Thursday, December 08, 2011

Standard-Examiner: Overall Hatch Act Questioned by Director of Federal Agency

The Ogden City taxpayers should not bear the further burden of Chief Greiner's (and Boss Godfrey's) legalistic bravado
The Hatch Act injects the federal government into state and local contests thousands of times a year, its penalties are inflexible and sometimes unfair, and it is out-of-date with the 21st-century workplace. There's bipartisan consensus that this law needs an update.

Carolyn Lerner, Director, U.S. Office of Special Counsel
Overall Hatch Act questioned by director of federal agency
December 8, 2011

Passage of [a Hatch Act] amendment would not reverse a recent Merit Systems Protection Board ruling involving Greiner.

Ann O'Hanlon, Spokeswoman, Office of Special Counsel
Overall Hatch Act questioned by director of federal agency
December 8, 2011

And so it begins, as we find on the front page of the Standard-Examiner this morning the first of what we expect to be a series of stories and letters to the editor attempting to justify Boss Godfrey's percipient filing of an appeal with the U.S. District Court of Monday's adverse ruling, wherein the federal Merit Systems Protection Board "upheld a judge’s 2010 ruling that the city must remove Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner or forfeit about $215,000 in federal grants because of a violation of the Hatch Act":
Don't get us wrong, O Gentle Ones. We believe Jon Greiner's been one helluva good police chief... the best in modern times, perhaps. Unfortunately however, his case (and the city's case as well) is hemmed in by the underlying facts, which regrettably demonstrate that "Greiner violated the Hatch Act because he signed off on a half-dozen federal grants, valued at more than $1 million, that were already in place during his successful 2006 state Senate bid."

Even assuming that the Hatch Act were to be amended by congress to "allow state and local employees to campaign for elected offices in partisan political races," such a result would not affect the outcome of Greiner's case at all, inasmuch as he's bound by the law that was in effect in the time of the violations, as Ms. O'Hanlon accurately states in the quote above.

As we opined in Tuesday's WCF article, it's time for Ogden City's administration to "do what's right," and "cut the taxpayers' losses." Unfortunately, it's clear that one way or the other, Greiner must go.

While some (Godfrey for instance) may argue that Chief Greiner is "indispensible" in his role as Ogden City Chief of Police, we'll remind our readers of what one great WWII general and revered French patriot had to say on the subject:
"The cemeteries are full of indispensable men." -- Charles De Gaulle
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 Chief Greiner should look at the bright side. Once relieved of the heavy burden of administering the OPD, triple-dipper Greiner will still have several well-funded retirement accounts to "milk," and plenty of extra free time to perfect his golf game.

Update 12/8/11 12:30 p.m.: The Salt Lake Tribune's Christopher Smart is all over the story, too:

6 comments:

Bob Becker said...

"and plenty of extra free time to perfect his golf game."

I'm about half convinced that banning anyone who plays golf from holding public office would, on balance, significantly improve the quality of legislative bodies from coast to coast. 

Jesmer said...

As a retired federal employee who was and is politically involved I never thought abiding by the Hatch Act was such an imposition; you just do it. With the current situation involving Greiner - he needs to step down and do so immediately for the sake of the Ogden taxpayers. Godfrey should not wait to talk with incoming mayor Caldwell just remove Greiner and do not replace him with another double dipper within the department!

Bob Becker said...

Paul Rolly is on it from another angle, wondering why the same provision of the Hatch Act does not apply to Mike Noel:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/53069626-90/noel-act-county-federal.html.csp

blackrulon said...

Wasn't Godfey in favor of federal grants to help fund the Marchall White center? Now he seems willing to forgo federal grants to keep Greiner as chief. Is he in favor of federal grants or not?

Wonderin Why said...

And at the same time and the same election that the Hatch Act did not apply to Greiner, it did apply to Jesse Garcia.

Bee in my Bonnet said...

Read this

by
all "counts" add these numbers to those Godfrey was feeding us, and
does it really add up to a Decrease in Crime? Ask the Chief...

Bee in my Bonnet

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