ATLANTA, -- DeKalb County's top cop says he was offered the same job in Chicago only to have the Mayor rescind the offer.
In an exclusive interview with 11Alive, Dr. Cedric Alexander says he was supposed to be on a flight to Chicago Sunday. He says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel offered him the job as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department on Thursday.
%INLINE%Then late Saturday night, he says Emanuel called him to tell him he was going in a different direction. Emanuel named a 27-year Chicago Police veteran, Eddie Johnson, as the interim Superintendent.
"Yes, that is true," Alexander said.Alexander was reserved in his answers. He wouldn't get into the specifics of his conversations with Emanuel. "At the end of the day, the decision was made. I accept it as it is and move forward," Alexander said.
Alexander had been one of the finalists for the job, along with Spokane, Wash. Police chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Chicago Police Chief of Support Services Eugene Williams.
Alexander says he's grateful to the Chicago Police Board for the opportunity. He wishes the citizens of Chicago the best.He says the police department, which he calls a great department with a rich history, is in need of strong leadership."That's it in a nutshell. Hopefully, they'll get to a place where they can figure out what's best for them," said Alexander.
Alexander is a clinical psychologist with more than three decades of law enforcement experience. He is often called up by the justice department to help police departments across the country.
We asked him if the citizens of DeKalb County should be worried that he was out looking for a job."This was a very unique opportunity," Alexander said, "I think any of us that have a unique opportunity come in front of us, we look at it and we make that consideration.""I'm not going anywhere. My plan is to be around here and continue to do the great work that we do."
Emanuel's choice was highly unusual. By law, he has to choose from a list of finalist provided by the police board. Johnson wasn't on that list, he hadn't even applied for the job.
Now, Emanuel will appoint Johnson to be interim Superintendent and ask for a new search to be conducted. Assuming Johnson is a finalist on that list he'll be appointed fulltime Superintendent.