Monday, December 12, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Officials Still Weighing Options After Hatch Act Ruling Against Ogden Police Chief

Added Bonus: Why not mosey on over the the Standard-Examiner website, where our home town newspaper is running a poll?

The Standard-Examiner is back on the Jon Greiner Hatch Act story again this morning, under the hard-copy edition front page headline, "Greiner deadline looms." Here's the lede:
OGDEN -- No decision has yet been made by city officials regarding the status of Police Chief Jon Greiner, according to Mayor Matthew Godfrey.
Greiner remains on the job despite a U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board ruling that the city must fire him by the end of the month or forfeit $215,000 in federal grants because of a Hatch Act violation.
Here's the online edition version:
Greiner and the Godfrey administration continue to dawdle on this problem, perhaps hanging their hats on the possible legal precedence of a 2004 Merit System Protection Board case, wherein "[Administrative Law] Judge William G. Kocol found that the [Henderson, Nevada] city's [Hatch Act] compliance program removed [Nevada Assemblyman and Henderson City Assistant Police Chief Richard] Perkins from any interaction with federal funds, and thus kept him in compliance with the law":
In 2006, Ogden City belatedly initiated a similar Hatch Act Compliance Program, of course, stripping Greiner's authority for the administration of any federal grants, and ostensibly transferring all such authority into the hands of then-Ogden Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) John "Pureheart" Patterson.

The legal fly on the ointment in Greiner's case is that at the time Greiner commenced his 2006 Utah Senate campaign, and prior to the time that the Godfrey Administration adopted its own Hatch Act Compliance Program, Greiner had already "signed off on a half-dozen federal grants worth more than $1 million and already in place," a fact which fatally distinguishes Greiner's situation from that of Nevada Assemblyman Richard Perkins.

For a little more background, check out this 2008 Weber County Forum article which we posted on this subject:
While we can't predict how this will eventually all work out, we've already opined on this subject. Given the choice between 1) throwing Greiner overboard and 2) forfeiting $215 thousand in federal grants (and racking up further taxpayer-funded legal expenses) the rational course of action is a true "no brainer," wethinks:
It's time for Boss Godfrey to face the music. Godfrey and Greiner "rolled the dice" and "crapped out". The Ogden City taxpayers should not bear the further burden of Chief Greiner's (and Boss Godfrey's) legalistic bravado, with $215 thousand in federal grants at stake and big-time legal expenses continuing to accrue.
And for those WCF readers who'd similarly like to publicly express their own views, why not mosey on over the the Standard-Examiner website, where our beloved home town newspaper is running a poll which propounds this most-timely query:
That's it for now, O Gentle Ones.

Have at it.

Update 12/12/11 3:00 p.m.: For the curious among us, you should navigate to this SE page, where the latest results of today's latest SE online poll are fully revealed:
Looks like upwards of 80% of the poll respondents are into "shuffling Jon Greiner off to Buffalo" No?


Smattguy said... summary, Godfrey will not let him go at this late stage in the game and will pass that task onto Caldwell...let's see if he has the kahonies to do it or start day one with business as usual.

rudizink said...

Yep, you're right, Smaatguy... as per usual...

blackrulon said...

It is easy for Godfrey, Greiner and others to continue the appeals. They do not have any financial stake in the outcome. the Ogden taxpayers are paying all of the legal fees. Greiner has collected his paycheck even though his many appeals have been denied. the appeal process would have ended long ago if Godfrey or Greiner had to pay all of the costs after the initial decision was reached.

Bob Becker said...

"Throwing Greiner overboard"?
Well, not exactly, since he'll still be receiving the full check he's drawing right now as Ogden's Retired Police Chief.  He'll just lose the second paycheck he's getting for being simultaneously Ogden's Police Chief.  

Ah, I wish I lived in the rarefied atmosphere that Friends of Matt dwell in where telling someone he will no longer receive two paychecks for doing one city  job constitutes "throwing him overboard."  

blackrulon said...

Times must really be tough if someone making over $125,000 has to get a second paycheck to make ends meet.

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