Chief Burbank's firing is unfortunate but necessary. In many ways he has been a solid leader for the Salt Lake City Police Department. However, it has become clear that there was a pattern of misconduct on the part of his immediate subordinates that was mismanaged by him and is absolutely unacceptable. While I support the action, it is concerning to me that the Mayor has taken over a year to become fully aware of the situation. And Salt Lake residents may find it significant that this mayor is acting only after the nature, severity, and disposition of the allegations of sexual harassment have become public in press reports. One could be forgiven for asking if this is too little, too late, and is done out of political expediency in the midst of an election campaign.
Salt Lake voters must not lose sight of the fact that all this happened on Mayor Becker's watch, and the buck stops with him. If Chief Burbank was the one at fault - as the mayor has implied in recent interviews - the time to act has long since passed. It is a convenient out for the mayor to be able to make a public show of this firing and distract attention from his own inaction and failure of leadership in the matter. It is yet another reason why Salt Lake City cannot afford an absentee mayor any longer.