Executive editor Jeff Gauger in his blog - sort of - dealt with the alleged (not doable) attempted firing of Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm.
The STARK COUNTY POLITICAL REPORT (The Report) has a triple take on the Gauger blog.
First, he tries to discredit that the event ever took place because it is "chatter" on the blogs including his own.
Second, Gauger tries to discredit that the event ever took place by taking the position that everybody who is aware of the history of Canton politics know about former Mayor Janet Creigton's attempt to discipline Chief McKimm for not following her directive.
Third, Gauger cites the following responses:
Trouble is, we haven’t found proof to support the rumor suggesting that the mayor tried to fire the police chief. Rep Reporter Ed Balint has talked to the people involved — or, more accurately, to those who would have been involved. They deny it.
Because of the foregoing The Report went back to the source of the story in the first place. The question. "Are you sure that Healy tried to fire McKimm,"
Here’s McKimm: No one talked to me about firing me. Not the mayor. Not Tom Nesbitt, the mayor’s public safety director and, on paper, the chief’s boss. Not anyone speaking for the mayor.
Here’s Nesbitt, and I quote him directly: “Absolutely nonsense” and “total malarkey.” Nesbitt even told us that after hearing the rumor himself he called McKimm to assure the chief that there was no plan to try to fire him. “I wanted to make (McKimm) comfortable,” Nesbitt said.
Here’s Joe Martuccio, the independent city law director: Neither Healy nor anyone speaking for the mayor sought my advice this week about firing McKimm.
And here’s City Councilman Bill Smuckler, a former candidate for mayor and a frequent, out-spoken critic of our current hizzoner: the chatter is a bunch of bunk.
Answer: "Yes." Then the source went on to detail (in a persuasive fashion to The Report) the basis of the certainty.
So this is a very interesting stand off.
On one side: An impressive list of people who say an attempted firing (remembering, of course, the mayor cannot, only the Canton Civil Service Commission after due process of law) never occurred.
On the other: The Report's source. The Report will be quick to retract its story should it become apparent that the source was in error.
As of now, The Report has no reason to doubt the source notwithstanding the denials (including Law Director Joe Martuccio - whom The Report has the highest respect for).
Public official denials are nothing new to sophisticated observers of political processes. These folks are known to parse the dotting of the "i" and crossing of the "t" in the quest to construct a plausible or nuanced denial.