Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison named a senior FBI agent with a long history of investigating public corruption as his new deputy commissioner in charge of the Public Integrity Bureau, which oversees officer misconduct investigations.
Harrison introduced Brian Nadeau, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, at a Thursday news conference at police headquarters. Nadeau, 56, worked as a police officer in Maine for ten years before joining the FBI in 1997 where he handled organized crime investigations in New York, and become the head of the agency’s public corruption unit at FBI headquarters in Washington in 2008.
“I look forward to this challenge," Nadeau said.
Harrison said Nadeau could not respond to questions Thursday because of his current position with the FBI.
Since January 2015, Nadeau has served as assistant special agent in charge of the Baltimore field office.
“He is quite familiar with some of challenges we’re facing, but he’s also very aware of the many strengths of the city and the department,” Harrison said. In addition to his familiarity with Baltimore, Harrison said, Nadeau also “brings forth a national platform and national experience."
FBI Baltimore Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone called Nadeau “an integral part of FBI Baltimore’s team the last four and a half years."
“We look forward to working with Brian in his new role at the Baltimore Police Department,” Boone said. "Our partnership with the Baltimore Police Department has never been stronger and will only continue to grow with Brian’s transition into his new position.”
Nadeau was chosen following a national search in which the department received many applications and interviewed several people for the high-profile job.
The bureau has been criticized for its struggles to adequately oversee the police department and review complaints in a timely manner.
Since Harrison became Baltimore’s top cop in February, he has expressed an interest in rebuilding the department’s command staff to include talent from outside the department and to bring in more civilians. The new deputy commissioner will round out Harrison’s executive team, which includes two civilians and a former deputy police chief from Louisville, Kentucky.
Harrison previously named Michelle Wilson, an assistant Maryland attorney general, to head the integrity bureau. But two days after the announcement, the department reversed course and said Wilson would not be joining the department.
Before her name was announced, Wilson had been a witness in a lawsuit against Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. Wilson filed an affidavit directly contradicting Mosby’s account of an incident central to a lawsuit brought against Mosby by a former city prosecutor. At the time of the hiring Harrison said Wilson would be able to work collaboratively with Mosby’s office.
Harrison said he consulted with Mosby about Nadeau and received positive feedback.
Harrison said he expects Nadeau to begin the job by conducting an assessment of the bureau and to implement processes to fully investigate complaints in a timely manner. He said he wants a process that satisfies residents and resolves their complaints but also results in a “fair and just outcome” for officers whose careers may be affected.
Nadeau will start in early September and earn an annual salary of $190,000.
The public integrity section includes internal affairs, which is headed by Maj. Stephanie Lansey-Delgado, and the Special Investigation Response Team known as “SIRT,” which investigates actions of officers that result in serious injury or death. That is headed by Capt. Donald Diehl.
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Without a permanent leader, the bureau has struggled to complete misconduct investigations.
The judge enforcing the policing consent decree reached between the city and U.S. Justice Department in 2017, has expressed concern about the lack of progress made by the department in reforming internal affairs, which suffers from a backlog of cases.
In June, a Circuit Court judge dismissed a dozen internal-affairs charges, including one case in which an officer was criminally charged, because the department filed them too late.
So far this year, the Special Investigation Response Team has investigated the fatal shooting of two men by officers. In the latest incident a man died and an officer was injured after an exchange of gunfire at a North Baltimore drug treatment facility in July. Police said an employee at the clinic was also killed.
Nadeau is the final piece of Harrison’s newly formed executive staff. He previously named Michael Sullivan, the former deputy police chief in Louisville, Kentucky, to head the operations bureau, which includes criminal investigations and patrol.
Danny Murphy, a civilian who worked under Harrison when he was superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, serves as the deputy commissioner of the compliance bureau, which oversees reforms mandated by the consent decree reached between the city and U.S. Justice Department in 2017.
Jim Gillis, also a civilian, who served as chief of staff under the past police commissioner, now oversees the department’s administration bureau, which includes finance, human resource and recruitment.