The East Lansing City Council met with the intent to discuss the appointment of Kathy Swedlow, to the East Lansing Police oversight division

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On Feb. 6 the East Lansing City Council members held its regular meeting and recommended Kathy Swedlow to the East Lansing Police Oversight Division.

Councilwoman Dana Watson, as the co-council liaison for LAPAC, and Councilman Mark Meadows stepped out to look for a specific position.

When looking through many candidates, they found a great person to interview, who is Kathy Swedlow. Swedlow stood out as a great candidate in the eyes of the city council members, Watson said.

Kathy Swedlow is an attorney who has been working for 30 years, in criminal defense. She primarily works as a law professor and a practitioner, who teaches about criminal appeals in Michigan. Her practice is also devoted to death penalty defense in Pennsylvania, and criminal appeals in Michigan.

“Through my work, I am very familiar with the criminal law and the constitutional law surrounding police procedures. I have also written a book on criminal procedure, now in its second edition,” said Swedlow.

Kathy is also involved with training as well, involving people in real-life prosecuting experience and teaching criminal law subjects and criminal procedure. She currently writes publications for trial and appellate criminal attorneys around the state of Michigan.

Swedlow’s appeal procedure is affecting the city of East Lansing by helping the law enforcement task force evolve into something better. Kathy’s experience in New York law and being an attorney showed the councilmen that she was ready for the position.

Erik Altman, another member of the East Lansing city council, decided to take a step back and remove himself from the voting process, because of his connection to Kathy Swedlow. Altman and Swedlow have an outside connection and that takes away his unbiased attitude as a councilman.

“I would like to ask my colleagues to excuse me from voting on this issue,” Altman claimed.

Before the act of the Council, Watson described the look of appointing someone who was married to a councilman, and if that was civil in the eyes of the people. She continues to look at the grayness of what it meant to appoint someone who is married to someone else. A law was created to combat an opportunity for a personal appointment on the council, and that is called the Nepotism Resolution.

“The Nepotism Resolution that the city council passed last year was an acknowledgment that you’re utilizing when there are no measures in place where I can get my child a job because I am on the city council,” said Watson.

“I want to be transparent about the gray of appointing someone to a commission who is married to someone else. When we think about using our privilege, or leveling the use of our privilege to support creates nepotism in spaces.”

Throughout the conversation about Kathy Swedlow, one thing made clear was that she was qualified enough for the position. George Brookeover, the mayor of East Lansing, described that the nepotism act is important for this instance, but Swedlow was interviewed and thought highly of by two members of the council.

Swedlow’s background in criminal law made her a candidate who was right for this new position in the eyes of the council.

“I believe my background in criminal law, complaint review, and oversight of professional staff make me a very good fit for this committee. I recognize the need for policing, and I think every system should be evaluated for improvement,” said Swedlow.

Kathy Swedlow was a candidate for a position who was fitted for the role through the applicant process, and with her appointment, she continues to use her skills and experience to help the city of East Lansing.

At the conclusion of the discussion, Swedlow was appointed to the East Lansing Police Oversight Division where she will carry on her career. Swedlow continues to make a difference in the East Lansing community to this day with her law enforcement endeavors.

“I want to be part of a transparent process that helps to make East Lansing better for both its residents and those who visit our community,” Swedlow proclaimed.

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