Tuesday, September 13, 2011


With the revelation of the Cicchinelli administration's disposition of retired Massillon Police Captain Ricky Ullum's complaint(s) against Police Chief Robert Williams, it appears to the SCPR that this headliner (Massillon suspends police chief for two days, Matt Rink, The Independent, September 11, 2011)  may be a subset in the political war that has been underway between Mayor Cicchinelli and Massillon Clerk of Courts Johnnie A. Maier, Jr. going back to shortly after Kathy Catazaro-Perry was a successful candidate for Massillon's 3rd Ward.

As Cicchinelli tells it, he was one of the first to encourage Catazaro-Perry to run in the first place.

But then a Catazaro-Perry/Maier political alliance blossomed and as it said: "the rest is history."  Political history that is, with former Stark County Democratic Party Chairman Johnnie A. Maier, Jr taking on the role (with political sidekick and clerk of courts chief deputy - Shane Jackson), and some say:  including Massillon Municipal Court Judge Eddie Elum, of being mentors of the novice councilwoman.

So does the political bad blood between Cicchinelli, et al  and the Maier-led forces play into Williams discipline matter?

The SCPR gets the impression that such is the belief of the mayor and his political friends.

In March, 2010 a controversy arose in which Judge Elum accused Chief Williams of being incompetent and, moreover, questioned the quality of police work coming out of the Massillon Police Department under Williams' leadership.  Eventually, the allegations became the basis for Williams filing a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.  Hearing is set for September 21st at 10:00 a.m.

On July 1, 2011, Ullum forwarded a copy of an June 7th email about his frustrations at he had sent to Massillon's city council members in which he makes this statement:
I submitted this information to you [city council members] due to the fact that I don’t believe the local media will handle this matter properly. The suspect in this matter has filed a complaint on a Massillon Municipal Court judge which is currently being covered in the local media.
Could this statement be a basis for Cichinelli et al thinking that there is some connection?

Could it also be a case of Ullum thinking "the enemy of my enemy is my friend?"

Or, is there another explanation?

In any event, so far as Mike Loudiana is concerned he did exactly what Ullum asked for.  He tells SCPR that he "immediately" secured and personally took Williams' computer to an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) facility in Youngstown and that BCI determined whether or not there were prosecutable matters on the hard disk drive of the computer and not Massillon Law Director Perry Stergios and not Stark County Prosecutor John Ferrero.

Loudiana says that he believes that Williams (a civil service employee) is the target of a witch hunt and believes that it goes back to Ullum not being appointed interim chief when Chief Mark Weldon retired in 2005.

Loudiana says that Ullum's investigation was unauthorized notwithstanding his job as head of Massillon's Professional Standards Bureau.  "Never once," Loudiana said before Ullum submitted his investigation report on January 23rd of this year, had Ullum approached him with a request for authorization to initiate his investigation.

Had he not waited until after he retired to send off his report to various city, county and state officials, Loudiana says that Ullum himself would have been subject to discipline for pursuing an unauthorized activity in doing his own Williams investigation.

Moreover, Loudiana says, that Ullum in his position as the "technology guy" for Massillon, would have known that, though not condoned at all by city officials, private-esque (the SCPR's expression); use of public equipment is an enduring problem.

Had he asked for an investigation back in 2006/2007, Loudiana says the Cicchinelli administration would have approved the request.

Ullum denies that Williams' selection over him as chief had anything to do with his initiating his investigation.   He says in the email (presented in full below) five years ago which, apparently, if one believes Ullum, is merely co-incidental with having not been selected by Cicchinelli as interim police chief.

Williams became the permanent chief as the selectee of a civil service process which is a competitive - on the merits - process.  In fact, an interesting sidenote is that Williams will still be chief (if he wants to be) into an expected Catazaro-Perry administration come January 1, 2012.

As far as the Stark County Political Report is concerned, it is hard to believe that anything happens in Massillon that is not somehow traceable to and/or has the marks of the long term Cicchinelli/Maier political feud on it.  Of course, anything is possible.

The Report's take is that there is no middle ground in Massillon politics.  It seems pretty clear that its a "your either for me or against me" venue. 
For now, the Maier-led forces are on the uptick.  It appears that with the near certain ascendancy of Catazaro-Perry to the mayor's chair, that in a de facto sort of way one will have to pull the curtain back after January 1, 2012 to find out who is really making Massillon's executive decisions. 

