Wednesday, April 30, 2003

FOP quits


Judge has stepped in it now

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A federal judge who lets her dogs dump on the floor of our U.S. Courthouse and once had them sworn in as federal marshals might have a problem getting much respect from real law enforcement officers.

Ya think?

The Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police has voted unanimously to bail out of the crashing "historic" collaborative deal to end alleged racial profiling. And the reason is federal Judge Susan Dlott, say FOP president Roger Webster and vice president Keith Fangman.

"The judge, in my mind, is prejudiced against police officers," an irate Webster said Tuesday.

'Over her head'

Fangman seconded that emotion after an FOP press conference. "Most federal judges have some prior judicial experience," he said. "She has not even heard a parking ticket as a city magistrate. She's in over her head. Let's face it, her appointment by President Clinton was a payback for all the fund-raisers by her husband, Stan Chesley."

It's not just empty talk about dogs wearing badges. They have evidence that Dlott is biased against cops. Exhibit A is her quote in a recent Enquirer story. When she let the Black United Front pull out of the collaborative agreement, she insulted the city's lawyers but complimented Front lawyer Ken Lawson and ACLU lawyer Al Gerhardstein as "prominent civil rights attorneys ... (who) represent clients whose rights have been violated by police. Unfortunately, such violations continue to occur despite the existence of the Collaborative Agreement. Inevitably, they will continue in the future."

Talk about your hangin' judge. At least Judge Roy Bean gave rustlers a fair trial before the necktie party. Not Dlott.

As FOP leaders claimed, the U.S. Justice Department found no racial profiling by Cincinnati police. Yet Dlott says the cops have been guilty of it.

Exhibit B was her decision to let Lawson remain as lead lawyer, although "the City Council, the mayor and the FOP have serious concerns about conflicts of interests," Fangman said. "These lawyers are taking information from closed-door collaborative meetings and incorporating it into lawsuits against our officers."

Mayor Charlie Luken agreed.

"Our men and women in blue have been consistently attacked in statements by Judge Dlott and by the other parties, not to mention the lawsuits which use the existence of the collaborative as evidence against individual police officers and against the Cincinnati Police Department," he said.

The emperor is naked

You could see this coming when Dlott let the Front quit on the deal they demanded. Finally, the FOP has said the collaborative emperor has no clothes. The city should join the FOP to work on fighting crime, and tell the judge "Adios."

The collaborative has been a gold-plated blunder since council was bullied into it by a post-riot mob two years ago. Asking Judge Dlott to run our police was like begging the IRS for a root-canal audit.

This is one mess she can't make a law clerk clean up.

E-mail pbronson@enquirer.com or call 768-8301.




SPECIAL REPORT: CINCINNATI SCHOOLS
Erratic budgets let schools deteriorate
School built in 1876 near the end of its life
Tiny gym leaves team always the visitors
Old electrical systems stretched to capacity
Cramped quarters, crowded buildings
Wanted: a little grass, more room to play
Parents worry about lead paint in schools
History of inconsistency

IN THE TRISTATE
Police want out of race accord
Agreement's yield: Contention
Settlements at a glance
Indian Hill to pool its power buys and save $
Drop gun suit, city advised
Morgue photos letter revealed
Football Classic lacking stadium
Bank One releases condo liens
Obituary: Austin M. Wright, 80, writer, teacher
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
SMITH AMOS: A second chance
BRONSON: FOP quits
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Health costs jump for Warren inmates
Time ripe for ammonia theft
Going Bananas
Levy would maintain buildings
Fernald to hold last tour for public
County seeks to preserve rare bridge

OHIO
Ohio executes inmate 18 years after slaying
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Gays win expanded rights coverage
Eatery reopens after slaying
Bob Woodward, 2 politicos to lecture at NKU this fall
Candidates endorse choice of care type covered by Medicaid
Slain Chicago police officer remembered
Police: Ex-boyfriend shot to death high school senior, self
Moonlite Bar matriarch dead at 83
Kentucky obituaries
Nunn wants to 'move on'
Police: 3 men shot to death, dumped in Kentucky River