A six-member bloc of Progressive City Councilors said Thursday they do not support Interim Chief Jon Murad’s appointment to take over the Burlington Police Department permanently.

In a statement the Progressives say they will oppose Murad’s appointment when it comes to a vote Monday, saying the “process was flawed.”

A seven-member majority from the 12-member council is required for confirmation.

“Mayor Weinberger does not have the votes in the City Council to confirm Acting Chief Murad,” the statement said. “No one was satisfied with the first search process and all parties, including the Mayor, called for the hiring of an executive search firm. We are disappointed that the Mayor has chosen to move forward.”

Burlington has gone without a permanent chief since Brandon del Pozo resigned in December 2019. His departure followed an admission to using a burner social media account to taunt a frequent critic of the department.

Murad was one of the two final candidates identified before Weinberger suspended the search in early November. At the time, the mayor said if the City Council wanted the search to resume, it needed to take additional steps, such as boosting the position’s salary.

The other candidate withdrew from consideration earlier this month.

In announcing Murad’s appointment, Weinberger said the next chief will need address “troubling” crime trends, racial bias and racial disparities in law enforcement “and stabilize and rebuild our department.

“I know that Chief Murad is up to this enormous challenge because he has already demonstrated he can do it. He has served the Department with distinction and for the last year and a half, has led the Burlington Police Department as Acting Chief through one of the most challenging periods in its 150-year history.”

Murad said that he’s considered his tenure as acting chief to be a 20-month-long job interview, adding that he never considered himself a shoo-in for the permanent role.

“Every single person in this city wants to be safe,” he said at City Hall. “Every single person in this city wants it to feel like a place where we can be, where it is a welcoming community, where we have a strong economic base that is in part driven by public safety, where we are all equal before this process in the law. All of us want that. That is our common ground.”

Murad was born in Burlington but began his career in the New York Police Department in 2005 as a police officer in the Bronx. Murad also served as an NYPD detective and was eventually promoted to Assistant Commissioner in 2014.

He returned to Vermont and joined the BPD as Deputy Chief in October 2018. Murad said he has more to give to the Queen City.

“Where fairness is of concern, where (racial) disparities (in policing) are of concern — I want to work in those ways with everyone,” he said. “But I’m hopeful that we’re at a stage now where I can change the (job) title and begin to work in a way that a chief can work and an acting chief cannot.”

“I am honored by the Mayor’s confidence, grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve Burlington, excited to enter a new chapter with the Council, the Police Commission, and community stakeholders, and eager to work with the women and men of the police department to keep moving forward for the Queen City and our neighbors,” he said. “Ours is a wonderful city, where my wife and children have made our home, where my parents spent their careers, where I’ve been privileged to lead the BPD for the past twenty months. I know I have more to give to this wonderful city, and strive to make it safe and fair, everywhere for everyone.”