Here is the full text of the Ullum email referred to the body of this blog:

From: Rick Ullum  ...
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2011 7:09 AM
To: 'councilpresident@massillonohio.com'; 'ward1@massillonohio.com'; 'ward2@massillonohio.com'; 'ward4@massillonohio.com'; 'ward5@massillonohio.com'; 'ward6@massillonohio.com'; 'atlargemanson@massillonohio.com'; 'atlargeslagle@massillonohio.com'; 'atlargehershiser@massillonohioo.com'
Subject: FW: City of Massillon - Public Corruption
Just to make you aware that I have attempted to the best of my abilities to both investigate and follow through with this case. At this time this situation is not being covered by any news agency I went to subsequent to initial submitting the case to municipal, county, and state criminal justice agencies who have not even requested to review the case for appropriate action. You can make your own evaluation of both why this investigation was initiated and how it was handled once submitted. The information below is what has been submitted and you are welcome at any time to contact me to review the extensive case file developed on this situation over the five years it was investigated.
                               Robert B. Williams, Jr. Investigation
The city was asked to turn the investigation over to an outside agency (if it wasn’t continued) and not reveal its existence till a decision had been made as to its disposition to anyone connected to law enforcement or criminal justice in the city of Massillon. This was all ignored as all involved parties (including the chief) were informed, a new investigation was started (with no input from myself, the primary investigator)  evidence was not secured, and due to the suspect being informed prior to their investigation being started that ended the possibly of any further incriminating conduct being discovered on his part.
I recently retired from the Massillon Police Department after 35 years’ service. As captain in charge of the Professional Standards Bureau (Internal Affairs) I conducted an investigation of Chief Robert B. Williams, Jr. Due to the manner in which I felt, from past experience, a matter such as this would be handled I submitted the investigation my last working day with the city. I maintained auxiliary status and was working on computers for the department after my retirement (being given access to the department and not being required to turn in all my city property unlike all other retirees).
The investigation I submitted (to the mayor and safety service director) requested that it be continued to prove its merits or submitted as is for consideration of applicable charges. This is the manner in which all investigations are handled of this type. The city’s response was to advise me to turn in all evidence to them and they were going to conduct an investigation. Shortly after that the two captains (I’m assuming under orders from the suspect in the investigation) stopped at my residence requiring that I return all city property at that time. I next received a letter from the law director advising me that my presence and any access to department property was denied and subject to the approval of city administrators (including the suspect, the chief of police). Also I was not made aware of what actions, if any were done to secure the suspect’s office and personal property upon him being advised of this investigation. I was advised there was a lag between the time of notification and when the suspect’s computer was recovered and submitted to BCI for analysis (I was told there was nothing found on his computer which indicates the machine was tampered with as I have physical evidence of his computer prior to my retiring and there was evidence present).
Due to manner in which the investigation had been handled I asked the city law director to recuse himself from the matter due to a conflict of interest. The investigation was then submitted to County Prosecutor John Ferrero and the state attorney general (Jeff Wellbaum) as well as BCI being involved. None of the state agencies would get involved due to a lack of jurisdiction (lacking a request by the county prosecutor). I received a letter from the suspect’s lawyer if I circulated untrue facts about his client he would take appropriate action. I responded that this was an internal investigation being reviewed by appropriate legal authority and that any further correspondence of the type he had sent would be considered an attempt to interfere with or obstruct the investigation. I further advised that I had submitted evidence documenting all the allegations that were made and if he filed a suit I would respond with a frivolous lawsuit on his client.
I have documentary evidence of the allegations I have made that no agency has reviewed at this time to determine the proper applicable charges. The city has never requested that I follow through with this matter or have any part in consulting on it. As far as I know no agency on the city or county level is looking into this matter.
At this time I don’t wish to release the content of the investigation till there is a final disposition of what, if any, official action is taken.
I submitted this information to you due to the fact that I don’t believe the local media will handle this matter properly. The suspect in this matter has filed a complaint on a Massillon Municipal Court judge which is currently being covered in the local media.

No comments: