Mayor Elect John A. McNally says his selection for police chief was cemented by two meetings with Robin Lees over the holidays.
McNally’s remark came Saturday during a news conference at Fellows Riverside Gardens introducing Lees, a retired city police lieutenant, and the new mayor-elect’s appointment for law director, Mahoning County Assistant Prosecutor Martin Hume.
Lees did not apply for the job and until the weekend of Dec. 14 when he ran into McNally at a function and McNally told him to submit a resume. The two then talked on Christmas Eve morning and the day after Christmas and McNally said he liked what he heard.
Lees, who retired in 2011 after 33 years on the force, said he was pleased to be back on the department. He’s not sure yet what changes he will make, but said he will be keeping a lot of policies in place that outgoing Chief Rod Foley has started, including the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence program.
When asked by a member of the audience about hiring people who are retired, McNally said he understands concerns about that but he also wants to hire the people he thinks are best suited for the jobs.
Hume, who has his own law firm and has been an assistant prosecutor for 17 years in county court in Boardman, said he has a lot of experience in labor law, which should be beneficial to city employees who can be assured they will be able to work free of discrimination or harassment.
“We want to make the city a great place to work,” Hume said.
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