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 Are city employees safe from injustice?

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:21 am

On the recent thread City Council Outcome LittleDeb pointed out in her post titled "Beware if you are a city employee..." that there may be a concern regarding the fair treatment of city employees.

Two people come to mind now. First there is the recent allegations made against Ortonville Police Chief Curt Horman at the Ortonville City Council Meeting. See the link above. Here we have the Chief of Police being dragged before the City Council with charges made against him. The city first operated under the cloak of the "Executive Session" meaning their charges would not be for the public to see. The Police Chief took away their cloak and made the meeting public. Now all could see what was being done. The frivolous charges were nothing more than things that happen in the day to day operation and could have been taken care of over a cup of coffee.

In my mind no employee is safe under the umbrella of "Executive Session" because it is a tool that unscrupulous people could use against them. If the issue is done behind closed doors then the public is not aware of how the leaders are handling it. Honest and nobel people will deal fairly with the accused. Dishonest and greedy people will use it to mistreat an employee and the public will not know because it is not supposed to be discussed. The public only knows that charges were made and that thought is the one that hangs over the employees head. In some cases the "employers" may make comments to "trusted friends" about what "really happened" haveuheard and then the employee has gossip going on around that they are unable to defend. talking

The other person that comes to mind is Char Grossman. Why did she retire early? It wasn't expected. Was it forced on her? There is a city council meeting "Closed executive session" on Char Grossman and the next thing you know Char is retiring. Really? Like this community is supposed to buy that? Char Grossman is an example of the good, decent, hardworking, reasonable people of this community and she gets the boot? Why?

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Charges against Chief Horman   Sun May 31, 2009 9:19 pm

policeman Following up on the recent threads on Police Chief Curt Horman See City Council/Police Comm and See City Council Outcome

Below is the charges that were brought against Police Chief Curt Horman.

My understanding of the responses by Chief Horman are as follows:

1.) There was a blizzard and the parking lot was snowbound. It is not like anyone was going anywhere or the police car could get into the private lot. The car was recovered after the snow was removed.

2.) Over 1 million cars are stolen every year and 95% of them are never found. Any recovery of stolen vehicles is a matter of luck. The fact is that the vehicle was found. It should also be noted that it was not Chief Horman that was on duty that day.

3.) The person was caught and at the time of these charges being brought before the council City Attorney Craig Ash was prosecuting the perpetrator. (How could City Attorney Craig Ash sit there at the meeting and not inform the council of this fact is a concern to me.) Chief Horman was not the officer involved.

4.) Again Chief Horman was not on duty and the stolen vehicle was found. This reconfirms that the rate of found stolen vehicles in Ortonville is well above the average.

5.) The person who drove off was identified. This is a small town and everyone knows what goes on. In fact the person who drove off was going to work in another town. By the time the officer was called (this feels redundant but again it was not Chief Horman who was on duty) the man was outside the jurisdiction of the police. The officer knew the man would be back from work that afternoon and waited to arrest him when he came back home. Problem resolved.

6.) In regards to the school lockdown there was a smudged, not so legible threat on a bathroom stall that it was believed had been there over the weekend. I believe they said it was over the Sport and Leisure Show. Many people had access to the bathroom. Police Chief Horman responded to the call by the school within minutes and something in the call lead Chief Horman to believe that this was a prank. He talked to the Superintendent and principle and they were all in agreement to the procedure. Chief Horman is trained in law enforcement and using that training he chose not to pull others off duty and leave the area exposed in case this would be an attempt to draw the law enforcement away in order to distract them while another crime can be committed elsewhere. It was a judgement call.

7.) Police Chief Horman was not notified that the governor was going to be there and that his presence was requested. It should also be noted that the ceremony the governor attended in Lac qui Parle County did not have a police officer there either. No one complained about that.

It should be noted that all these "charges" were brought up at once without dates. According to the city procedures any complaints should be made within five days of the incident. It is just a group of complaints on a single sheet of paper. If people made complaints then they should be individual complaints handled at the time.



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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Ortonville city grievance policy has a 5 day rule   Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:39 am

Below is the link to Section 5, Grievance Procedures from the City of Ortonville Personnel Policy.

You will note that any Grievance brought against a city employee must be submitted within 5 days of the incident.

"Step 1. An employee having a grievance shall present such grievances, in writing, to his/her Department Heat (sic) within five working days after the event causing the grievance."

