Friday, January 30, 2009

Ogden City Joins Greiner's Hatch Act Fight

Hearing on Senator/Chief Greiner's alleged Hatch Act violation set for June, 2, 2009

Scott Schwebke adds the latest news update to Ogden City Chief of Police Jon Greiner's long-running Hatch Act predicament, with this morning's Standard-Examiner front page story, announcing that an administrative hearing has now been set in the matter, for June 2, 2009. With a potential $215 thousand in penalties hanging in the balance, Ogden City Attorney Gary Williams is "getting ready to rumble," too:
OGDEN — The city plans to vigorously defend itself during a hearing this summer to determine if Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner violated the federal Hatch Act in connection with his successful bid for the state Senate in 2006.
“We won’t be in the back seat; we’ll be in the front seat,” City Attorney Gary Williams said Thursday.
“It’s in the city’s interest to retain Jon Greiner as police chief. The police department has had tremendous success under his leadership, and we don’t want to lose him.”
The hearing is scheduled to be conducted by Administrative Law Judge Lana Parke on June 2 at an undetermined location in Salt Lake City, officials with the federal Merit Systems Protection Board said Thursday.
While Chief Greiner and the City administration continue to hang their hats on the defense that Greiner is insulated by city procedures from the "administration" of federal funds which would bring Greiner within operation of The Hatch Act, the Office of Special Counsel appears to be interpreting the jurisdictional language of The Act more broadly, pressing the argument that Greiner is in violation merely because he performed duties in connection with four federal grants.

It will be a relief to have a resolution to this problem, regardless of who winds up as the prevailing party. This matter, which first arose in October of 2006, has dragged on for far too long. Hopefully assigned administrative law judge Parke will issue a well-reasoned decision, founded upon sound legal analysis, adding clarity to rules which are presently "muddy" at best. Even assuming that this matter might later wind up in the appellate courts, it seems to us that this case is finally moving in the right direction.

And what say our gentle readers about all this?

16 comments:

danny said...

While I like some of what Greiner has done in the legislature relating to law enforcement, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make a prediction.

Administrative Law Judge Lana Parke, in reviewing the city's arguments will rule against Greiner . . .

. . . and referring to Patterson's excuses, I predict the judge will use the word "sham" in her decision.

Anonymous employee said...

Big surprise-The city bigwig gets the full support of the city, us grunts just get "it's not Ogden's responsibility".

monotreme said...

In all this stürm und drang about "Is it legal?" the administration and Chief/Senator Greiner have lost sight of the more important question: Is it a good idea?

Of course, I long ago gave up on expecting this city administration to demonstrate even a shred of ethical behavior.

Ray said...

Regardless of the Hatch Act rules the question should be: How does a full time Police Chief have time to be a part time politician? Did he take a 12% pay cut? I doubt it. Why do the citizens of Ogden foot the bill for his political career?

Curmudgeon said...

Dan S. before and Ray this morning hit what should be the key issue for Ogdenites. It does not involve the arcane technicalities of the Hatch Act in re: police chiefs and federal grant monies. The key issue is: Does Ogden deserve and can Ogden afford and should Ogden have to put up with a part-time chief of police for several months of the year?

smithy said...

It is about time the Feds acted on this.

Greiner should be out. He knew the rules but thought he could flout the law.

what will it cost us said...

The city will pay the fines and I hope it comes out of the mayors budget and not the general fund.

June can't come fast enough to settle this. Did they wait until there was a new administration since the republicians would just slap his hand and he would be on his way.

I agree we need full time employees for the city or their pay should be cut to account for the time they are not sitting at a desk for Ogden city.

Bill C. said...

Now somebody needs to straighten me out. Patterson signs blank paper then gives it to Greiner to fill out, or, Greiner does all the required paperwork, then take it to Patterson to sign. Is this our defense?
Sounds as if when we lose Greiner as chief because of the penalty, Patterson knows more than enough about law enforcement to step in and replace him. Is that it?

Bill C. said...

Oh, I forgot, Tarwater, a subordinate of Greiners appears to be responsible for department bugetary matters. The what do we pay Greiner for?

lester said...

Just a reminder that Greiner, who once called our Ogden police officers "Whiners", is a quadruple public trough slopper. He is actually retired from the chief's job and draws a full pension. He also draws a full $100 grand a year salary for filling the chief position he is retired from. He draws a military retirement for coasting 20 years through the Army Reserves. And last but not least he draws a salary from the State Senate position. To add insult to injury he also is married to a pile of Lindquist money. Not bad for a guy that a lot of people who know him consider him to not be worth a pinch of salt, and who during his street cop career had a reputation for being a mean spirited bully.

RudiZink said...

Greiner grew up on the mean streets of Ogden. He spent 3 years at Ogden's old "Washington Jr. High School," and lived "downtown," which I suspect wasn't a real picnic for a little white guy at the time.

After that he became a "tough cop," at least according to his rep on the street...and at least stepped up and earned at one academic degree in the process.

I say we cut Greiner some slack, Lester. Unlike Boss Godfrey, Greiner is actually an Ogden Homeboy just like you.

As for Greiner's "playing the system" with what you call "quadruple dipping," and marrying well, I still don't see the Utah Sheeple doing anything about that. I find it difficult to criticise Greiner for "playing it.". Such is the system as it presently exists; and smart people like Greiner will play it rationally.

The Sheeple coninue to re-elect the same people,

And the beat goes on...

Curmudgeon said...

Can't reasonabley criticize him for retiring as PC and drawing a pension, or for drawing a military pension, or for who he married [which would be just plain rude to boot]. But retiring as PC, taking the pension, then taking on the very same job he retired from and draws a pension from is wrong. I know it's legal in this state [it shouldn't be], but it's wrong none the less. It is unethical. And I think public officials ought to be able to distinguish between what is legal and what is ethical in the conduct of their jobs. We know our Mayor doesn't, since he's said that if something is legal for him to do in his capacity as Mayor, it is ethical for him to do as well. So it should not surprise us that Greiner seems unable to draw such distinctions either since he's a committed Godfreyite Republican. [What is it they say about birds of a feather...?]

Taking a pension from the public while drawing a full salary to continue in the same job for which you draw the pension is wrong. Greiner should know that. I suspect he does know that.

mayor needs to tell the truth said...

The real question is? When the ruling came form the feds before the election, did the city know what that ruling was and why did they not stand up and be counted in the mean time so we would know just how OUR TAX dollars are going to be spent!!!!

ozboy said...

The city will end up paying this Two Hundred thousand or so in penalty. But hey, what's a lousy two hundred grand in comparison to the millions the Lil Lord throws away, or gives away, to his buddies on all of these totally stupid loser projects he keeps getting into. Just look at what the Junktion is costing us - millions already and many, many more millions to come in the future. All for a day glow bowling alley and a loud, obnoxious and mostly empty penny arcade. Oh yes, we also have the million dollar sky diving ride that eats up huge piles of cash so that the lard ass who controls it can pretend he is a bird in flight.

gimme some o that cash said...

Godfrey will just take another few hundred grand out of BDO coffers to pay the tab for greiner. The BDO never ending Cash Cow

Time Off said...

In response to Greiner time off from his duties as Police Chief. Mayor Godfrey, in his first term as city mayor changed the city's employee manual to allow city works paid time off for to work in the state senate.

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