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It’s time to end silliness over Hubbard’s top cop



Published: Thu, January 13, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

It’s only in the public sector that administrative leave with pay is considered good policy. And it’s only in the public sector that a supervisor is able to ban an employee from the work place with the flimsiest of reasons. A case in point: The city of Hubbard, where Mayor Richard D. Keenan has targeted police Chief Martin Kanetsky. Incidentally, residents of Hubbard have witnessed this type of political hyperbole before.

But before delving into what has become an embarrassment for Hubbard, we would like to offer this piece of advice to the mayor: Hiding behind a litany of “no comments” is not a sign of political courage or depth.

On Jan. 6, Keenan put Chief Kanetsky on paid administrative leave — a vacation by any other name — pending an investigation into “various charges.” And what were the charges? You wouldn’t know by reading the one-page letter the city’s chief executive sent to the top cop. The charges include, but are 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.”

What does that mean? Keenan would not say. His refusal to be specific prompted city council to schedule a special meeting Tuesday.

But there weren’t any answers forthcoming after the 35-minute session behind closed doors. On the other hand, a comment from council President Bill Williams left little doubt that lawmakers want nothing to do with the mayor-police chief imbroglio.

“Council didn’t have anything to do with this,” Williams said. “We legislate and approve.” The lawmaker did say he does not believe Kanetsky has been asked by Keenan to resign.

This isn’t the first time the police chief has been placed on paid administrative leave. From August 2005 through September 2006, then Mayor Art Magee barred Kanetsky from the office, but the public was never given an explanation. Neither the mayor nor the law director at the time, Gary Gilmartin, would provide details to city residents via the press.

Indeed, the police chief, who is a civil service employee, claimed that he did not know why he was given a 13-month vacation — remember, being paid a full salary and benefits means the employee’s pension is not affected in a negative way — but speculated that it was in retaliation for his filing a worker’s compensation claim.

Legal advice

What makes the current flap even more troubling is that Mayor Keenan appears to have ignored the advice of city Law Director Jeffrey Adler as to how the “discipline and/or termination” should be handled.

In keeping with the relevant state statute, Adler recommended that the mayor detail the reasons for the action against the chief.

“Specifically, you should detail the orders that the chief has violated; the dates such orders were given to the chief; and the dates that the chief failed to comply with those orders,” the law director wrote. “And you should provide any other reasons for your actions.”

None of the records made public shows the mayor heeding the law director’s advice.

Absent such a record, Keenan has opened himself and the city of Hubbard up to a possible lawsuit. Simply citing insubordination without given specific examples won’t do. Remember, the chief is protected by civil service laws.

The mayor’s dodging the press or offering a “no comment” is irresponsible and feeds the perception that he’s pursuing a private agenda.

Silence is not golden when it comes to the people’s business.


Comments

1CompMan(125 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

44425 is following 44444 image. Maybe it is time to replace this mayor as well. That said, at least Hubbard does not have a Jay Williams / Jimmy Hughes whose record on crime is an embarasment and stain to the Mah - Trum community on whole.

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21970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Who in their right mind would want to live in Hubbard, anyway?

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3karol207(42 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

This is a joke. Why did they put Marty in that position if they r going to do this to him. Time for change in Hubbard again!!!!

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4hubresident(12 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Residents had no say so in "no comment mayor" being put into office and I would certainly hope that someone steps up to the plate in May that can replace the incompetency we currently have.

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5momOF3boys(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

They are both in on it- who wouldn't wanna go on a 13 month paid vacation?!!! I betcha the Chief is blackmailing the Mayor. Don't trust any of them.
And who the hell the Mayor thinks he is withholding the information anyways?!! People wanna know.

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6photonut(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Hubbard needs an ELECTED mayor!! Keenan was NOT elected!! Hubbard has many more problems to deal with other than honking horns!! Keenan's decision to close city meetings and answer all questions with, "No Comment" should NOT be tolerated by Hubbard residences!!

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7ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

So glad I was from the only decent place in Trumbull county (McDonald)

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8mike10(84 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Power struggle going on. Facts will be gathered and a decision will be made.
No comment will be the operating procedure until the facts are in.
Once things are said in public there is no taking the words back.

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9mike10(84 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Power struggle going on. Facts will be gathered and a decision will be made.
No comment will be the operating procedure until the facts are in.
Once things are said in public there is no taking the words back.

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10bmanresident(597 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

What a load of crap! If I was insubordinate in the private sector I would be out in the cold! And collecting unemployment from the taxpayers!! eh... wait a sec... there's no difference in public and private jobs anymore!

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11sameolhub(55 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

As a life long Hubbard resident first I want to state that McDonald is not the garden spot of Trumbull county. It disturbs me that this is going on because I am friends with all of the parties involved. I don't believe ANY public official should get away with NO COMMENT, nor do I believe in paid administrative leave. Hubbard does have a history of stepping on certain peoples toes who don't fall in line with how our Mayors expect the citizens to act. This city has WASTED more money on LEGAL FEES fighting the dumbest of causes going back as far as I can remember. Council as a rule shows much more common sense than the Mayor's do because it seems they are never in agreement with many moves made over the past 10 or 15 years by Mayors who can't wait to put the city in legal jeopardy and spend the tax payers money fighting citizens over the dumbest of causes. It is time for the Mayor to step up to the plate and state why he is targeting the police chief and bordering on slandering him, and defaming the chiefs character. I have needed the Hubbard police on one occasion since Marty became chief, I could not have been more satisfied on the prompt response and the way they handled the situation. My only disappointment with the Hubbard Police Dept is that they are allowing this loon on East Liberty St. to chase people down, pull them over and threaten them, not to mention the constant video taping of people going past this house on the corner of Creed and East Liberty. This guy has all the makings of nut like the one that shot the congresswoman in Arizona last week. Main streets in most towns tend to busy and people tend to blow horns....... If you don't like that, maybe you should consider moving to a side street. Better yet maybe you should move out of Hubbard since you are making such a joke out of a pretty great place to live and raise and family...

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12borylie(768 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I'll admit I don't know all the facts,but Chief Kanetsky is good person and a fine civil servant. Every officer in Hubbard is a class act.

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