Mayor’s Office

Statement Regarding Deputy Chief Jan Wright

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2019
Contact:  Olivia LaVecchia
                 (802) 734-0617

Statement from Mayor Miro Weinberger Regarding Deputy Chief Jan Wright

Burlington, VT – Soon after today’s press conference at the Police Department, Deputy Chief Jan Wright shared with Mayor Weinberger that she had occasionally operated a Facebook account under the name “Lori Spicer” through which she made comments about and engaged citizens in discussion of Police Department policy and practice. In response, Mayor Weinberger released the following statement:

“While Deputy Chief Wright’s situation may be very different than Chief del Pozo’s, given the circumstances the department is facing, I found the failure to raise this issue with me in the lead-up to today to constitute a lapse in judgement. 

As an initial matter I have taken the following steps:

  • I have now named Deputy Chief Jon Murad as Acting Chief. Murad has confirmed explicitly to the City Attorney Eileen Blackwood and HR Director Deanna Paluba that he has never engaged in anonymous social media posting.
  • I have asked City Attorney Blackwood and HR Director Paluba to review DC Wright’s posts in detail and report back to me by the end of the week to determine if further action is required.
  • Deputy Chief Wright’s disclosure raises the possibility that problematic social media use is far more widespread within the department than previously understood. I am troubled that more than one senior department official engaged in such activity. I will be asking an outside investigator to conduct a thorough review of the Burlington Police Department’s social media activity and practices.
  • Finally, within two weeks we will make further amendments to the draft social media policy the City is operating under to explicitly address the issues of anonymous social media posting by senior officials. I will be seeking to update and formally adopt the City’s social media policy to better reflect our expectations for City employees’ and City leaders’ interactions with citizens on social media and online.”

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Press Release Date: 
12/16/2019
City Department: 
Mayor's Office