Monday, February 26, 2007

Still Bubbling, If Only On a Back Burner

I forgot to mention it yesterday, and indeed most people probably didn't even notice it tucked away at the bottom of the page, but this Sunday's Post-Gazette did include something akin to a mini-editorial on the police secondary employment story. There was, as usual, no mention of the role that The People's Republic has played in pushing this issue forward. But for one reason or another, I'm betting that the Admiral isn't the most popular guy around the Post-Gazette's newsroom these days. This latest small note on the editorial page doesn't really break any new ground, and it's largely an amalgamation of quotes from the article which appeared in the paper earlier this week. But it at least shows that this story hasn't completely gone away. Not yet anyway.

Lord only knows (Rich Lord, that is) why the Post-Gazette feels compelled to cite the McNeilly case as the reason why this issue has suddenly come to prominence once again. As their brief editorial tells the story:

Police Chief Nate Harper wants to introduce a new centralized system before the April 9 Pirates home opener. Such a change, which has been slow in coming, has been urged by lawyers for Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly, whose recent troubles with the city began with her efforts to discipline an officer employed in a side job.
It's certainly true that Ms. McNeily's problems started with her attempts to deal with the secondary employment of Officer Frank Rende. It's also true that the ACLU is assisting with Ms. McNeilly's legal case against the city, and that the ACLU has taken issue with the defacto privatization of our public police officers during their off-duty hours. But it's really an enormous stretch for the Post-Gazette to suggest that, but for Ms. McNeilly's lawsuit, this issue would never have been worthy of their attention in the first place.

No biggie, though. At least all of us know where the story really began... right here in the burghosphere.

4 comments:

Bram said...

"Lord only knows (Rich Lord, that is) why the Post-Gazette feels compelled to cite the McNeilly case as the reason why this issue has suddenly come to prominence once again."

That IS significant. But it is credible to claim that the McNeillys and the Ravenstahl admin. are engaged in a feud. It may be a righteous, issue-based feud, but it is a feud none the less.

Anonymous said...

One reason may be that McNeilly's inquiries arose out of off-duty conduct by Frank Rende. In other words, if the city was doing cost recovery, arguably, the $ collected could have been used to settle McNeilly's case instead of tapping the taxpayers. Just a theory.

Anonymous said...

In the PG today, Ravenstahl is quoted as "not knowing the details" of the secondary employment case resulting in a $200,000 settlement negotiated by his team. Yet another implausible denial. Or, if you believe Luke, just incompetence.

Richmond K. Turner said...

You must be referring to this article. I'll have to get to work on a new post. But for the moment, I think I need some sleep!