Read rules here,

The charges laid to Police Chief Horman were not within Ortonville City Personnel Policy. What should one also think about the fact that four of the seven charges did not involve Chief Horman personally and yet he was the one facing "Charges and Allegations."


Who is responsible for making sure that city personnel policies are enforced?

Would that be the responsibility of the City Clerk/Administrator?

Would that be the responsibility of the City Attorney?

Would that be the responsiblity of the City Council?

Who is responsible? confused

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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minngirl
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PostSubject: Re: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:44 am

I have been reading the posts about this issue and find it very discouraging. Makes you wonder what really is going on. I feel a great injustice was done to Curt. What was the council thinking?
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Are the city minutes in the newspaper accurate?   Fri Jun 12, 2009 3:01 pm

The Ortonville City Council "official" minutes have been printed in the "official" paper. It does make one wonder though how "official" they really are. The following letter was sent to the Mayor and all the City Councilmen and it seems appropriate here to let the public read it also.



Dear Mayor and Councilmen,

It was surprising to read the Ortonville Independent this week in which the City Council Meeting minutes for April 6, 2009 were recorded. In the minutes under the section EXECUTIVE SESSION it does not list the charges against Police Chief Curt Horman. It only lists the word “Item” and numbers them seven times. When I asked for a copy of the charges Mr. David Lang refused to surrender them. He stated that City Attorney Craig Ash has determined that the charges were not public data.

I find that highly questionable due to the fact that Mayor Blair Johnson read them to the people present in the “open” meeting and that went out over the access channel 3. The Ortonville Independent also listed the charges as I recall. Mr. Lang explained to me that since the charges were made when it was considered “closed” then they stay private even though the executive session was opened later. This is absurd.

Now after Mr. Lang has refused to release the charges and has refused to print them in the Ortonville City Council Meeting Minutes he craftily slips one charge in to hang over Police Chief Horman. After the ridiculous blank charges are listed then the Mayor is recorded as stating that the sum of the items leads one to question whether our city is being adequately patrolled. Then we find the bait. Mr. Lang then goes on to state in the minutes that have been approved by the city council and written up in the “official” newspaper that :

The Ortonville Police Department response to the Ortonville Public School lock-down was the most important item on the list.

Excuse me, but if you aren’t allowed to list the items because they are considered “private’ then how do you explain revealing one of the charges? This is outrageous! To just list the charge and not allow the record to state the facts is prejudicial. This is the permanent record of the Ortonville City Council Meeting Minutes and will be there for posterity.

What Mr. Lang has done is to attempt to give justification for bringing up the charges by listing the one emotionally charged allegation so that if anyone were to look over the records in the future they would think that there was validity to the other charges. There is no mention in the minutes that only two of the charges actually involved Police Chief Curt Horman.

The charges were frivolous and meritless. The persistent claim by Mr. Lang and City Attorney Craig Ash to keep these charges from becoming part of the permanent record is not to protect the privacy of Police Chief Curt Horman but to protect the city administrator, the city attorney, and the mayor from looking foolish for bringing them up in the first place.

I request that due to the fact that the charges are already public knowledge, due to the Mayor publically reading them over access channel 3 and the area media who have published them, that the city council have City Clerk/Administrator David Lang publish them in the minutes.

If you attempt to have Mr. Lang remove the offending sentence then he would have to also remove the reference to it in the police commission report that was on the same page of the newspaper. In any case why would you remove something that everyone has already seen?

It would only make the city look foolish. They have been published and therefore you can’t deny it. You can’t go back and have people unread what they have read or unsee what they have seen.

The fact is that everyone has had access to the charges and it is pointless to deny it now. Any attempt by City Clerk/Administrator Lang and City Attorney Ash to claim privacy is futile. It would only make the city look foolish. Who would they be trying to protect? Police Chief Curt Horman? They have already done enough damage to his good name.

I appreciate you taking the time to address this issue and if I may be of any assistance to you in the future please let me know.

Sincerely,

Penny BayBridge

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Police Chief Horman's resignation   Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:02 pm

Are city employees safe from injustice? judge



_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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minngirl
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PostSubject: Re: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:57 am

It would only make the city look foolish. They have been published and therefore you can’t deny it. You can’t go back and have people unread what they have read or unsee what they have seen.

The fact is that everyone has had access to the charges and it is pointless to deny it now. Any attempt by City Clerk/Administrator Lang and City Attorney Ash to claim privacy is futile. It would only make the city look foolish. Who would they be trying to protect? Police Chief Curt Horman? They have already done enough damage to his good name.

