October 26, 2011 1:27:00 PM
Contrary to what Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Box would have you believe, the sky is not falling. At least not as far as the Columbus police chief search is concerned. During a special- called council meeting on Tuesday Box referred to some of the candidates as "losers."
Hold on, Charlie, not so fast.
Here's what's happened so far. Two weeks ago a committee appointed by the mayor and city council chose five finalists from 25 applications. The names were presented to the council, which approved the creation of a subcommittee to vet the names (Dispatch publisher Birney Imes chairs that committee.).
When the names were released, this newspaper and some readers conducted a Google search of the candidates. Guess what? Turns out all of the candidates have things in their past that give pause, things that need to be explained to a prospective employer.
Who among us is without sin? Better yet, who among us is without skeletons? Chances are if you've had a long career in law enforcement, you've hit a snag or two.
A group of public-minded citizens was commissioned by the council and mayor to do a job. Tuesday Box made a motion to toss aside the work of the committee and begin anew. He and Ward 6 Bill Gavin were outvoted 4-2. What is the harm in letting that process play out? If, after the vetting, there are no acceptable choices, go back to the drawing board.
On Sunday The Dispatch began a five-part series spotlighting a single candidate in each story. Dispatch police reporter Devin Golden's third installment, Sam Lathrop, is in today's paper. Golden is asking each candidate to explain the events that have raised doubts.
If, after Golden's reporting and the vetting process of the Police Chief Search Subcommittee there are no satisfactory choices, then the city should begin anew. And it should not hesitate to do so if that's the case.
Until then, Charlie and Bill, let's hold our fire. To declare someone who wants to be our next police chief a loser is more a poor reflection on us than someone who may want the job.
Let's stay calm, act deliberately and make a well-informed, non-politicalized decision about this hire. Do otherwise and we're all losers.
areyoukiddin commented at 10/26/2011 3:55:00 PM:
The Mayor, the Chief Operations Officer, and the Human Resources Officer eliminated better candidates, then changed the standards, in order of one person to rise to the top of the selection process. They stacked the deck. Maybe the other candidates that didn't make the top 25 should be reviewed by someone other than the Mayor or his staff.
sidewinder commented at 10/26/2011 11:59:00 PM:
Wow, it didn't take the Dispatch long to whip up an article to try and shoot down what Charlie Box said. I agree with you Charlie. Lets keep looking!
areainsider commented at 10/30/2011 10:19:00 AM:
Charlis is right. A few sources with knowledge of this search have told me that an original finalist who withdrew is an immensely qualified incumbent police chief with a spotless background, who had "nothing to be explained to a perspective employer" and has many years of experience as a police chief but had concerns about the hoopla and the distraction this public vetting process might have. It looks like that person was right. It looks as if this search is going nowhere good. Maybe the city should rethink the value of an open Columbus Idol like process for a police chief if they don't appoint one of these "losers." That's my view.
skeeter commented at 11/4/2011 8:06:00 PM:
Don't you know the hard part now is continuing on with the charade and wondering if the person in front of you knows who you are, what you are doing, and the part you've played in the deception of the citizens of Columbus?
Maybe it's easier if you have no morals. Maybe it's easier if you lie to yourself as well as those around you. Or maybe, just maybe, it was what you really wanted to do all along.