The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

One quits police chief race; second Fla. candidate lost out in January to local in Bellevue, Wash., chief competition

In City Hall, Police Department on April 21, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Capt. Joseph D’Agostino, 49, police captain in Port St. Lucie, Fla., has withdrawn from the competition to be Cedar Rapids’ next police chief, the city manager’s office confirmed Monday morning.

Still in the hunt are Kenneth Graham, 46, deputy police chief in Ocala, Fla.; Jeff Hadley, 37, police captain in Fort Wayne, Ind.; and two Cedar Rapids police captains, Steve O’Konek, 46, and Bernie Walther, 47.

Graham was one of six finalists for the police chief job in Bellevue, Wash., when that city selected its interim chief to fill the position in January.

The five Cedar Rapids finalists interviewed in private last week with City Manager Jim Prosser, Mo Sheronick, assistant city attorney, and Conni Huber, human resources director. Those interviews followed a first-round of public interviews with a seven-member panel including two members of the city’s Civil Service Commission. Seven candidates interviewed in the first round.

Following the first interviews, the Civil Service Commission said five of the seven candidates were qualified to be Cedar Rapids’ chief. The commission then ranked the five this way: O’Konek, Graham, Hadley, D’Agostino and Walther.

In addition to private City Hall interviews last week, the city also held a reception for the five finalists to give the public a chance to visit with them one-on-one.

The city’s Huber said Monday that no more interviews are scheduled. She said the city manager is “deliberating” over his selection and hopes to have someone on the job by June 1. The City Council must approve Prosser’s selection.


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