Mayor bypasses process, chooses next Spokane police chief

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Spokane mayor has bypassed the selection process for a new police chief, choosing the current assistant chief to head the department.

Spokane Mayor David Condon on Monday selected 45-year-old Craig Meidl as the city's new police chief.

The Spokesman-Review reports ( ) the move to ignore the selection process has sparked debate in the department and outrage from some in the community who participated in the search for a new leader.

Condon opted against hiring two finalists who interviewed for the job last month. They were Elk Grove, California, Police Chief Robert Lehner and Yakima Police Chief Dominic Rizzi Jr.

The mayor said Monday that "sometimes you have to look far and wide to discover what you're looking for has been in the department the entire time."

Meidl has been with the department since 1994.