Interior to reinstate ousted Park Police chief after eight years
MSPB ruled Jan. 11 that Interior, which oversees the Park Police, had improperly dismissed Chambers eight years ago. The board ordered her reinstated within 20 days of the ruling. Interior could have appealed that order.
Chambers was placed on administrative leave in December 2003 after telling The Washington Post that her 620-member force required as many as 800 additional officers to meet increased demands, faced a $12 million budget shortfall, and needed up to $8 million more than the Bush administration had requested for fiscal 2005.
In July 2004, Chambers was removed from her position. She appealed the action to MSPB and later challenged it in federal court.
Salazar also announced Friday that when Chambers returns, current Park Police Chief Sal Lauro will assume a new post as a senior adviser to the Interior secretary. In that position, Lauro will conduct a review of law enforcement activities at the department and its bureaus.
"Chief Lauro has led the Park Police on a positive and ambitious agenda over the last two years," said Salazar, "and I look forward to Teresa Chambers continuing to advance that agenda."
"It is a tremendous honor to return to the United States Park Police and to work alongside the men and women of that organization who have the privilege of serving the law enforcement profession while also serving our country," Chambers said.
Emily Long contributed to this report.