No get-out-of-jail-free card for Hubbard worker
This letter is in response to an article that appeared in The Vindicator on Jan. 6, regarding Hubbard Mayor Praznik's decision not to pursue any additional action concerning the incident involving the lighting supervisor and the Hubbard police.
According to the article, Lighting Supervisor Slick was observed entering a local business by a resident who perceived him to be intoxicated and called the police. As Mr. Slick exited the business he was met by the patrolmen who concluded that he had been drinking and gave him a ride home. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Slick was observed driving his car home. When stopped by the same policemen, Mr. Slick staggered out of his car and almost into traffic. When the officer went back to his car to use his radio, Mr. Slick got back in his car and drove off. He was picked up at home and taken to the Hubbard Police Station. Upon hearing of Mr. Slick's dilemma, Mr. Campana, the street supervisor, arrived at the Hubbard Police Department, demanding some "courtesy" for Mr. Slick.
Mr. Slick's courtesy pass ran out after the police took him home.
I'm certain that very few Hubbard citizens receive this same type of treatment, and most of us would have found ourselves handcuffed in the back of a cruiser. But at least the police got him home safely and protected the other drivers who would have shared the road with him.
Obviously this wasn't enough courtesy for Mr. Slick who retrieved his car and drove home, only to be stopped again. Then he drove off again jeopardizing the safety of everyone else on the road that day and leaving the scene. He had to be arrested at home.
If this story ended there it would be tragic enough, but upon hearing of this case, Mayor Praznik, concerned about a conflict of interest in his Mayor's Court, transfers the case to Judge Bernard in Girard Municipal Court. Judge Bernard dismisses the case because Mr. Slick's rights were violated because no field sobriety test was given. No field sobriety test was given because he was given courtesy and driven home. No field sobriety test was given because when Mr. Slick was picked up the second time, he left the scene. What would happen if everyone just drove home when stopped by the police?
Although I am not the strongest supporter of law enforcement, I have to feel a bit of sympathy for the officers involved in this fiasco. They provide a service above and beyond the call of duty in an attempt to help a fellow city employee only to be threatened by Mr. Campana, insulted by Mr. Slick and kicked in the groin by the Girard Municipal Court. What's more, no further action will be taken by Mayor Praznik regarding this incident.
Mr. Slick saved himself thousands of dollars in legal fees, fines and court costs and the certain loss of his job. He received the ultimate "get-out-of-jail-free" pass. He at least owes this police department and the residents of Hubbard a very sincere and public apology for his undeserved good fortune.
Steelworkers should show solidarity and support
Unionism is only as strong as its members. I would like to understand why the majority of labor members in the steel industry are not making a full effort to support their elected leaders during this present crisis in which pensions, medical benefits and the future of area jobs are at risk.
Out of more than 2000 idle steel workers from the Cleveland and Youngstown areas, only approximately 400 concerned members gathered to fight for and show support during a very important courthouse decision in Youngstown.
Workers won a reprieve this time with a rescheduled judgment that could still favor big businesses.
As a pro-union worker, I am asking the majority of those directly affected to take a couple of their hours and show a huge supportive gathering to help save the benefits everyone worked so hard to establish.