Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ex-Chief Harper's payout fair, what Pittsburgh gets

~Axmgr; DeviantArt

It's hardly the worst thing that happened...

Former Pittsburgh police Chief Nate Harper cashed in more than $95,000 worth of vacation time, longevity pay and 30 weeks of paid sick leave when Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl forced him to retire. (Trib, Jeremy Boren)

When you select a decades-long veteran officer for Chief, he serves in that capacity for six years, and during those long tough years he is complicit in ongoing fraud and improper mixed agendas, this is what should happen. We are not giving Harper any more than that to which he is entitled.

City Councilman Patrick Dowd said the payout is large but not surprising, given the city's legacy costs.

“It's a lot of money to me, personally, and it's a lot of money to my constituents, but those are policies put in place a long time ago when Chief Harper started, and they're policies that we've tried to clean up,” Dowd said. “The city was giving employees deferred benefits, and this is the consequence now.” (ibid)

Correct. After managing a crisis, Pittsburgh can learn all sorts of things. Maybe we can reform the financial controls and the institutional favoritism. Maybe we can reform more about what Bureau officers working private side-jobs with City equipment can and cannot do on those jobs, or whether they need to be so outfitted.

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