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Brown gets kudos for flubbing police chief search

Matt Westerhold • Nov 16, 2012 at 9:25 PM

The Sandusky city commission police chief search committee ignored city charter requirements during its selection process and recommended three candidates for the job who could not lawfully be appointed.

Led by commissioner Pervis Brown Jr., the committee spent $18,000 over seven months reviewing dozens of applications, discarding resumes from all local candidates except one.

Although it's been four years since the police department had a permanent leader, the committee pushed back its target date for the selection to February after missing its October 2012 goal. Brown agreed last month to re-start the search. 

"I think Mr. Brown did a great job," commissioner Jeff Smith told his colleagues during a commission meeting on Tuesday, suggesting the Register had not accurately reported information. "The search isn't being redone. They are looking for more people."

Smith did not elaborate on specifically what was inaccurate, but he did make clear later he did not like the way the story was reported. The story published in the Oct. 24 daily Register. The headline story posted online included a link to the entire six-page lawyer's report detailing the charter violations that occurred.

"Nothing was 'flubbed,' Ouriel," Smith wrote Register reporter Andy Ouriel in an email exchange Wednesday. "Just do your job, report the whole story and don't cherry pick from the facts! Like I said last night, six pages, and you report on three paragraghs?" 

Selecting a new chief is an important decision, and by the standards Smith suggests, a great job is the same as a botched job. There's no difference between the two. But a potato is still a potato, even if someone mistakenly calls it a tomato.

It's worth noting the “drug czar commissioner" never said he wanted to be the “drug czar commissioner.” This is how what Smith said in January was reported by the Register: “I want to be known as the drug (fighting) commissioner. I will be to the city's drug problem what Dave Waddington was to Lions Park.”

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