Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Breaking: Senator Greiner Back in the Hatch Act Hot Seat

The US Office of Special Counsel pops up again, after being missing in action for almost two years -- Updated

"Turn in your weapon, badge, duty belt and police vehicle," says the U.S. Office of Special Counsel

Interesting afternoon development on thee Emerald City political red meat news front. Regular readers will recall the 2006 general election sideshow, wherein Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner's Senate District 18 election campaign was nearly derailed, by accusations that the Chief's simultaneous occupancy of the Ogden Police Chief/Senate District 18 positions would constitute a violation of the Hatch Act of 1939. Although Chief Greiner temporarily suspended his 2006 campaign, later consultations with legal counsel led to the decision to re-engage in the campaign. Somewhere along the line Greiner also filed an appeal, although the outcome was never publicly revealed. Ultimately, Greiner was elected to the Senate seat, and as late as June of 2007 had reportedly heard nothing further from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, who originally prosecuted the complaint. Believing, (perhaps justifiably,) that the the Feds had backed down, Senator Greiner's been serving in the Senate since January of '07, while simultaneously acting as the Police Chief of Ogden City.

Well lo and behold, the Standard-Examiner has just now posted a new Ace Reporter Schwebke story (nice job, Scott) on its live website this afternoon, indicating that the matter now appears to be on the verge of being formally and finally resolved. We link this afternoon's story below:
Feds seek removal of Ogden police chief
Just goes to show you that's there's no such thing in Emerald City as a slow news day, so long as we remain patient, we guess.

You'd better believe we'll be following this story closely as it develops.

We'll also note in passing that the U.S. Attorney's Office has been particularly active over the past few days. Does this perchance signal a change of prosecutorial attitude on the part of career U.S. Attorneys, on the eve of the inauguration of a new presidential administration?

So what say our gentle readers about all this?

Update 12/11/08 5:45 a.m. MT: The Std-Ex has now posted an expanded version of yesterday's StandardNET live story to its paid Digital Edition website this morning:
Greiner's job on the line
We congratulate the Standard-Examiner for breaking this story immediately in its free online edition yesterday, thus making this information available in a timely manner to subscribers and non-subscribers alike. For the past three years our home town newspaper has all too often followed an unfortunate policy of hiding its "red meat" material behind its "paid" firewall. We'll interpret this as a positive move on the Std-Ex's part, as the Std-Ex struggles to assume its rightful place among active, informative (and hopefully profitable) online news sources.


How much does this all cost said...

Is Ogden City paying for Greiner's defense in this matter? Who fills in for the position of Chief while the legislature is in session? Is Greiner's pay cut for the 45 days he is in session?

Lester said...

Poor Greiner the whiner, he may just loose one of his four slots at the public trough. Damn good thing he has his wife's morgue money to fall back on.

Yes, I wrote FOUR places at the public trough for his huge snout to scoop up all our tax money he can.

1 - Retirement pay from the police department. Yep, he is retired and drawing the full amount.

2 - Full pay as Chief thanks to the quirk in the law that allows public trough sloppers like him to retire from public service, wait a few minutes and then go back to work with both retirement pay and public pay.

3 - Retirement pay from the military for twenty years of distinctly worthless weekend warrior
duty. (ask anyone who served with him about this one)

4 - Utah State senatorial pay for more sand bagging service as part of the immoral republican majority in the lame assed state legislature.

What a joke on the people, what a financial drag on the tax payers, what a pimple on the ass of the citizens of Utah.

Too bad there isn't prison time for violating this law.

lets get it done said...

How does this guy say he has integrity for the senate seat and then brakes the laws. Where is the county attorney in all this and the friend the A.G. the campaigned for him. are they going to have the integrity to stand up and be counted.
Heck no, they don't want to rock the boat. This is why so many people hate the politicians. wake up you law breakers and do what is right. I say it again DO WHAT IS RIGHT. AND PROVE ME WRONG.

Takes Issue said...

I must take issue with the comments of Lester’s.

#1 & #2- You berate Greiner for being retired and having the ability to retire and still collect his full wages. As you point out, this practice, which is widely used throughout Weber County, is within the law. You appear to be miffed because he is following the law. You should remember that these individuals have paid into the state retirement system for a minimum of 20years before they are illegible to collect their retirement from the state.

