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Minority police group votes no confidence in Menino

A minority police association that has been harshly critical of the amount of diversity within the Boston Police Department on Saturday cast a vote of no confidence in Mayor Thomas Menino.

William Celester, one of the founders of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, Inc., said 60 members met on Saturday morning at the association’s Columbia Rd. headquarters. The vote of no confidence was unanimous, he said.

“By unanimous vote, they took a no confidence vote and we’re going in the street against him,” he said.

A Menino campaign spokesman said the move is a surprise because several days ago Menino and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis sat down with MAMLEO leaders to discuss their concerns and Davis had taken steps to improve diversity within the department.

"Mayor Menino and Commissioner Davis believed that they had reached a constructive agreement with MAMLEO to increase diversity within supervisory positions, and MAMLEO's actions are counterproductive," said the spokesman, Nick Martin.

The president of the association, Larry Ellison, was not available for comment on Saturday night.

The group, which has been critical of the mayor in the past, is planning stand-outs against the mayor and leafleting the city, Celester said. A press conference is planned for 11:30 a.m. on Monday at 26 Court St. in Boston, in front of the Boston School Committee.

“He has refused for 16 years to meet with us,” Celester, a former Boston police superintendent, said. “MAMLEO has been trying to talk to the mayor about diversity.”

Celester said that only in the last week has a Hispanic lieutenant been appointed to the position of lieutenant detective and a black sergeant was appointed to sergeant detective.

Celester, convicted on corruption charges in the 1990s while working in Newark and formerly a candidate for the seat currently held by state Rep. Willie Mae Allen, said participating officers will be off-duty cops.