(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
A day after the abrupt resignation of Jerusalem District Police commander Asst.-Ch. Yossi Pariente, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said he would not rush the process of choosing a replacement for police chief Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino.
“No one will push me to take steps I see as wrong,” Aharonovitch said during a ceremony in Beersheba on Monday. “I will take my time, consider my options and make my decision in the most organized process possible.”
Pariente, 49 – a 30-year veteran who was widely believed to be a front-runner to succeed Danino later this year – claimed his decision to retire was personal and unrelated to any wrongdoing.
“There is no reason for my decision to retire,” he said. “No internal investigation, complaint, anonymous letter or skeleton in the closet.”
Moreover, Pariente said he had no interest in participating in the mudslinging associated with running for the top spot.
“I am a man of hard work [and] I do not want to be a part of this dirty game,” he said. “I have severe and harsh things to say, but I’m not going to show ingratitude...The most important thing for me is to keep my good name.”
Pariente’s resignation comes just over two weeks after Central District commander Asst.- Ch. Bruno Stein – also once considered a contender to succeed Danino – announced his resignation amid accusations of consorting with a well-known attorney embroiled in corruption charges.
In a statement released Monday, State Control Committee chairman Amnon Cohen said Pariente’s resignation – representing the fourth instance of a senior officer abruptly retiring over the past two years – was reminiscent of the Harpaz Affair.
“Unknown to the public, we’re losing the best of our commanders for unknown personal reasons,” he said.
In light of the spate of high-profile resignations, Cohen said he will investigate police conduct to determine if the departures are indeed due to personal vendettas.
“Our goal is to make sure there are no attempts to settle personal accounts that would endanger the good of the country, and to ensure the most deserving officers are appointed to key roles in protecting the citizens of Israel,” he said.Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.