Monday, September 10, 2012

Straub Blames Problems In Indy On Partisanship

During his confirmation vote tonight as Spokane's police chief director of law enforcement, former Indianapolis Public Safety Director Frank Straub told the Spokane City Council that he faced a no-confidence vote before the Indianapolis city-county council because of a highly contentious mayor's race. Straub made the comments during a live broadcast over the Internet of the Spokane city council meeting. Last week, Straub blamed his problems in Indianapolis on a group of vocal retired police officers who opposed changes in the police department.

Straub told the Spokane council that Ballard won the election because he demonstrated to voters that public safety was job one despite the naysayers when his opponent unsuccessfully tried to make an issue of his handling of public safety issues. Straub falsely claimed credit for reducing the city's homicide rate to the lowest rate in more than 20 years. He didn't talk about the games he played with how city crime statistics were being compiled to make it appear that the number of crimes being committed wasn't really as bad as the community was actually experiencing. He said the no-confidence vote pending before the council at the time he announced his resignation was all political posturing by the Democratic majority council members and that he and Mayor Ballard believed that the council fully intended to reconfirm him. As I recall, there were several Republican councilors who had decided to oppose his reappointment, and there was no way in hell a majority of Democrats and Republicans were going to confirm him. With nudging from the Mayor's office, Straub decided to resign rather than face the music just like he did when he faced a no-confidence vote in White Plains, New York as that city's public safety commissioner. Believe it or not, Straub actually got some people from Indianapolis to fly out to Spokane to testify on his behalf tonight.

There was concern raised that the Spokane city council was acting in violation of the law to confirm Straub as the city's director of law enforcement since no such position existed under the city's municipal code and the job advertised during the interview process that led to Straub's selection was for the position of chief of police. Straub couldn't be confirmed as police chief because he is not a commissioned police officer in accordance with Washington state law. Mayor David Condon then asked the council after he announced his appointment to change his confirming resolution as the city's director of law enforcement rather than police chief until such time that he could be certified as a commissioned police officer in the state. Mayor Condon and the council managed to convince themselves that all the problems Straub had during his tenure in White Plains, New York and Indianapolis was simply because of vocal minorities who opposed good changes that needed to be made. As the council's president put it, Straub was either going to hit a home run or strike out. With that, the Spokane council unanimously approved his confirmation as the city's police chief director of law enforcement. And on that note, what better song sums up their actions than AC/DC's "Highway To Hell." Enjoy


CircleCityScribe said...

...typical of all Democrats.

"It's someone else's fault!" "I'm not responsible!" "They're picking on me!" "They're racist!"

Indy Rob said...

Things about the Indy Straub supporters.

Half of the trip cost was paid for by the Spokane mayor's office (hotel rooms were donated so I wonder if this half includes all of the airfare).

The four were
-former Star editor Dennis Ryerson
-Indianapolis Police Officer Candi Perry
-Indianapolis’s firefighter union president Wayne D. Smith
- former Indianapolis Police Officer Spencer Moore

I do not question the motivation of Spencer Moore for speaking up for Straub, but I really wonder about the motivations and quid pro quo for Ryerson, Perry, and Smith. It is really unusual for an prospective employer to pay for travel and accommodations for your prospective employee's references.
I wonder what price will be paid for this support.