Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Mayor faces impeachment

If nepotism charges unresolved, process begins

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        DAYTON — Impeachment proceedings against Mayor Bobby Crittendon could begin next week if city leaders do not resolve a charge of nepotism.

        City Council met for about 90 minutes in two executive sessions during Tuesday's special meeting. They are scheduled to discuss the matter at council's regular meeting Nov. 21.

        “The lawyers are going to continue to discuss this matter,” said Covington attor ney Phil Taliaferro, who attended Tuesday in place of Robert Carran, the attorney council hired. “If it is not resolvable, we are prepared to give ... articles of impeachment.”

        Mr. Crittendon did not comment. His attorney, Steve Wolnitzek, was confident an agreement could be reached.

        “At this point, we don't know what it is they (council) say he's done wrong,” Mr. Wolnitzek said.

        Mr. Taliaferro did not disclose evidence he had against Mr. Crittendon. Mr. Carran, a partner with Mr. Taliaferro, did not attend Tuesday's meeting because he was at a meeting in Elsmere.

        Two weeks ago, council decided to investigate charges of nepotism against Mr Crittendon. The matter involves the mayor and his son-in-law, Dayton Police Officer David Halfhill.

        It is alleged Mr. Critten don showed favoritism toward Officer Halfhill in connection with the test Officer Halfhill took this summer to be promoted to sergeant. Officer Halfhill scored the highest among three officers who took the test.

        State law prohibits nepotism — favoring a relative over another worker — by public officials. Officer Halfhill thinks he and his father-in-law are in the clear because Police Chief Gregory Aylor, not Mr. Crittendon, is his direct supervisor.

        “(Council) should have taken it to the ethics board,” Officer Halfhill said after the meeting. “A number of people want to see (Mr. Crittendon) gone; a lot of people want to see him stay.

        “I can see (a problem) if I came in second in the sergeant's exam, or third. But I didn't.”

        If articles of impeachment are given, a hearing is held. If Mr. Crittendon is impeached, a trial will be held, which means both sides may call witnesses.

        Dayton ordinances require a unanimous vote by council to remove Mr. Crittendon from office.

        Many of the 35 people in council chambers wanted Mr. Crittendon to talk about the matter in public.

        “If Bobby Crittendon don't have nothing to hide, why don't he bring it out in the open?” said lifelong resident Mary Rogers, 48. “I'm here in support of the chief. We've got a good chief.”


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