They keep digging themselves deeper and deeper. Didn't their mama ever tell them that one lie leads to another and another and another??
Maybe it's time to come clean? Doubt that will ever happen. Smells like a big lawsuit to me. Too bad for the city of Ortonville and it's residents who will have to pay for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:52 am

Hi I am a Police officer interested in your area got any good tips for me at to apply or not to the chiefs job. Sounds like it was a witch hunt to get rid of just the chief and not the entire department am I missing something?

I did read some of the post previously about county policing, virtually every city has regretted it cities like luvurne have tried to go back but cannot afford the start up costs. They lose control and have no say in the way it is policed and have no control over what the sheriff charges them. Everyone is in need of funds and the fed has multiple fed programs for police protection available because it brings stability to a region not just a community.

Recently Elko New market tried to do the same the Scott County sheriff outlined all of the problems associated with it not to mention the inherant responsibility to his department.

If they want to rid the city of their own police protection why post a job for police chief? Sounds like disatifation rather than need. Every agency being crunched for money sounds like the city administrator needs to go and then your problems should resolve itself. Bringing businesses into a region like yours is tough because of location, but can be done.... Look to colleges ask professors to use your city as a patern for students to improve its free ideas from some of the brightests and up coming city administrators!!!!!!!! Spend and cut Hmmm sounds like Clinton years that combined with several global wars has our country in a mess your just getting the trickle down. Your city needs to look at needs and wants, wants need to get cut so the needs can survive its basic economics that every family is dealing with right now.

You are in a great position as families stay closer to home to get increased volumes of people this year... More money in.... 7 times around.... everyone benefits if the end result is saving what you have and can.

Ok now back to Police issue again every city I know has suffered loss in coverage and services not to mention the cost of protection. Typicaly a county has a larger budget and is always looking tyo pad as well do you think for one minute they are going to do it for an even/even finacial return!!!!! They have to build in contingities and plans to keep afloat as well and they short term solution for that is to throw money at it. ( for them to draw it in)

I guess my big question is why rid the city of a service for protection to save nothing and lose everything? Who is in who's pocket to pad the county? Or is the county even interested in the idea.

When its said and done you all have lost and wasted all the dollars and mindless hours debating something that boils down to COMMON SENSE......
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Zorro
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PostSubject: Re: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:59 pm

Whether to apply for the police chief position in Ortonville....hmmmm.
If you decide you want to toss your qualifications and hat in the ring, you will have the advantage of a pretty full public record to review, between this forum and other public published stories and documents. Your background research would certainly make for an interesting application and interview.
You would sure be going in knowing the playing field, and that field is what you have to look and and base your decision on. Job match is very important in any endeavor.
One thing I would recommend -- If you go for it, make sure you check spelling and punctuation on every part of the application and resume, plus the cover letter. It matters!
Interesting post -- enjoyed reading your thoughts. Welcome to the forum.
Zorro
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PostSubject: Good Luck with your search!!!!! Sincerely GOOD LUCK!!!   Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:11 pm

cheers Maybe I am a poor speller or poor with my gramr or maybe I am just that clever.... My wife, kids and oh yeah myself have decided to take a job that was offered last night as it would turn out. So in a month I will have packed my bag of ideas and my preverbial butt up and moved to a small NW Misouri community to be in misory.... (inlaws live nearby)

I truly do wish you all the best of luck with your police situation as I believe it is a big mess, fixable but still a mess.

I may continue to follow the forum just to see how it turns out and to see if I could have done anything different with what is presented. No matter what it would only be wouda shoulda coulda Best of Luck

Dan
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PostSubject: Hello.....Goodbye?   Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:39 pm

Sad slydog, you just arrived and now you have to leave? I am happy you found work, applause even though it is near your in-laws (or did you mean out-laws). In any case there are advantages to living near family. Missouri is a wonderful place. Please do remember us and keep in touch. Sometimes it is beneficial to have input from people who are looking from the outside.

I say that knowing that there are those people in the area who firmly believe that if you don't live in the confines of a particular city then you have no right to speak. No There are other people who used to have that additude too. They thought people who didn't live in their area shouldn't have any voice in how they ran their government. They told the people who lived to the north of them to leave them alone and let them live the way they wanted to. The people in the north didn't listen to them. They saw how people were being mistreated in the south and a war ensued. Seems the south couldn't convince their neighbors to the north that slavery was OK. no no no

When people sit by and allow injustice next door they shouldn't be surprised when injustice comes knocking at their door. judge

You are welcome anytime, slydog, to stop in and visit.

whee Good luck on your new adventure.

