimously for the ouster.

“The board of directors determined that Detective Smith has been acting against the interest of the Guild and the Guild Membership,” the news release said.

Guild representatives could not be reached for comment.

When asked by phone about the board’s vote, Smith said Thursday evening, “I’ve already resigned, and whatever they’re going to do, they’re going to do.” He did not comment further.

Also, in the news release, the guild wrote: “Detective Smith was not removed from office because the board of directors is against reform in the Seattle Police Department. This misrepresentation of facts may have led the Guild Membership and the Seattle Community to believe that the Guild is against reform.

”The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild has always and will continue to work collaboratively with the Seattle Police Department and the City of Seattle in the reform process.“

Smith told the Seattle Times on Wednesday he decided to resign over the controversial Facebook post in response to the fatal shootings of five Dallas police officers because he expected his board to ask for his resignation or seek his ouster.

Smith said, though, that the board’s anger really is rooted in his pragmatic approach to federally mandated reforms, his collaborative relationship with Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and his acceptance of accountability measures as part of a tentative contract with the city.

Smith left his position as a detective in 2014 to become the elected president of the Guild, which represents more than 1,200 officers and sergeants.

Union Vice President Kevin Stuckey will fulfill the rest of Smith’s term, which was set to expire in March, according to an email Smith sent to union members Tuesday.

Smith, who will return to detective duties, said he has full faith in Stuckey, a close friend whom he considers an ally.

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