Monday, June 22, 2009

Chief/Senator Greiner's Hatch Act Hearing is Postponed

With luck, we'll see a final resolution of this matter, sometime prior to the expiration of Greiner's first Senate term of office

Last Thurday, gentle reader blackrulon posed this compound question in one of our lower comments sections: "... [W]hat is the status of police chief Greiner and the conflict in having both a state senator position and the chief of police job? When can we expect a ruling?"

We don't know whether Mr. Schwebke has been reading the blog for good reportorial ideas, but he's nevertheless johnny on the spot with a Greiner Hatch Act dispute update this morning, in which he reports that Chief Greiner's federal Merit System Protection Board Hatch Act violation hearing, originally set for this month, has been continued to October 20, 2009:
Ogden PD Chief hearing postponed / Jon Greiner could go before an administrative law judge in October
Reading between the lines, it's apparent that the federal Office of Special Council will be filing a motion for summary judgment sometime in advance of the newly set October evidentiary hearing, to test whether Chief Greiner's quite innovative "Perkins defense", (which would theoretically insulate Chief Greiner from federal Hatch Act jurisdiction as a matter of law, by vesting sole federal grant funds approval and administration authority in Ogden CAO John Patterson and Assistant Chief Wayne Tarwater respectively) ... holds water.

With luck, we'll see a final answer to blackrulon's latter above question, sometime prior to the expiration of Greiner's first Senate term of office (January 2011).

Comments, anyone?

Update 6/22/09 11:07 a.m. MT: KSL News is covering this story too:
Hearing on Ogden police chief's candidacy delayed
Don't neglect to check out the many"interesting" KSL reader comments.

39 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Interesting was John Pureheart Patterson's comment:

"Patterson... added that it is puzzling why the Office of Special Counsel is prosecuting Greiner. 'Why would you inflict this trauma on a public servant who is doing the best they can as a police chief and an elected official?' Patterson asked."

Patterson seems to have adopted the Bennett/Hatch Utah Republican approach to law enforcement, recently made clear in those two senator's reaction to thievery in Blanding -- i.e., the law's the law, but if we like the people breaking it, it shouldn't be enforced.

We can only hope that Police Chief Greiner [a Utah Republican], on whom we all depend for law enforcement in Ogden City, does not share that view.

RudiZink said...

Exactly right Curm, but you left out what I found to be the best part:

"I don't understand the conflict here."

For the benefit of "Pureheart" Patterson, I'll explain EXACTLY what the Hatch Act "conflict" is. The intent of the Hatch Act is to prevent petty government tyrants like Boss Godfrey from establishing "political machines" within their own pools of employees.

While Greiner's dual senatorial/police agency roles would clearly violate the spirit of the Hatch Act, the issue of course in the pending case seems to be whether there's a sufficient nexus between Greiner's Police chief role, and the handling of the listed federal grants, to invoke the application of the federal Hatch Act law.

Without such a finding by an administrative law judge, the Hatch Act is reduced to an irrelevncy.

Bill G. said...

Justice delayed, is justice denied.

Ozboy said...

Just a side note, but Chief Griener is not only receiving a hefty hundred grand plus a year salary, but he is also drawing a very generous retirement check monthly from the very same position. Yep, he retired as chief a while back and then after the obligatory waiting period he signed back on as chief. It's called double dipping. I guess the question is - how fair is this, and is this gaming the system?

Ray said...

Griener's conflict of interest would appear to put any stimulus money the OPD may be eligible for in jeopardy. And a larger question in my mind is if we don't need a full time Police Chief, why do we pay for one who works part-time? Let alone being a double dipper, triple with his legislature perks.

Curmudgeon said...

Double dipping is not good policy, and some states and cities have enacted ordinances to prevent it. Clearly, Utah/Ogden have not. It creates opportunities for favoritism that invite abuse.

As for membership in the legislature: so long as Utah defines sitting in the legislature as a part time and only seasonal job --- and it does --- and pays legislators accordingly, it will be impossible to insist that legislators hold no other jobs. Nor would it necessarily be good policy to do so, since it would mean only those independently wealthy enough to live on a legislator's partial pay could serve.

Generally speaking, I think overall we'd get better legislators [and so better laws] if the job was full time, and paid as such. Then we could insist that those who hold legislative seats not hold other jobs at the same time they were drawing full time pay for being lawmakers.

dan s. said...

The city should adopt a policy that severely restricts moonlighting by full-time salaried employees.

saintstephen said...

Any adult should be able to work for anyone in the private sector, at anytime, with no restrictions.

dips said...

