Saturday, April 17, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Ogden Will Appeal Hatch Act Ruling That Police Chief Must Resign

Isn't it time for Boss Godfrey to demand Chief Greiner's resignation?

Interesting new developments in the Jon Greiner Hatch Act matter within this morning's Standard-Examiner story, which reports that Ogden City will appeal Administrative Judge Lana Parke's decision that Senator/Chief Greiner violated the Hatch Act by signing off on a half-dozen federal grants that were in place during his Senate campaign:
OGDEN -- The city will appeal a judge's ruling that Police Chief Jon Greiner must resign or the municipality will be forced to forfeit about $215,000 in federal grants because of a Hatch Act violation.
John Patterson, the city's chief administrative officer, said he's confident Administrative Law Judge Lana Parke's decision last month to side with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel against Greiner will be overturned.
"There are procedural and substantive issues we want to raise through appeal, and we expect to prevail," he said.
There are a couple of elements within this morning's story which we believe to be particularly worthy of note:

1) In an April 2 story the Standard-Examiner reported that the Ogden City taxpayers had not been bearing the costs of this very expensive ongoing litigation, and that our insurance premiums would not even go up, as a result of the Ogden City's protracted legal maneuverings:
The Utah Risk Management Mutual Association, the city's insurance carrier, is paying Jim Bradshaw, a lawyer defending Greiner, and Stan Preston, an attorney representing the city administration, Patterson said. [...]
The Hatch Act case shouldn't increase the city's annual insurance premium with URMMA, Ball said. Premiums are based on the city's size and number of employees and not on individual claims, he said. The city's URMMA premium in 2009 was about $210,000.
To that reassuring news we breathed a sigh of relief in this April 2 WCF article. Unfortunately for the taxpayers of Ogden City however, Mr. Schwebke this morning reveals new and conflicting information. It turns out, as Scott Schwebke reports, that we were earlier misinformed about who will ultimately bear the burden for the costs and fees associated with this litigation:
The Utah Risk Management Mutual Association, the city's insurance carrier, is paying Jim Bradshaw, a lawyer defending Greiner, and Stan Preston, an attorney representing the city administration.
However, as part of URMMA's recapture loss program, the city will be required to fully reimburse the organization for defense costs, Patterson said. For each year that Bradshaw and Preston provide legal representation, he said, the city will be given five years to repay URMMA.
No surpises here, we suppose. Over the course of the five years we've been following the antics of the Boss Godfrey Administration here at Weber County Forum, we've grown painfully accustomed to receiving such false information.

Special thanks to Ace Reporter Schwebke for digging a little deeper into this issue, and setting the record straight.

2) Like all appellants commencing appeals, Ogden City Administration officials express confidence that they will prevail on appeal. Mr. John "Pureheart" Patterson generally refers to various "procedural and substantive issues":
John Patterson, the city's chief administrative officer, said he's confident Administrative Law Judge Lana Parke's decision last month to side with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel against Greiner will be overturned.
"There are procedural and substantive issues we want to raise through appeal, and we expect to prevail," he said.
Among those "issues" which Mr. Patterson mentions are these:
a) Parke prohibited the city from putting Assistant Police Chief Wayne Tarwater on the witness stand during a hearing in October. Tarwater would have testified that he oversees federal grants for the police department, Patterson said.
b) Greiner's signature on grant applications is a mere formality and a requirement for funding, he said.
We don't know whether Ogden City will prevail in this case on appeal. If an upper court determines that these alleged defects deprived Mr. Greiner and Ogden City of a fair trial in Judge Parke's court, an upper court might well "overturn" Judge Parke's decision. In a very real sense, an appeal in this matter amounts to a complete crap-shoot.

But lets cut through the legal mumbo-jumbo, folks. Even in the event that this matter is "overturned" on appeal, here's the likely remedy: The upper court will simply order a trial de novo.

And what's the meaning of this to the Emerald City taxpayers?

It means that even if the matter is sent back to the trial court for a brand new trial, attorneys Bradshaw and Preston will still be billing on the clock, and the city's already back-breaking legal bill, (which we've now learned will ultimately be borne by the dumb taxpayers), will continue to mount up.

So we're compelled this morning to ask whether it might be a more wise and fiscally-prudent course of action for the Ogden City Administration to simply demonstrate "the better part of valor," and throw in the towel:

Isn't it time for Boss Godfrey to demand Chief Greiner's resignation?

Yeah... moral victories are great... but such victories ought to be evaluated according to at least a rudimentary a cost v. benefits analysis we believe. And yes. We know Chief Greiner is a fine police chief, folks. But is he so indispensible to the Ogden City Police Department that we're willing to continue to bear the hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs, fees and forfeitures which have accrued, and will inevitably continue to accrue from the stubborn pursuit of this quixotic Hatch Act litigation?

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

8 comments:

GORGOGEIGER said...

IF THE CITY IS GOING TO PAY FOR ALL OF CHEIF GEIGERS MONEY, WHY IS HIS FATCENTER ON FERN FAT FOR FAT SALE? HE MUST HAVE TRUST FUND PROBLEMS, BECAUSE HIS FATCETNERS IN JACKSON HOLE AND ST. GOERGE ARE ALSO FOR FAT SALE?

Believer in the Principle of Decency said...

I suggest that Jon Greiner be awarded the title, CHIEF OF GREED.

If he had any moral scruples he would just resign as Police Chief and save taxpayers the cost of defending his illegal actions.

Greiner is receiving retirement pay for having previously paid into one public retirement fund that taxpayers helped create before he became the CHIEF OF GREED in Ogden City.

He is now paying into another retirement account that taxpayers are funding and which will give him another retirement check.

I don't know what he will recieve for having served in the Utah Senate.

He was and may still be on the Board of the Swanson Foundation which pays a very nice monthly stipend.

Poor man - it must cost an awfully lot to live up on Millionaires Row.

I challenge him to do the right thing and just leave office gracefully before he is kicked out. That will save his family an awfully lot of embarrassment.

ozboy said...

BIPOD

"If he had any moral scruples...."

Ah my friend, therein lies the rub!

no way said...

Godfrey can't fire Greiner. Greiner knows where all the bodies are buried.

get er' done said...

Here is a good one. Democrats are COOL.

Republicans are HOT Next line
Hot tubbing that is.

Right On said...

"Democrats are COOL"

Right on:

Betty Sawyer, Democratic Candidate for Senate District 18

Curmudgeon said...

No way:

It's beginning to look that way....

George K. said...

“John Patterson, the city's chief administrative officer, said he's confident Administrative Law Judge Lana Parke's decision last month to side with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel against Greiner will be overturned.”
How many times has John Patterson and the Administration painted rosy pictures to the public, only later to be proven wrong in their estimations?
The City has to pay the premiums to URMMA and that is done with taxpayer money! We are being ripped off again and lied to at the same time about the cost of a court appeal for Greiner.
This Administration has had many more lawsuits filed against it and fees assessed to it than any other administration has in the history of the city. Could it be because of Godfrey’s ego and refusal to take advice? Could it also be that the things he does are on the edge of being illegal?
I have had it with what this administration has cost us, the taxpayers of Ogden. It’s time to let Godfrey, Patterson and the rest of the “A-Team” know that it is time for them to EARN their 6-digit salaries and quit costing the taxpayers. I’m tired of paying for their ineptness!
Greiner receives at least four (4) paychecks: 1) His current salary of $110,000.; 2) His State retirement; 3) His pay as a State Senator; and 4) His pay as a retired reserve officer of the U.S. Armed Services. The name “Greed” is appropriate and really does fit him! We need a new police chief!

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