Union members make 'no confidence' vote over police chief - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Union members vote 'no confidence' in police chief

Lee Russo Lee Russo

By Steve Oldfield - bio | email

COVINGTON, OH (FOX19) - The Covington Fraternal Order of Police held a 'no confidence' vote Wednesday night over police chief Lee Russo.

FOP officials announced Thursday that 94 percent of members voted no confidence in the chief, saying he has acted inappropriately.

This is the first time ever the police union has gotten together to potentially try to get a chief fired. Insiders say there are lots of reasons, and big names within the department signed a petition to call for Wednesday's special meeting.

Chief Russo joined the force in 2007. He's the first to come from outside the area to get the job. The man whose idea it was to run a national search and to bring in an outsider was city manager Jay Fossett, who was fired last month.

Word is that Chief Russo angered some members on the force when he apparently responded to some criticisms by saying, "If they don't like it, they can leave." Some officers have done just that, while others have stayed.

Chief Russo has a 5 year contract that expires in 2012. If the city were to cancel that contract, he'd get a six month severance package.

It will now be up to city officials to decide if Chief Russo should be fired.

(Copyright 2009 WXIX-TV and Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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