James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University, notes that lawmakers often become close to the Capitol Police and those running it.
“It becomes a bit cozy and they try to resolve things in a non-visible way, and I think that’s what’s going on here,” he says.
House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller says she wishes Chief Kim C. Dine well but says the “rank and file” look forward to improving the culture.
“Of course, we don’t appoint the chief. That’s by the Capitol Police Board, which is its own odd structure here,” the retiring Michigan Republican says. “It’s sort of a holdover from over 100 years ago.”
Miller has encouraged the Capitol Police Board to “cast a very wide net” in the search for Dine’s successor.
Rep. Rich Nugent, for one, isn’t convinced any amount of searching will matter.
“It’s just a screwy setup,” he says. “The House has oversight in name only. We can’t do anything. We can’t fire. We can’t hire.
“It’s just an old archaic system the way it’s set up today, which makes it nonaccountable.”