Source: Charles Ramsey sought $400K, Rahm Emanuel balked
BY FRANK MAIN Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who was a front-runner to become the next Chicago Police superintendent, is no longer a candidate — and money was a key reason.
Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel, who takes office next month, has praised Ramsey, a former deputy superintendent with the Chicago Police and former Washington, D.C. police chief. He had said he was interested in the Chicago job.
But a source said Ramsey was asking for a compensation package of more than $400,000 and Emanuel found that unacceptable.
“They were not terms that would keep him in the mix,” the source said Wednesday.
Ramsey, 63, acknowledged that pay was an issue. But the decision came down to the support he received in Philadelphia, he said.
“I would have enjoyed coming and working with Mayor Emanuel,” Ramsey said in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was a tough choice. I have a brother and sister who live there. I care an awful lot about Chicago and I tell people here that I am still a Bear fan. But the support I got here at home from the business community — and the media, even — and, of course, Mayor [Michael] Nutter, made the difference.”
The Chicago Police Board will accept applications for the superintendent’s position until Monday. It has received a large number of applications, sources said, and Emanuel has interviewed several candidates from within the Chicago Police Department.
Former Supt. Jody Weis made $310,000 a year. Mayor Daley justified the unprecedented salary by saying Weis also would be in charge at disaster scenes, a second job Daley soon stripped from Weis.
Weis resigned after his contract expired in early March, and former Police Supt. Terry Hillard is serving as interim superintendent.
Ramsey has parlayed his monthlong flirtation with the Chicago job to a big pay increase in Philadelphia — from $195,000 to $255,000. Ramsey said he is considering teaching law enforcement at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Back in Chicago, a high-ranking police official said he was surprised at the turn of events.
“It’s going to get very interesting now,” he said.
Emanuel spokesman Ben LaBolt said the mayor-elect is seeking a candidate who shares his philosophy that “the beat officer is the backbone of the force.”