UPDATE: 10/23/2009 at 10:30 AM
Yesterday Attorney Craig Conley, who represents Canton Police Chief Dean McKimm, said that his client will not be signing any of the the drafted statements that have been floated by McKimm so far by Canton's Healy administration in the Administration's quest to conclude the Canton Police Patrolman's Association (CPPA) federal lawsuit against the Canton Police Department (CPD) at the hand of then union boss John Miller, Jr.
Chief McKimm is not named individually as a defendant in the CPPA generated lawsuit.
Conley said that Dean McKimm has been the leading factor in the CPD to eliminate any trace of racism in the department.
But Conley did stop short of saying that McKimm would not sign any statement whatsoever.
Conley's point was that McKimm will not sign any statement that has any chance at all to being taken to the effect that McKimm has been a part of or has condonned racism in the department.
It appears to the SCPR that there is very little chance that the CPPA lawsuit is going to be settled, if the CPPA sticks to its guns (no pun intended) on what the union so far is insisting upon - in terms of language - that McKimm sign on to.
Recently, the SCPR received an e-mail from a source, which - in part reads:
That is their [The Rep's] reporting of a "settlement" in the John Miller/Steven Fowler, police officers, lawsuit. I have heard from very reliable sources that there was NO settlement. According to this most reliable of sources, Chief McKimm is being pressured by the Canton law department to sign a letter of "apology" that has him asserting that he is, in effect, a racist.Here is The Rep's headline on the matter:
What is the truth of the matter?
To find out, the SCPR talked with McKimm and Canton City Law Director Joe Martuccio.
McKimm: "As far as I am concerned there is no settlement. I have never discriminated, I am not now discriminating nor will I ever discriminate."
Martuccio made several points to The Report:
- There have been multiple findings that McKimm the city has not been disriminatory.
- That the Canton police union case has never been about discrimination, but rather an alleged infringement of former union chief John Millers first amendment free speech rights.
- That the Canton Police Department under the hand of Safety Director Tom Ream would make a statement in the name of the Canton Police Department (CPD) (not McKimm personally, who is not individually a defendant in the Canton Police Patrolman Association lawsuit) that there has never been nor is there any intention to discriminate by the Canton Department of Public Safety.
- That such does not appear to be acceptable to the CPPA and therefore it seems as if the purported "settlement" is in jeopardy as the deadline of 30 days to get back to federal judge John Adams approaches.
If the CPPA hangs tough on its insistence that McKimm individually signs any statement which in any way, shape or form allows a reader to infer that he is a discriminator, then the settlement is off and the case will go forward.
In the opinion of the SCPR, this is exactly what should happen. This case should go to trial. The SCPR believes the CPPA will come out of a trial with egg on its face.
The supposed settlement is a "face savings" for the CPPA and if they want to save face the union had better accept Ream's statement and take the "attorney fees" money.
In the end, these kinds of machinations are a total turn-off to citizens.
So what does the CPPA care about: the egos of John Miller, Jr. and Steve Fowler or the well-being of Canton.
Canton already suffers bigtime from the gigantic failure of William J. Healy's leadership and here we have the CPPA piling on. Over what? Huge egos?
Current CPPA president Bill Adams should put a stop to this nonsense.
But can he?
Probably not. A source tells the SCPR that Adams is union president because of the efforts of John L. Miller, Jr.
Political relationships like these are typical of the mishmash that is driving Canton into economic oblivion.
What company in its right mind would want to come to a city steeped in political morass?