Foley, Farris set to start Sept. 1
By David Skolnick
Mayor Charles Sammarone made two key appointments to his cabinet, promoting Capt. Rod Foley to police chief and Anthony Farris from deputy law director to law director.
The two will start their new jobs Sept. 1, the day after the retirements of Police Chief Jimmy Hughes and Law Director Iris Torres Guglucello, Sammarone told The Vindicator on Tuesday.
Sammarone received 12 letters of interest for the police-chief position, and said he was so impressed with Foley’s that he interviewed him and hired him without talking to the other applicants.
“I like his thoughts on accountability, he doesn’t make excuses and his philosophy is similar to mine,” Sammarone said. “I wanted someone to go in there with the intention of getting things done. Foley really stood out. He is well-qualified.”
Sammarone also said Foley’s variety of experience worked in his favor.
Foley serves as chief of detectives, a job he’s held since December 2009. He also was staff inspector from January 2006 to December 2009, vice squad commander from May 2003 to January 2006, neighborhood- response-unit member from January 2000 to April 2003, worked on the community-oriented police-services unit from October 1995 to December 1999. He was a patrol officer from May 1991 to October 1995.
“It’s a natural progression to be chief as I worked up the chain of command,” said Foley, 46. “I want to bring accountability back to the police department. One of my main goals is to increase visibility in the community.”
Foley earned a master’s degree in police administration from Youngstown State University in 1995 and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from YSU in 1989.
Sammarone, appointed mayor Aug. 1, is serving the remainder of former Mayor Jay Williams’ term, which expires Dec. 31, 2013.
Sammarone said he wanted his chief to be someone who had several years left at the department and not someone who retired or is nearing retirement. Of the 11 other applicants, four are retired and two will retire in the next 12 to 18 months, he said.
The chief and law director are hired and fired at the discretion of the mayor.
Youngstown police officers are protected under civil-service law. If the next mayor doesn’t want to keep Foley as chief, he would return to being a captain. Someone hired from outside the department wouldn’t have that job security, Sammarone said.
Foley likely will see his pay reduced as police chief. Though he made $82,710.68 in base annual pay last year, he made $101,326.98 in overall pay, including overtime.
As police chief, Foley won’t receive overtime. Hughes made $87,915.10 in base annual pay and $91,614.94 overall with the additional bonus pay for longevity [number of years on the force], hazardous duty pay and for having advanced college degrees.
Foley also doesn’t live in the city, moving to Boardman about 11/2 years ago. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in June 2009 that residency requirements for those working for cities, villages, counties and school districts weren’t legal.
“It could be an issue for people, but because I cross an imaginary boundary doesn’t mean I don’t work and have spent nearly my whole life in Youngstown,” Foley said.
Sammarone said the Supreme Court decision negates any concern he has about Foley’s not living in the city.
“My first priority was to have someone run the department who I, city council and department heads would be comfortable with,” he said.
Unlike Foley, who beat out 11 other applicants for police chief, Farris was the only candidate for law director.
Farris, 44, of Youngstown, has spent 15 years with the city, nine years as an assistant prosecutor and chief assistant prosecutor, and six years as a deputy law director. Farris has a law degree from Case Western Reserve Law School in 1991 and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from YSU in 1988.
“I’m as familiar as I can be with city operations, and I’m eager to see them improve,” Farris said. “I want to help the mayor any way I can.”
Sammarone said Farris is a hard worker and a good lawyer who works well with city council and the administration.
Farris earned $75,000.12 in annual base pay in 2010 and $1,436.67 in longevity pay and education bonus. He didn’t receive any overtime pay.
As law director, he’ll earn $83,948.45 in annual base pay and receive his longevity and education bonuses.
With Farris’ promotion, there will be only one deputy law director, Dan Pribich.
Farris will decide if the city should hire another deputy law director, Sammarone said.