Clearwater Police Chief Tony Holloway has emerged as a surprise contender to lead the St. Petersburg Police Department, although Mayor Rick Kriseman’s interest in Holloway serving as Police Chief became serious at least six weeks ago, says a high ranking law enforcement official familiar with the behind-the-scenes negotiations to bring Holloway to St. Pete.
After this blog broke the news that Kriseman had informed Assistant Police Chief Melanie Bevan that she would not be named the next Chief, Kriseman confirmed that he also contacted the three other finalists — Jerry Geier, retired New Haven (Conn.) Assistant Chief Thaddeus Reddish and Terrence Pierce, a captain at the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland — with news that they had not made the cut either.
Speculation on social media, this blog, and the Tampa Bay Times has since focused on Chief Holloway as the “surprise candidate” to lead the St. Petersburg Police Department. That person has accepted an offer and will be announced to the community during a press conference this week, Kriseman told the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday morning.
If, in fact, Holloway is the “surprise candidate,” he may not be so much a surprise as he is the secret candidate.
According to my LEO source, Kriseman and Holloway discussed the possibility of Holloway taking over the SPPD in June — before an open house where residents were invited to meet the four finalists for the position.
Also, on Sunday, Kriseman told the Times that two to three weeks ago, he began considering going off the list.
What my source — a source with unimpeachable credentials — is telling me runs counter to that timeline.
Mind you, Tony Holloway may not end up being Kriseman’s choice; I’m hearing about a second candidate emerging at this late hour as a possible choice. But, that still doesn’t clear up the how-and-when of Kriseman’s decision-making process.