Back and forth reaction continues over the Ohio Supreme Court suit by six Akron police captains, trying to overturn the appointment of assistant police chief Charles Brown by Mayor Don Plusquellic.
Akron Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 president Paul Hlynsky, appearing on the WAKR Ray Horner Morning Show on Friday, says the mayor "stepped all over the charter" by appointing Brown.
He says the union has a problem with the appointment whether Brown is a sworn peace officer or not. Mayor Plusquellic's office says that Brown is a sworn reserve officer.
"If they're saying that Charlie Brown is a civilian, then they're taking away our bargaining unit work on the labor side of law," Hlynsky told WAKR's Ray Horner. "If they're saying he's a sworn police officer, then they've violated civil service rules and basically circumvented the entire promotions process."
Hlynsky says the Akron captains were not offered a chance at the job.
Mayor Plusquellic's spokesperson, Stephanie York, says the mayor can appoint his own assistants.
"The mayor, as Safety Director for both the police and fire divisions, is in charge of the police division," York tells AkronNewsNow.com. "And he has the right to appoint any assistant he wants in order to help him administer the police division."
York says though Brown is a sworn officer, it's still standard practice for officers report to civilian leaders.
"At every level of government in the United States, safety forces report to civilians," York says. "In charge of the military is the president of the United States. In charge of Akron's police division is the mayor."
Hlynsky says those leaders don't "mingle" in the chain of command.
Hlynsky says Mayor Plusquellic "doesn't like cops, he doesn't like their authority and he doesn't like the fact that they're not afraid of him".
Looks like Akron and its police union have come to terms on an amendment to their contract.
FOP Lodge 7 President Paul Hlynsky tells AkronNewsNow.com, he's not ready to reveal details of the tentative deal, until he discusses it with all FOP members.
In recent months, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic has requested the department's new chief, James Nice, examine ways to better staff officers to combat crime.
Follow AkronNewsNow.com for the latest developments on this story as more information becomes available.
Once again, the frosty relations between the City and the union representing police officers are heating up.
This time it's the City filing an unfair labor practice complaint, charging FOP Lodge 7 is misleading it's members by negatively commenting on shift changes the Administration wants.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported recently the shift changes were generating considerable concern among the city's rank-and-file police officers; Police Chief James Nice was working on a reorganization plan that takes into account far fewer police officers than in past years, and the newspaper account noted the number of police officers had shrunk over the past decade from 500 to 404 officers.
Nice told the newspaper his plan would not impact "90 percent" of current officers.
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(City of Akron - Mayor's Office) The City has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Fraternal Order of Police, Akron Lodge #7 (FOP), alleging that the FOP has violated Ohio’s Collective Bargaining Act by convincing its members that the temporary shift change agreement previously negotiated by the City and Union is not subject to further negotiation and that the FOP has tainted its members’ opinions about the restructuring of the Akron Police Department prior to even beginning discussions.
The City states that the FOP has used its public Facebook page, the Akron Police Daily Bulletin, and emails to its members to mislead its members. The FOP‘s inflammatory statements have even gone so far as to claim that the City is holding patrol officers for ransom during negotiations and using them as pawns before ever sitting down to talk.
“Both sides have to play by the rules of the Collective Bargaining Act,” said Patricia Ambrose Rubright, Interim Labor Relations Director. “The FOP is using all means possible to destroy any talk of change in department operations.”
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