On Monday, Mayor Dan Horrigan offered a clipped description of his reasons for requesting, and receiving, the resignation of James Nice, the Akron police chief, over the weekend. At the same time, the mayor left no doubt that he views the transgressions of Nice as grave and requiring his sudden ouster.

The reasons boiled down to three. The mayor pointed to “compelling evidence” of Nice making “derogatory” statements about police officers and other personnel. He cited “inappropriate contact” with a city employee, and “allegations of potential criminal misconduct” relating to an investigation concerning car theft and forgery involving Nice’s nephew.

Actually, any one of the reasons, given the circumstances, could warrant a resignation or dismissal. It appears telling that Nice conceded quickly, confirming, in effect, conduct “unbecoming an officer,” as the mayor put it. The information surfaced late last week through the investigation of his nephew, Nice’s departure coming the day after the mayor was briefed.

To his credit, Horrigan acted decisively and, in doing so, set a clear and necessary marker. He rightly expects those in public service to hold themselves to “the highest standards of ethics and integrity.” Thus, from the mayor’s perspective, Nice “lost his ability to lead this department.”

Another aspect of the “highest standards” in public office is transparency. If this matter includes a continuing criminal investigation and concerns about privacy, the mayor and his team still have an obligation, sooner rather than later, to be much more forthcoming about what happened.

In response to a reporter’s question, Kenneth Ball, now the acting police chief, said that nothing in Nice’s performance suggested he would behave in the ways that resulted in his exit. The news was jarring, especially because Nice, the first outsider to lead the department, was brought on board by Don Plusquellic six years ago to supply fresh leadership in making a good police force even better.

Now the end is “embarrassment,” to borrow Ball’s word. Yet the acting chief noted something else. He cited “the exceptionally strong team of leaders within this organization” assembled by Nice. You don’t have to agree with every policy of Nice to recognize that he tried to push the department forward, to build trust in neighborhoods and thus public confidence.

It has been helpful to have outside leadership at the department, even with the failings that triggered his resignation.

Now the mayor and acting chief have the task of rallying the department. That begins, in part, with getting to the bottom of the incident Friday night, a 17-year-old fatally shooting himself in the back of a police cruiser. The department will have to do better than to suggest, as it did Monday, that there are not firm procedures for officers taking suspects into custody.

Here, too, transparency matters, in meeting those high standards James Nice violated and Mayor Horrigan reaffirmed.