By LINDA M. LINONIS
City council will have a special meeting at 7 tonight with an executive session on personnel — most likely to address police Chief Martin Kanetsky being placed on paid administrative leave.
The chief was put on leave, effective Jan. 6, by Mayor Richard D. Keenan. Sgt. Louis Carsone is acting chief.
Carsone, who served as chief from 1982-84, was to retire this month. Carsone said he could not comment on the situation but said his retirement “is on hold.”
Keenan did not return calls to his office and city cell phone.
In a one-paragraph letter to Kanetsky, the mayor wrote that the administrative leave was effective pending investigation of “various charges including but not limited to insubordination, misuse of city facilities and/or property of the city of Hubbard and jeopardizing the health of the entire police department and facilities.” Kanetsky also was instructed not to enter the police building or use any of the police vehicles.
Jeffrey D. Adler, city law director, sent a letter dated Jan. 3 to Keenan in response to the mayor’s inquiry about disciplining and/or terminating Kanetsky as police chief. Adler cited Ohio Revised Code Section 123-34 that provides for discipline of a classified civil service employee. Adler recommended Keenan “detail the orders that the chief has violated; the dates such orders were given to the chief; and the dates the chief failed to comply with those orders. Also you should provide any other reasons for your decisions. This statement should be notarized.”
Kanetsky also had been on paid administrative leave from August 2005 to September 2006.
In other correspondence from the mayor to the chief, Keenan had sent a letter to Kanetsky concerning the enforcement of a horn-blowing ordinance in the city. In the letter dated Dec. 22, 2010, Keenan ordered Kanetsky to issue a memo to the department on this topic. The five points in Keenan’s letter were:
Every phone call to our police department must be handled with full cooperation to the resident who calls.
All information given to the officer who follows up on the call including license plate numbers obtained by any resident shall be checked through the LEADS system and investigated and handled properly.
Patrolmen on patrol each and every shift shall closely monitor the East Hill area, in particular the area of Creed and East Liberty, and shall log in times and dates they are in the area and shall turn in this report daily to the shift sergeant and that shift sergeant shall supply the chief a daily record.
The chief shall call the mayor daily with a report on this report.
Any infraction of the law such as disturbing the peace, which includes horn blowing in the area of Creed and East Liberty, trespassing or any other violation, a citation shall be issued to appear in Hubbard Mayor’s Court, no exceptions.
In the letter, Keenan refers to an incident that occurred Dec. 18, 2010, on East Hill at East Liberty and Creed. A police report details a confrontation between Garrick G. Krlich, 49, of 713 E. Liberty St., and Matthew Shelton, 19, of 80 Parrish Ave. Shelton was charged with aggravated menacing; his trial will be at 9 a.m. March 10 in Girard Municipal Court.
The police report details a confrontation on Dec. 18 between Krlich and Shelton. Shelton told police he was driving his girlfriend’s car on East Park Avenue when Krlich approached the driver’s-side window, commenting on horn blowing near his residence. Shelton left the area, went home, then headed out to baseball practice, driving another vehicle. Video surveillance obtained from Krlich showed Shelton driving past Krlich’s residence and pointing a gun, which later was identified as a pellet gun. Shelton had pulled into a driveway on Creed Avenue, with Krlich pulling in behind him and blocking him. Police arrived after a 911 call.
Detective James Taafe said what began as calls about a nuisance has escalated to the potential for violence. He said nuisance calls include barking dogs or noise.
Since July 2008, there have been some 70 police reports involving Krlich, many of them concerning horn-blowing incidents. Some reports have references to a “feud” between Krlich and other residents. Krlich told police he set up video surveillance with audio to document the incidents.