Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mashergate: Sifting for Clues

Here are two key selections from the unedited Q & A session with Mayor Ravenstahl and Cynthia McCormick (WTAE, h/t Burgher).

Q -- Why do you think these promotions should be rescinded?

CM -- I think it's the feeling of the group that the process was not vetted in a way that -- (loooong pause) -- it wasn't vetted in a way that made this, these problems apparent to the mayor. Or to Chief Harper.

In other words, no one in the room was female, or particularly sensitive to women's issues. Any discussion of the abuse allegations -- which probably did reach Luke in a technical sense -- only occurred in an offhand and understated fashion.

Q -- Do you have second thoughts about your Trosky decision now, which you had defended the day of the swearing in?

LR -- Our goal is to focus specifically on the policy from here. I believe that Mr. Trosky has shown -- although he has had cases in his past -- that over the course of his 30 years, and more specifically over the last 8 1/2 to ten years, has had no history, and proven himself once again to be capable to do the job.

That's why I made that decision before he was promoted. I had input into that decision and I stand by that decision, but I think myself, Cynthia, the chief included, recognize that there was a disconnect in sharing of information regarding the other two, and that's unfortunate, and it won't happen again.

Ravenstahl looked and sounded genuinely contrite about the other two promotions, more so than the text suggests. We feel he "gets it," and really will institute procedures to help prevent such oversights in the future.

Our guess is that the Mayor, in the manner of King Solomon, will try to split the baby -- standing by Trosky, while bouncing Hlavac and Rodriguez. The calculation is that although this will please nobody, at least nobody will remain furious with him.

Final Note: Transcribing our mayor is exhausting work.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this Bram. I can imagine how difficult transcribing mayor-speak may be. I've often wondered about how/why he interjects qualifications and 'out of place' phrases within otherwise grammatically correct sentences when he speaks.

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  2. Take another lookJune 28, 2007 at 9:05 AM

    According to the FOP the process that the mayor wants to fix ain't broken. It allows for passing over candidates for promotion in instances such as those of Trosky et. al.

    The mayor's "fixes" will probably put more of the power over the Police Dept. in his hands. We've seen how he handles himself, is that what we really want?

    I'm not saying the process is perfect, but a review of existing regs, carried out with transparency & with input from more than the PD & Ravenstahl should happen before the process is changed.

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  3. TALS - You probably like the Burr Reporr take more, which is also valid. Although you may have a point about existing regulations, we were heartened by talk about instituting a kind of panel to focus on these things from now on. Sort of like a "designated feminist," is how we see it, along with maybe a designated racial minority, et cetera. You are right, of course, the trick is making it work.

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  4. I don't know whether the mayor was "genuinely contrite" or not. He looked a bit beaten down by the whole thing. A bit understated and reserved, like someone who just got done taking what he himself regards as a well-deserved chewing out.

    The thing is, really, that the "other two" promotions aren't really anywhere as close to repugnant as the Trosky one. Neither of the "other two" were featured on nationwide broadcasts about police brutality. Neither of the other two have a history of BOTH spousal abuse AND intoxicated driving. Only one of the other two has been charged with anything, and that incident focuses more on the disciplining of a recalcitrant child than on domestic violence. And none of the other two required a special ruling from the civil service commission to bend the rules so that the promotion could go forward.

    If I had my choice about which promotions should be rescinded, Trosky would be at the top of the list. But that's the one promotion that looks like it will definitely go forward. The other two officers will end up being sacrificed to make up for Luke's mistakes, but Trosky is really the one who is the biggest mistake of them all.

    And, while I might be wrong in understanding what you are trying to say, Bram, you seem to think that this is a good outcome.

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  5. We think taking measures that would prevent this scene from being repeated is definitely a good outcome.

    Would "splitting the baby", thereby promoting Trosky to commander, be a good outcome? Politically for Ravenstahl, probably. Good policy? Mmmmmmm .... ummmmmm ... pass.

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