St. Paul Mayor appointee resigns after becoming 'disillusioned'

A man hired to fill a high profile position for the city of St. Paul has suddenly resigned.

Jason Sole was appointed by Mayor Melvin Carter to be the first ever “Community-First Public Safety Initiatives Director.”

Monday, he sent the Mayor a scathing email which FOX 9 obtained. In it, he said, “I find myself disillusioned with how this year has unfolded.”

He went on to say he wasn’t given a dollar to lead his initiatives, “which clearly shows there is no value in this role. #trophyposition.”

Carter released a statement which says, in part, “I appreciate Jason Sole’s service and wish him well.”

Sole has also served as the President of the Minneapolis NAACP. Also, as a former drug dealer and gang member, he has a history of encouraging others to turn their lives around.

Carter’s statement:

I appreciate Jason Sole's service and wish him well. His contributions and feedback will continue to inform our Community-First Public Safety Strategies moving forward.

Sole’s resignation letter to Carter:

I want to start out by saying that I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to serve in your administration during your first year as mayor. I was honored when you reached out to me with your vision for community safety that centered equity, true justice, and strong communities. Unfortunately, I find myself disillusioned with how this year has unfolded while I’ve served as Community-First Public Safety Initiatives Director. I will not seek to renew my contract when it ends on March 27. I’d like to outline my reasons for ending this work that I began with great enthusiasm and optimism.

  1. During my first week, I was asked to support the Joint Powers Agreement for Data Sharing of Youth Information. I refused and you disregarded (and continue to disregard) my recommendation with your continued support of harmful agreement.
  2. You chose to support Keith Ellison while I chose to support my friend Karen Monahan. I was more ostracized after our conversation. In a Nov. 19 meeting to discuss the Bloomberg opportunity, I vehemently expressed that the money should be invested in the people at the bottom rungs of society. Chief Axtell and Lyndsey Olson (City Attorney) agreed; you made the determination to disregard my recommendation by stating that the investments would go into people, placemaking, and police. The change in your rhetoric between your inauguration speech and this decision is hard to overstate. You stated that we express our values by how we spend our money. I wasn’t given a dollar to lead my community-first public safety initiatives, which clearly shows that there is no value in this role. #trophyposition
  3. You stated in your inauguration speech that we are not safer with more cops and that you are invested in a community-first public safety approach. Yet, you allocated money for police. #politicsasusual
  4. You are giving your support to Ramsey County’s Gun Violence Intervention initiative, which I have continuously refused to support. I attended several meetings on the front end, including an all-day convening, in which I expressed the flaws to the attendees as well as the deputy mayor. As someone who has expertise in reducing crime on a personal and professional level, I chose not to support and that has caused greater conflict as you were upset that I didn’t attend a recent meeting.

Don’t think that I don’t want you to succeed. I wish you well; this is just me taking my brother in the yard for five minutes because I have a knot in my chest that needs to be loosened. I would like to spend the last two months of my contract helping you pivot from the Community-First platform to your Smart on Crime platform. I was hoping that you truly envisioned a safer Saint Paul but I realize that it was simply rhetoric. I have tried to be as supportive as I could possibly be for you but it hasn’t been reciprocated. You can’t name one initiative you’ve supported of mine. Nevertheless, I’ll wait to hear from you in terms of next steps. In the interim, I will draft recommendations for the next hire to fill my role. Somehow, this felt like I was writing a letter from a Birmingham Jail. Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Day!