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Zorro
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PostSubject: Re: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:54 pm

Good point!
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PostSubject: Re: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:08 am

policeman Hi all was speaking with a good friend who has applied to your cities police chief position. I put him onto this site so keep em informed. Information is a police officers best weapon and even better armor.

I think I will start a forum like this in my new town just to get the buzz from around town Very Happy ..... Now you know why I am the slydog.......

I know two have applied and both would be good for your community, however one is lacking in exsperience. The other one is like superman and wheres an S on his chest and will fight for whats right at all costs. I certainly hope all of you support whomever is hired as much as you supported the previous chief and if BK gets in HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS BOYS AND GIRLS......

I stole most of my ideas and ideals from BK and he purposly looks for troubled communities to fix, while everyone else runs the other way. I do know he has called your acting chief and liked what he heard as we spoke about again yesterday (while he helped me move).

SO that being said I certainly hope he gets in and your cities mess gets straightened out. I do need focus my attention down here as I start work monday as the new chief....


Good luck and take care

Dan
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PostSubject: Are city employees safe from injustice?   Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:04 am

Slydog,

Stear your friend clear of this situation. No small city, and for sure a city David Lang is involved with, will not be receptive to someone "cleaning" it up. Based on the information already presented it would seem, the clean up needs to start with City Hall.

Problems with morale and productivity start at the top. Reading between the lines on your statement of your friend, it would appear he has been through more than one city, and I'm betting he didn't leave on his own.
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PostSubject: Political logic   Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:46 am

After reading Lady Hawks posts and being a police chief myself I am thoroughly baffled at the utter disregard of the law and post board rules. Acting chief Dinnel has become such a liability to the city and will be discussed a bit later.



First Ortonville is truly SCREWED if one of the candidates challenges for the information that eliminated them as they are mandated to give it to them. I sure hope they have a lot of scotch tape to put those shredded papers together. M.S.S. 13 which governs data practices has clear guidelines for the handling of such paperwork and its not shredding immediately.



Second is their CREDIBILITY a word none of the panel obviously knows or understand. It has to do with the credibility of the people they talked to and their own in the way they are going through the process. Having a doctor who is supposed to have good sound judgment on the panel going along with this I would not go to him with a common cold or it could kill you. Because he has grossly misdiagnosed this case and it will die of AIDS!!!!



A city and its leaders have a RESPONSIBILITY to make sure it is done correctly and justly, by an outside appearance there would be no justice in this process. They also have a responsibility to the candidates to give them a fair and unbiased review and background which they obviously did not. But they also have the responsibility to the community to ensure the best possible candidate was hired in this case it would appear they did not.



No one knows what the future for the police department holds but it would appear that ENTRAILS would be near. According to the posts on this site the officer they put in to office is the same one that they used against chief Hormann. I would bet the officer is excited to be in the position little does he know it is only for his own demise and failure to get rid of the police department he is their scapegoat.



It would appear that a panel chosen for their WISDOM, never meet Solomon. I have no idea what could have been on that paper that was handed to the police commission, but I do know that anyone who would ask will never know either. Here is where I will say having Gary Dinnel in the city is such a liability he has fallen out of touch with the times and laws. Shredding backgrounds and stating they contacted references I am a reference for one of the candidate I was never contacted!!! Now you have a problem because you have stated you did contact them and you shredded that information. So if it now appears you committed perjury at a public meeting you bunch of morons.

You have left yourself no positive way out but to rid yourself of the process and start over or risk a law suit by the candidates.



It would appear that the candidates that were ELIMINTAED had something that Dinnel thought was bad, besides his own judgment. I would rather guess that he was lazy in his background. The backgrounds as set up under MN Post board rules are to determine if the person is of good moral character and is not a criminal. I find it hard to believe that he could determine that through what he did or that three applicants where that bad?

It would appear that lies and poor judgment go both ways and I would challenge them to prove me wrong.





Finally yet another DISGRACE for the city of Ortonville poor judgment and irresponsible actions not to mention the candidates you have eliminated disgrace by default. Your actions are far reaching and I cannot imagine how this will end but for me to say add it all up and you have just been SCREWED!!!!!!!!



SLYDOG
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