COMMENT: In his letter of resignation, Duarte took responsibility for naming Oliveira a police chief. He said blame should not fall on the state public security department itself, which has made strides against combating crime in recent years, but solely on his own shoulders.
The head of the state security department, Jose Mariano Beltrame, a state cabinet position, accepted Duarte's resignation with regret. In just the last few months, Rio police officers have been charged in several cases. Eleven officers who were part of the community policing program were arrested in September after being caught taking cash from traffickers. In July, the month before Acioli's slaying, four officers were charged with murdering and dumping the body of an 11-year-old boy. A 2009 case severely shook the image of Rio's police: Officers were caught on camera arresting and then releasing men who had just shot to death the head of a civil rights group.
Although Duarte was unaware of Oliveira's complicity in Judge Acioli's assassination, he nevertheless did an honorable thing by resigning. Few public officials in the US would do the same when confronted by scandal. Hopefully, Beltrame will select an equally suitable candidate to replace Duarte to continue with his efforts to clean up the state police system.