#3 is the one that I take the strongest issue with. First of all I must assume that you have not served in any form of the military and probably not in any type of public service. For if you had, you would have long ago seen the sacrifice of these individuals who serve their country by doing their, “distinctly worthless weekend warrior duty.” I can only assume that only a buffoon can berate an area of the military whose members are named in every major national military memorial and who are buried in every military cemetery across the world. The majority of this country's Killed in Action in every major war of the 20th Century were reservists. AT this very moment there is a reservist from this state sitting under combat conditions in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

#4 Is the one that I take issue with the least. He was elected by the majority of the votes. Like it or not, it is what it is.

You go on to identify a pimple on the ass of the citizens of this state. I would argue wrongly. Being that I am a ex- U.S. Army Infantryman, having done six years of active duty with a 10% combat disability, and I am currently a un-retired police officer whose is appreciative that Greiner has obtained federal grants to create a consolidated dispatch center (by providing the equipment and location) and that he has obtained federal grants that assist officers in obtaining very expensive bullet proof vests, an item that cannot be easily afforded given the meager wages Ogden pays but in an violent environment that is an essential one (more officer involved shooting in that last 4 years that in the previous 30years).

I guess that I am more likely to forgive a person who has served our country’s military for 20 years, served the citizens in Ogden as a Police Officer for more than 20 years, provided a fasted and more effective dispatch center county wide, and has given financially strapped Officer a means to survive a likely shooting than you.

I think that if Greiner is a pimple on the ass then you are the main part in the center. You should pull your head out of that part and do something for your country and your community. There are many positions open at all of the law enforcement agencies in Weber County and most of the departments take on reserves.

Ogden Dem said...

Regarding whether Greiner receives his police chief pay while serving in the state legislature is a question that is still unanswered.

Also regarding his 20+ years in the Guard, there is no indication on his website that he fought in any war, or military action so I am not sure why Takes Issue has taken such an issue with Lester.

I am curious why someone to is supposed to uphold the law and not totally forthright in resolving this situation - two years of this game is ridiculous.

Curmudgeon said...

Take Issue:

On the double dip retirement issue. It is legal. It should not be. Other states have banned the practice. Once you retire from a state job and get your pension pay, you can NOT return to work for the same entity [the state] while continuing to receive your retirement. State officials "retiring," drawing their pensions and continuing on in their old jobs... or other state jobs, for that matter... was an abuse of the system and other states have, wisely, banned the practice. We should here too. No way round it, this kind of double dipping is an abuse of the system. A police chief should have enough moral character not to engage in it.

As for his guard service: you are right. The pension is for two decades of service in the guard. It does not require service overseas or in combat. We might want to rethink whether twenty years of guard duty without an overseas posting or a war-theater posting justifies a lifetime pension. But Greiner's not having been posted overseas does not, and should not [under the present law] affect his eligibility for the guard pension in any way. Nor is it double dipping for him to accept that pension and his full pay as police chief. Taking a police pension while drawing full pay as chief is double dipping for which he should be ashamed, as the state legislature should be for permitting such things.

As for pay as a legislature: if folks want to stop legislators having other jobs, there's a simple way to do it: make the job of state legislator a full time job, with full time pay, and ban holding any other employment during a term of office. Probably not a bad idea.

danny said...

The issue is the Hatch Act, and the fact that Griener is violating it.

More interesting is the fact that Godfrey and Greiner swore the matter was closed, and it wasn't.

It reminds me of the Woodbury affair, and so many others, where Godfrey and his bootlicks say he is right and everyone else is wrong, and it turns out Godfrey and his bootlicks are wrong.

In the case of Woodbury, it cost the city $5million.

My prediction: The city will pay the $215,000 that Greiner owes, like the city paid the $5million to Woodbury, and Godfrey will act like it was a good deal and his intent all along.

Why the city council sweeps Godfrey's blunders under the rug with our money is a mystery to me.

I say let Greiner pay his fine. He's a policeman. He knows how it works.

Curmudgeon said...


I may be wrong about this, but I think it's the City that's subject to the fine in this instance if Greiner does not resign, not Greiner himself.

ozboy said...

The Lil' Lord could eliminate any financial threat to the city by just merely retiring Greiner once and for all. Surely there are many fine, and much better, candidates for the position right in the department that would and could do the job for a lot less than what Greiner slops up outa the trough.

Course now the little punk ain't never given much of a squat about protecting the city from financial threat, so I guess this isn't really an option.

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