I am sure it is fine for professors though.

WSU Grad said...

You don't like college professors, dips?

Give us a logical reason that we shouldn't trust the best educated people in our US society.

Ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

Just think of the havoc a full time Buttars, Valentine, Curtis etal could create if they were full time! Even at part time they generate more bull shit than all the dairy farms in Utah combined. If they made the Utah Legislature full time all the comedians on TeeVee could save a grundle of money by laying off all their writers.

saintstephen said...

Legislatures create law. The last thing this world needs: more laws.

I would be in favor of a year round legislator, if its purpose is to repeal most laws.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

Just think of the number of real estate salesmen and lawyers who would have to choose between giving up their realty/law incomes and taking a legislative income as a full time rep or senator?

It might return us, at least part way, to the old Republican [in the sense of Washington and Jefferson and Adams] understanding of public service: that it was not to be done to enrich the public servant, but to advance the public interest --- if the standard became to sit in the legislature, one could accept no other earned income for that time.

Brad Dee too is in violation of Hatch Act said...

Chief Greiner is not the only Republican in Weber County that is in clear violation of the hatch act.... So is Rep Brad Dee.

Rep Brad Dee is the Director of Human Resources for Weber County. That is the chief of all employees. Brad Dee's responsibilities are to oversee that no employees are abusing federal grants…..

Dee and Greiner have the typical republican behavior and attitude “the law only applies to them… not us."

really? said...

Two republican law breakers that go to church? NO!!!!! No!!!!

Ogden Dem said...

And does the Weber County HR Dept receive any federal money?

disgusted said...

curm

would agree with your suggestion of full time legislators with one condition. term limitations.

peterball said...

Just a simple question. Does anyone have a idea of the legal expenses the city is incurring in regards to this greater than two year defense of this Hatch Act matter.

It probably would have gone a long way towards the funding of the Marshall White center for the next year.

peterball said...

I just read KSL article. The chief says it checked and was told it was OK to run. I distinctly remember that he was informed of the conflict by the Feds prior to the election. He chose to ingore their advice and we now have this mess.

saintstephen said...

The Hatch act is an example of way too many laws on the books.Common sense would suggest that there is a conflict of interest, sure.
But every concievable human conflict, these all need to be legislated and codified?
Only in a nation of coddled idiots.

Unenforceable due to their sheer volume, this mountain of laws promise safety and order, promise a well run society; what they really do is choke your liberties, and turn everyone into sheeple.

greiner the whiner said...

I get paid to enforce the laws, Not live them. So there, ha hahahahahah.

blackrulon said...

Why should Greiner want to obey the law. The Lt. Governor and the Atty. General have not enforced laws that are violated by fellow republicans.

monotreme said...

Peterball:

Perhaps he checked with City Attorney Gary Williams?

If so, he was likely told he could "cure" any Hatch Act difficulties by having his Mom write a letter saying he is pure of heart.

saintstephen said...

Hypocrites, every one of you.

I can follow any one of you around all day, and observe you breaking law after law after law.

And, not just you; everyone in this prison state.
Too many laws.

J. Greiner is a good cop, a good man, and a fine Senator.

Most of you would be lucky to have done more honorable things with your lives.

monotreme said...

Saintstephen:

Oh, you wound me, sir.

I never claimed to be pure of heart, nor have I claimed to have led a completely lawful life, nor am I charged with enforcing laws.

So, I fail to see how you can make the charge of "hypocrite" stick. If you knew me, you'd know I'm many bad things, but a hypocrite is not one of them.

Friend of OPD said...

St Steven also must not know anything about Griener or he would not have written the above drivel.

Greiner is an arrogant, mean spirited bully who has very little respect from his troops and only a begrudgingly small amount from his inner circle of sycophants. He is in league with and owes his position to a morally bankrupt regime that controls Ogden.

He was once seen on TV calling his officers a bunch of whiners because they wanted a raise from the miserably low salary he and the mayor pay them. Instead of standing up for his men he stabs them in the back.

Dare to bet there won't be a wet eye in the house at his funeral.

saintstephen said...

Like I said; I stand by my measured praise of J. Greiner.

Monotreme: I do not note any comments made by you previous to my calling out people who, surprise, also hate another justly elected total stranger, J. Greiner.

If you are not a hypocrite, fine; I am not going to argue that you are. Evidently you are so convinced of your non-hypocrit'ocity that you feel compelled to defend when there was no aspersion cast.
Whatever.

I am a hypocrite, you see.

monotreme said...

Note timestamps.

monotreme said...

Peterball:

...
June 23, 2009 11:15 AM


saintstephen said...

