Police chief finalist withdraws

Spokane's search for a new police chief is down to three finalists after one candidate removed his name from consideration Tuesday morning, city spokeswoman Marlene Feist says.

Retired Stockton, Calif. Police Chief Blair Ulring called the city's human resources department on Tuesday and withdrew his name from consideration, Feist says.

The Spokesman Review reported this morning that the college Ulring listed on his resume — La Salle University — has no record of his attendance or graduation, and has never offered the degrees he says he received in law enforcement management and administration of justice.

The story questioned whether he may have instead gotten those diplomas from the similarly named, but non-accredited "LaSalle University," which was shut down in the '90s for being a "diploma mill operation," where degrees could be purchased without coursework.

The city is still working through its background check process, and wanted to start the interview process quickly, Feist says. City officials are still in the process of checking the remaining finalists' credentials.

"This was on a very fast track," she says.

She says the city did not know about the potential problems with Ulring's education before the Spokesman reported it. Ulring did not specify to the city whether the story had anything to do with his withdrawal, Feist says.

"He just indicated he was withdrawing for personal reasons," she says.

Public interviews for the remaining three finalists will be in City Council Chambers Wednesday from 11:10 am to 3:10 pm.