The Commercial Dispatch, 6/20/7

In 2003, the Columbus Police Department was a national disgrace that needed dramatic change, the man who ultimately decided the new police chief testified Tuesday.

And the decision to hire J.D. Sanders over Joe Johnson was based on his concerns for public safety and public confidence in the department and not on race, former Columbus Mayor Jeffrey Rupp said.

“I think all the City Council members knew in their heart that J.D. Sanders was the best person to implement the study, but for political reasons, they couldn’t come to a consensus so they put it in my lap … black and white council members felt they had to vote what their constituents wanted,” Rupp said of the Nov. 4, 2003, decision to hire Sanders over Johnson.