After interviewing five police chief candidates last month, the City of Bellevue was ready to continue the hiring process with one: Matthew Clark, assistant chief at the Minneapolis Police Department.
But Clark said he withdrew from the hiring process earlier this month.
“It was an honor to have been selected as a finalist for the Bellevue Police Chief position with such an outstanding group of police executives,” Clark said in a statement Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I decided to withdraw from the process for family and personal reasons on Nov. 6, 2014.”
City Manager Brad Miyake, who had hoped to have a new police chief at work by January, did not specify why none of the initial five candidates would be hired when he announced the city would search for other candidates Monday. All five had been interviewed by several teams of city staff the week of Oct. 22.
The other candidates were Nick Metz, assistant chief at the Seattle Police Department; Jim Jolliffe, Bellevue’s deputy chief, Mitch McCann, police chief in Simi Valley, Calif.; and Austin (Texas) Police Department Assistant Chief Raul Munguia.
In an email to city staff members Monday, Miyake only said he would move on with a new search for the city’s next police chief “after reviewing all the feedback, as well as my own analysis of how these candidates would fit with the community.”
Bellevue spokesman David Grant confirmed that the city had continued the hiring process with one candidate after the interviews, but would not specify who for personnel reasons. Grant said salary negotiations and a deep backgrounding process had not begun when that candidate withdrew.
Clark, an Asian-American Renton native, reached his current position in 2012 for a department he’s worked in since 1993. According to a news release from Bellevue, he commanded safety operations for major events including the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, a 2008 bridge collapse and the Republican National Convention.
City spokeswoman Emily Christensen said Monday that it could take a couple more months to find the city a new police chief. Its last chief, Linda Pillo, retired in April.
“We’ll likely have a targeted approach so we can reach out to specific chiefs to gauge their interest,” said Christensen.
Former Bellevue Police Chief Jim Montgomery has been interim chief since Pillo left and will remain in the job until a new police chief is hired.
Bellevue’s next chief could make up to $175,326 a year, according to the city’s job brochure. Pillo, the city’s previous police chief, was paid $172,630 in 2013.