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Former Wichita police chief alleges interference in officer discipline; city denies accusations

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Former Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay is running for St. Louis County Sheriff in Minnesota after he decided to leave the department earlier this year.

Former Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay is alleging inappropriate interference by the city’s human resources department in officer discipline.

City officials have denied those allegations.

“I look forward to the City’s independent, third-party review to comprehensively complete its work and residents can fully understand what happened so that the City can move forward from this painful incident,” HR Manager Chris Bezruki said in a written statement.

The allegations come after an internal review done by a city committee found that Wichita police officers who exchanged racist text messages and made light of the use of force by law enforcement were not disciplined appropriately.

The city has requested a third-party investigate the culture of the department after the text messages became public. Bids for that investigation are still open.

Ramsay's allegations were made in a letter delivered to the City Council’s office Wednesday morning. In the letter, Ramsay said instead of moving forward with the investigation into the police department’s culture, the city should instead investigate the human resources department.

The city said that the police department investigation will include a review of the relationship between Wichita Police, human resources and the city law department.

Ramsay is running for St. Louis County Sheriff in Minnesota after he decided to leave the department earlier this year.

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple called the letter “a distraction.”

“Never once in our discussions for the first two years that I was mayor and he was here did he bring up these issues,” Whipple said.

Whipple also questioned the manner in which the allegations were made.

“It definitely stinks more of a political move than an administrative move,” he said.