The chairman of the North’s Policing Board confirmed tonight that he is to step down from the role.
Desmond Rea said he would not be standing for re-election when his period of office comes to an end this summer.
The former business studies lecturer at Queen’s University in Belfast has headed up the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s independent oversight body since its creation as part of policing reforms in 2001.
His term was due to conclude at the end of April but that date has been pushed back to facilitate a recruitment process for a new Deputy Chief Constable at the PSNI.
Once the board finds a successor for DCC Paul Leighton, Rea, who is now in his early 70s, will relinquish the chair.
He said he intends to remain as an independent member on the board.
“I had informed the Board that I would not be standing for re-election as chairman and planned to step down from the post in April 2009,” he said.
“I will now be stepping down from this role when the DCC appointment process is completed.
“It has been a privilege and honour to serve as chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board over the last seven years.”
Vice chairman Barry Gilligan’s term of office has also been extended until the end of the DCC recruitment procedure.
Rea was educated at Queen’s University and the University of California, Berkeley.
He is an Emeritus Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Ulster and was formerly senior lecturer in Business Studies and Assistant Dean at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at Queen’s.
A former chair of the Northern Ireland Labour Relations Agency, he is currently editor of the First Trust bank’s quarterly Economic Outlook and Business Review and is also a non-executive director and chairman of the Ulster Orchestra Society.
He was knighted for his services to policing in 2005.