Port St. Lucie police chief rescinds job, citing "brutal politics" as reason

The newly-appointed police chief of Port St. Lucie once again withdrew his acceptance, citing "brutal politics" as his reason for backing out a second time.

After an extensive, nationwide search, Port St. Lucie City Manager Greg Oravec picked Craig Novick, Township Manager for Franklin, NJ, as the Police Chief of Port St. Lucie last month.

Then, this morning, Oravec said he received an email from Novick saying he was rescinding.

"It came completely out of the blue. It was a shock," said Oravec.

This is not the first time Novick got cold feet. He accepted the job in June, then backed off; claiming Port St. Lucie Mayor Joann Faiella interfered with the selection process in an inappropriate manner.

At that time, Oravec spoke with Novick, telling him he still believed he was the right one for the job, and Novick agreed to put aside his worries.

"I really believed that that search yielded the best external candidate," explained Oravec.

However, the worries apparently never went away. Novick told the city manager Monday morning about his concerns over "brutal politics and personal attacks on blogs." He sent his formal rescinding in an email. 

Oravec said he didn't have to look far for a replacement choice, which is what he described as "a breath of fresh air."

"I will be presenting a contract making acting Police Chief John A. Bolduc the next Police Chief for the City of Port St. Lucie," said Oravec.

Acting Chief Bolduc says when he found out that Novick wasn't accepting, he initially had a negative reaction.

"First I had a really bad feeling, like kicked in the stomach feeling, that Chief Novick, after all we went through to find a Chief, wasn't coming," said Bolduc.

But the worries gave way to excitement about the chance to become permanent chief.

The City Council will vote on his contract at the next meeting on August 13th. 

"I want everybody to be happy with the decision, so if the Council is happy, then I'm ready to go," Bolduc said.

Bolduc has been serving as acting police chief of the Port St. Lucie police department since May.

Craig Novick did not return any of our calls for comment.

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