Czech Interior Minister Jan Kubice (unaffiliated) this month criticized Police President Petr Lessy for his negative reaction to proposed changes personnel and systematic changes to the Czech police. Now, Kubice has told the daily Lidové noviny (LN) that his patience with Lessy ran out following a meeting on Monday (Nov. 28) when the two discussed details of planned personnel cuts in the Police Presidium.
“I’m not happy that this information is out in the open, but it’s true. Lessy presented me with his plan for spending savings in the presidium on Monday, and it definitely wasn’t a course of action that would support the service’s actual performance. It angered me greatly,” Kubice told LN.
One of the principal disagreements between Kubice and Lessy was the recommendation by the minister’s advisory commission to scrap the post of Deputy Police President for Strategy, currently occupied by Pavel Osvald. Lessy reportedly refused to even discuss the option and instead proposed merging the posts of deputy president for criminal proceedings and the deputy president for police patrols and public order policing.
According to the daily, Lessy will deliver an official response to Kubice’s call for him to resign next Monday (Dec. 5), but for now at least he says he will not step down. “If we disagree on the internal structure of the police, it’s a professional discussion; it’s not a reason to resign,” Lessy told LN.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) has stepped into the dispute. “The minister definitely has serious reasons for [calling upon Lessy to resign] and has my full support,” he told LN.
Lessy took up the post of Police President on January 24, replacing Oldřich Martinů, who was forced to resign by then interior minister Radek John (Public Affairs, VV). Previously, Lessy was deputy director for uniformed patrols in the South Bohemia police department.
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