PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Jim Kenney says Richard Ross made the right decision to step down as police commissioner. The mayor on Wednesday also revealed during a news conference that Ross initially offered his resignation on Monday night, but Kenney wanted to wait one day so they could discuss it.
A lawsuit filed by two Philadelphia police officers last week claims both women were sexually harassed and discriminated against. They claim that they told Ross, but he did nothing to stop the behavior.
Kenney also says he will soon begin the process of finding Ross’ replacement, but for now, Christine Coulter will be the city’s active police commissioner.
“The search for a new commissioner will begin soon and we’re looking broadly, local and national,” Kenney said.
Kenney promises an extensive search to find a replacement for Ross, who abruptly resigned on Tuesday.
While Kenney is just a day into a search, sources tell CBS3 several names are possibly being tossed around.
Sources say former Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel, who served under Commissioner Charles Ramsey, may be considered. He retired from the police force in 2016 after a 29-year career in law enforcement.
Another name who could be in the running is Deputy Commissioner Joseph Sullivan, who currently runs patrol operations for the Philadelphia Police Department, sources say. Sullivan is a 33-year veteran of the force.
Branville Bard, who’s currently the police chief in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and served 21 years with the Philadelphia Police Department, could also be a potential candidate. He’s a former Philadelphia police inspector.
For now, Coulter is the first woman to hold the position. She brings 30 years of law enforcement experience and served under Ross.
Coulter talked about her vision for the department moving forward during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
She also responded to whether she wants the job permanently.
“You really have to look at things in the seat that you’re now in. I sat in organizational services, I looked at my job and I support the commissioner and everything he needed,” Coulter said. “But now I have to look through a different lens in order to manage the whole department.
“I would love to serve this city, that’s all I can tell you right now.”
There has been no timetable established as to when a permanent replacement for Ross will be named.