The San José City Council today voted unanimously to hire Karyn Sinunu-Towery for the role of Acting Independent Police Auditor. The action in a closed session followed her nomination by Mayor Matt Mahan.
Three weeks ago, Shivaun Nurre announced her retirement from the watchdog position, necessitating the appointment of an acting police auditor as the search for a permanent replacement begins.
After retiring from a 30-year career with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office, Sinunu-Towery volunteered her time and expertise over the last decade to the Northern California Innocence Project. The Innocence Project works to exonerate those wrongfully convicted and ensure that the criminal justice system is held to the highest standards of integrity.
“Karyn will bring stability and continuity to the Office of the IPA while we conduct a nationwide search for a permanent IPA,” said Mahan. “In leading the office, Karyn will draw on her extensive and highly respected public service career, including her time as Assistant District Attorney and her work with the Innocence Project. Karyn has always put rule of law and pursuit of truth and justice at the center of her work, and I’m confident she will bring these values to the role.”
As part of her long career serving the public, Sinunu-Towery wrote a Victims’ Rights handbook that is now distributed to all California prosecutors and rewrote the hiring protocol in the District Attorney’s Office to emphasize diversity.
"I believe the Office of the IPA serves a crucial city function in promoting public confidence in law enforcement through policy work and accountability measures,” saidSinunu-Towery.
The Independent Police Auditor’s office fields citizen complaints, suggests policy improvements and works to ensure that the San José Police Department addresses allegations of officer misconduct swiftly and thoroughly.