Kensington's new police chief plans to tackle budget first

Byby Elissa Harrington KGO logo
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Kensington's new police chief plans to tackle budget first
Kensington has a new police chief after his predecessor was fired for allegedly mishandling a scandal involving a fellow officer.

KENSINGTON, Calif. (KGO) -- The East Bay community of Kensington is coming off a several rough months. The police chief was fired after being accused of mishandling a scandal involving a fellow officer. Still, the new police chief plans to move the town forward.

Kensington's new police Chief Kevin Hart knows he has somewhat of a mess to clean up.

His predecessor, Greg Harman, was ousted by the town's governing board. He was criticized for how he handled a scandal involving a Reno prostitute accused of stealing a sergeant's gun.

"I think he made some mistakes. Clearly, he made a mistake in handling that matter," Board of Directors President Len Welsh said.

Hart told ABC7 News he is looking at the controversy as an opportunity. "There's a lot of questions and concerns in town with previous leaders. This was a period in Kensington's history that became very public and we have got to move past that," he said.

Hart is a retired sheriff's commander and serves on the Dublin City Council, but there's still debate over his position as he'll be serving as police chief and interim city manager.

"Some people feel that there's a conflict of interest. I don't think there's a conflict of interest per se, in having the two positions, but I do think it presents difficulties. They are very different jobs and it's hard to switch hats," Welsh said.

The board is looking at other options down the road.

Hart said his goal is to make sure Kensington is run effectively and plans to tackle the budget first.