City manager forces out 2nd in command at CPD: 'This is sad,' mayor says
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The second highest-ranking police official with Cincinnati Police has been forced out the department, a move Mayor John Cranley calls "sad."
Executive Assistant Police Chief Dave Bailey was put on administrative leave Tuesday and was ordered to leave or be fired, said Sgt. Dan Hils, police union president.
Bailey, who has been with Cincinnati police 31 years, will leave with more than two years' pay and full pension and benefits in a deal that will cost taxpayers about $400,000, a source tells FOX19 NOW.
Upon Bailey's retirement date with the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund of July 5, 2020, he'll be allowed to cash out his vacation, sick time and accumulated compensation time. In essence, city taxpayers will pay Bailey not to work until he retires.
City Manager Harry Black ousted Bailey Thursday, one day after calling for federal prosecutors to investigate what he calls a "rogue element" corrupting the police department and undermining the police chief's authority. Black claims some police employees don't want to work with him and Police Chief Eliot Isaac because they are black and accused them of "insubordination."
It's not clear who Black is talking about, but he and the chief have been upset over leaks of police documents to the media:
- a draft audit of a police overtime audit the Enquirer obtained Tuesday that revealed problems, poor oversight and some employees intentionally maximizing compensation.
- a memo FOX19 NOW obtained in January about an active internal investigation into whether two officers got paid for off-duty details they may not have entirely worked.
City officials released Bailey's settlement agreement that he signed Friday, but it doesn't include monetary figures.
""Lieutenant Colonel Bailey has loyally served the City of Cincinnati with distinction for over 30 years," it reads. "The city thanks Lieutenant Colonel Bailey for his service."
Mayor John Cranley opposed Black's decision. He said he wished Bailey and Chief Eliot Isaac "could work this out."
"As you informed me, the ongoing personnel action is originated by and recommended by Chief Isaac," Cranley wrote in an email to Black. "Whatever happens, I believe the public will need to be told how and why."
"Crime is down right now and I believe both deserve credit. This is sad," Cranley wrote at the end of his email.
Hils and Cranley were working to try to change the city manager's mind.
Council Members also were caught off guard and some took to social media to express their displeasure.
Before news of his resignation, Bailey called Black's comments "reckless, unfortunate and grossly inaccurate" in a letter to Hils.
The FOP leader posted the letter on Facebook Thursday morning.
Reached for comment, Bailey declined, saying the letter spoke for itself:
"Since we initially talked there are many accusations that have been made by the City Manager and Department commanders. In my view, these comments are reckless, unfortunate and grossly inaccurate. They are not only self serving, they are irresponsible and harmful to the agency. Rest assured I'm confident additional information will come to light that will invalidate these claims.
As you know I am in a legal position which prohibits me from speaking more specifically. I want you to know I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the men and women who work hard everyday to provide professional police services to our communities. I am equally proud of our community partners who make our city safe, and finally, I have been fortunate to have a career serving this agency. As those in power attempt to tarnish I will remain loyal to CPD, it's members and the FOP. Thanks for all your assistance in this matter."
Bailey was known as a cop's cop in his more than thirty years with Cincinnati police. He worked in all five police districts and nearly every other area of the agency and countless commendations in his personnel file over the years.
He became an assistant chief in 2013,
The remaining three, Michael John, Paul Neudigate and Teresa Theetge, were promoted in early 2016.
"While a process is executed to determine a permanent replacement, the Executive Assistant Police Chief duties will be split among Police Chief Isaac and the three other Assistant Police Chiefs, Lieutenant Colonel Michael John, Lieutenant Paul Neudigate and Lieutenant Colonel Terry Theetge," the settlement agreement reads.
The shakeup at Cincinnati police comes after the city manager's comments about a federal investigation in response to a Cincinnati Enquirer report about an internal audit allegedly leaked to them that found major issues with the department's overtime policies.
FOX19 NOW has been asking for the audit and received a copy Wednesday after the mayor instructed Black to be transparent.
Bailey oversaw and signed off on the audit, which was conducted by Captain Jeff Butler, who commands CPD's inspections section.
District 5's commander, Captain Bridget Bardua, filed a sexual discrimination complaint a day before the audit was leaked, alleging she was being singled out because she's a woman and a supporter of Isaac "
Her complaint named Bailey, Butler and Neudigate and claimed they were treating her unfairly.
Bardua also said Butler unexpectedly pulled into the driveway of her home at 10:15 p.m. Feb. 9 to discuss the audit.
He told her he was upset about it, according to the complaint.
"'You know things are getting bad.' "Butler stated 'He (meaning the police chief) will not survive this,'" the complaint says Butler told her. "'It's either you or him.' Captain Bardua took that to mean that either she or the Chief was getting terminated."
A copy of the audit concluded overtime has bad oversight, confusion about the rules and "intentional actions of maximize compensation."
The audit revealed millions of dollars spent in overtime, with at least 15 bringing in tens of thousands of dollars in overtime each.
The report also indicates an inordinate amount of overtime is centered in District 5, including Bardua, and two of her sergeants.
The top five:
- $126,225: District 5 Neighborhood Liaison Sgt. Jason Volkerding
- $92,215 215 Sgt. Jason Scott, who also works in District 5
- $86,245 Sgt. Ronald Hale
- $82,723 Bardua
- $68,699: Sgt. Timothy Lanter
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