City of Topeka not intending to tap former Police Chief Bill Cochran for permanent City Manager role

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Former Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran is not eligible for the permanent City Manager position, according to a city spokesperson. Cochran is set to take over as Interim City Manager on December 31, 2021.

Director of Communications Gretchen Spiker told KSNT News that the Topeka City Council “does not intend for the Interim City Manager to be eligible for the position permanently.”

Spiker said the council will discuss how to conduct the search for City Manager Brent Trout’s replacement early next year. She said the process has not yet been determined.

Last week, the Topeka City Council voted 7 to 3 to advance Cochran from City Manager’s Chief of Staff to Interim City Manager. Mayor Michelle De La Isla was one of the votes against his appointment.

De La Isla was asked about this during her final press conference as mayor Tuesday. She said it was an HR issue that she would not discuss further. It’s a message she echoed during an interview with KSNT News later that day.

“I never talk about HR issues. That is an HR issue,” De La Isla said. “I will say that that does not diminish the fact that Bill was a phenomenal Chief of Police. He did a lot to bring out community together during a time of challenge but even though I seldom vote no, I voted no.”

Current City Councilman Mike Padilla is set to replace Mayor De La Isla next month. Trout is leaving Topeka to become a county manager in North Carolina.

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