Hypocrites, every one of you.

...
June 23, 2009 2:49 PM

I guess I assumed I was included in the group "every one of you".

Peterball said...

In regards to Saintstephen's defense of Chief Greiner. All you say may be true, it does not change the fact that he was informed his candidacy and election would violate the Hatch act and he chose to continue on this course.

Being a good person does not exclude one from needing to follow the law of the land.

saintstephen said...

Sure Peterball: and remember to come to a full and complete stop when making a right turn at a stop sign.
And, none of that 5 miles over the speed limit stuff.

Sure you don't.

It amazes me when people criticize a complete stranger for lawlessness, when they pick and choose themselves which law to follow.

Curmudgeon said...

SaintStephen:

Seems to me, SS, that it matters some that Chief Greiner's job is enforcing laws, and so it does not seem unreasonable to expect of him a somewhat higher standard in re: obeying the law than we would of Joe Public who does the occasional country-stop at a street corner or pushes five over the speed limit.

By your standard, no voter who ever sped or got a parking ticket could criticize any public official nabbed for a crime without making himself a hypocrite.

Monotreme said...

Curm and saintstephen:

Making the laws too, as a legislator. Don't forget that.

I think you need to tune up your definition of the word "hypocrisy".

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -- Inigo Montoya

saintstephen said...

I am using the word hypocrisy in the colloquial: say one thing, do another. But I did not mean to make this a discussion on this common ooman trait, as I am not a thread hijacker; did I use that word, hijacker, correctly? Anyway, riiiiight.

I respect many of the opinions expressed here, and learn a lot of facts by reading this blog; but, as I start with a different postulated world view, I do disagree often.

Which is a good thing.

I do not expect elected officials to perform at a higher standard than the average voter.
I actually expect them to fall prey to power.

I also reject any "reducing this to the absurd" as a proof. A parking ticket or smoking weed in public, both infractions in my neck-of-the-woods, are entirely different than speeding in a 3000 pound steel cage.

I also, I think it is fair to mention, agree with both traffic laws, and the Hatch Act.
Both are examples of the types of laws I would keep; and I advocate doing away with 90 percent of the legal code.

A person serving the public as an elected official should not hold multiple offices, and should excuse themselves from private sector employment.

I also would appoint, by a random process, 2/3 of the legislative body, pay them enough to raise them above common corruption, and give them an experienced and quick-churn civil service to act as advisers.
The other one third of the legislative body would be comprised of fully grown ostriches.

And, Curm, I consider country-stopping at a street corner or pushing five over the speed limit, in most cases, to be reckless endangerment and attempted vehicular manslaughter,child endangerment if there are kids in the car, and grounds for loosing a license for a full year.

Strict on traffic laws, I am. ;>

just the facts mam!!! said...

Brad Dee is the oversight man for all Federal Grants that come into Weber County....

His job is to make sure county employees arn't abusing those grants...

Curmudgeon said...

SS:

1. We share the same views about traffic laws. Stop means stop. Speed limit means no faster. Period. And no whining when you're caught.

2. As you note, forbidding elected officials to work at other jobs would require paying them enough so that they could walk away from other employment. Our council members, for example, are part-timers, and so are our legislators.

3. As for paying them enough to "raise them above common corruption" --- I hesitate to guess what that pay level might be, given the seemingly endless parade of corrupt multi-millionaires doing the perp walk on tv of late [Kenny Boy Lay, Bernie Maddoff etc.] not to mention the ones heading various banks, insurance companies and investment firms who are apparently "to big to indict."

Absent a good grasp on the concept of "public service," and a well-developed sense of honor, I don't think anyone, no matter how wallowing in lucre he [or she] might be, is immune from the lure of corruption for profit.

Peterball said...

Saintstephen:

You miss the whole point of my post. When I choose to violate a law I will face the penalty associated with it if a violation or infraction is issued.

When Chief Greiner choose to ignore the advice on the Hatch Act-he did not face the penalty-we the citizens of Ogden are funding his defense and will have to pay the penalty's if his appeal fails.

If the money would come out of Greiner's pocket I would wish him success in his defense and care very little about thie matter.

saintstephen said...

If the citizens lawfully have to pay the costs associated with his defense, well, that is how the game is played.

If he is still being defended, than he is guiltless, as of now.
He should avail himself of the resources available.

Confused said...

saintstephen,

Using your logic, if you break the law then the police officer gets to bitch slap your mother. Do I understand you correctly?

you can fool the people to get elected said...

Saintstephen,

Your not fooling anybody... We all know your Greiner the Wiener!!

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