Fifth Member of Police Committee Resigns

March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The remaining members of the Buffalo Joint Police Reorganization Commission pledged to continue working to streamline the Buffalo Police Department, even as another member of the panel turned in his resignation.

Former Erie County Sheriff Thomas Higgins, in an e-mail, said the arrest of the commission's former interim chairman, Ricky Allen Senior, was one of his reasons.

Allen's University District home was raided last week by federal authorities, who accused Allen of taking part in a cocaine distribution network.

Four other members of the commission resigned in the days immediately following Allen's arrest.

The commission's new interim chairman, Joseph Mascia, said the board will continue to meet and plans to issue a final report to the Common Council by year's end.

Critics of the commission, including Mayor Byron Brown, question the body's makeup.

"[I] felt uncomfortable with the composition of the commission," Brown said following Allen's arrest on Thursday.

So far, Brown has refused to appoint anyone to his four open seats on the board.