UPDATED: Police chief’s newsletter offends some

Chief reprimanded. A satirical newsletter pilfered from a police chief’s desk has ruffled some feathers in Vermilion.
Jessica Cuffman
Oct 28, 2013
UPDATE: Vermilion’s mayor has reprimanded the police chief for writing a satirical newsletter containing inappropriate content.

Mayor Eileen Bulan said a letter of reprimand will be placed in Chief Chris Hartung’s personnel file, to document his misconduct.

Bulan became aware of the newsletter, “The VPD Insider,” after copies were anonymously mailed to area newspapers.

When Hartung returned to Vermilion Monday after a week-long training engagement, he met with Bulan to discuss the four-page document.

“Although your purported newsletter was authored in jest and not intended for public distribution, the contents of the same offended certain individuals,” Bulan stated in the letter.

“You explained that it was not your intent to embarrass any officer or employee of the police department, which is an explanation I believe,” she said. “But to avoid any further incidents, refrain from authoring any other like publication.”

Hartung readily admitted to authoring the document, which he has since said was an inappropriate use of work time and equipment.

He told the Register he wrote it in about 15 minutes during a lunch break. He declined to offer any further comment this week.

In one story, the satirical newsletter suggested the police department saved money on energy costs by removing a refrigerator from an employee’s office. Another story said the police department was grappling with a crisis one day because no one could decide where to buy lunch.

When asked about “The VPD Insider,” a four-page document mailed anonymously to the Register, police Chief Chris Hartung confirmed he did author the piece.

“I wrote it in about 15 minutes on a lunch break,” he said. “Creative writing is one of my fortes.

“I remember, I was actually eating a I guess.” Quarter Pounder with Cheese,” Hartung said.

The newsletter jabs at department employees, local politicians and the department’s fundraisers for the police dog. It was likely an inappropriate use of work time and equipment, Hartung said.

“It was in my desk,” he said. “Someone decided to poke around, The single edition of the newsletter, dated July 31, 2013, was never distributed through the department, he said. Any consequences of authoring the newsletter — which makes light of hairlines, intelligence and eating habits of employees and former employees — will be up to Mayor Eileen Bulan.

“I’m sure I’ll be in her office Monday,” Hartung said.

Made aware of the document this week, Bulan said she’ll meet with Hartung Monday when he returns from a week of training.

“We’re definitely going to look it over more and go from there,” she said. “I’ll read the newsletter and then hear background on it.” “It certainly isn’t appropriate to be doing it on the city computer,” she said.

It’s unclear what consequences Hartung may face.

Download the newsletter below, harsh language included, viewer discretion is advised



That was some of the funniest stuff I have read in a while. The register may want to put him on staff as most of this is way more creative than anything Westerhold could ever come up with.

From the Grave

Creative writing is NOT his forte(and that's pronounced fort, BTW). Shouldn't he be out there looking for that late night vandal?


Look, it's not like he sat down and wrote War and Peace(1400 pages). Poking fun at yourself and coworkers, you think this is the first time this was ever done? All the time Chris "donates" to the department and city, I think he gets some latitude on this. No harm-no foul as they say. Don't be calling for a good man's head on such a trivial matter in my opinion. Remember, he did "step up to the plate" on responsibility.

From the Grave

Maybe it would be funny if someone took the newsletter and cut eye holes in it and held it up to their face, like a KKK mask...let's get a picture of that!


Google is paying 80$ per hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. Yesterday I bought a top of the range Lancia after having made $9458 this month. Its the most-financialy rewarding I've had. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out http://goo.gl/f6e95V

From the Grave

The Amish jerks and f$@%^*# Jehovah's Witnesses might disagree.


It is satire.

Lunch break.

What crime was committed?

Who stole the satire piece from his desk?

Did he steal guns like that corrupt police chief west of Vermilion, Ohio?

The Sandusky Register readers need to be more concerned of shady and illegal actions behind closed doors.

Stop It

Satire it may be, Centauri, but it is city property regardless.


Yes. Just like the hundreds of thousands of dollars in government property/assistance that Mayor Bulan (with Vermilion's law director Ken Stumphauzer) while working at the Port Authority helped provide our county prosecutor's defunct company Island Express.

Pterocarya frax...

"What crime was committed?"

He admitted he did it in his office. Ohio ethics laws are quite clear on the use of government property for personal use. It is illegal. Also, I am not sure about Vermilion, but many law enforcement are on duty and expected to respond to calls while eating lunch. If that is true for him, that is another clear violation of law.


Pterocarya you are right about not using gov't property for personal use. I hope that gov't employees do not use the bathrooms as they will be using "gov't" water and paper towels to wipe their hands and toilet paper to wipes their a$$es. I hope no gov't employee plugs their cellphones in to charge while at work as they would be using "gov't" electric. No gov't building should allow wifi as the employees may be "stealing" it while they are at work. etc etc etc

Give me a break. ALL gov't employees at one time or another use abuse gov't property. Nothing new unless people like you make it a big deal.


Omg really....that's lime saying everyone steals from work so I did too so its OK! Hello he is the Chief! he is to set an example not be the example of what not to do I just hope he doesn't lose his job over something silly like this but he shouldn't have wrote such a thing on company time or government time!


Because your not writing this comment from a Company computer I hope, or connected to your Company's Wifi. Its the same thing. Corporate property for personal use is against all business rules for most if not all businesses.

If your not, that's fine, still trying to make my point to others though. Everyone uses Company property for personal use at some point.


LookingDown, I don't condone the theft of anything. I believe it says that he was on HIS lunch break. If you can tell me of one employee of any entity that has never used a company phone, computer, copy machine or anything else no matter how small for their personal use I would be surprised.


Use that argument when your charged with something mikesee, "Everyone else does it!" : Like hearing school children excuses.

The very act of this being turned in shows that there are those in his department that do NOT think its funny or right, so there can't be any excuses made for this.

To those who say its a guy thing among workers, so was hanging up pictures of nude women until it was ruled that it created a hostile workplace. Anyone with a brain would say his writing was HOSTILE.


Have you, Truth, ever used anything of your employeers on work time? I not saying that is an excuse.

I guess that the VPD should turn this over tho the Prosecutor's Office and bring formal charges. Is that what you are after Truth?

From the Grave

Bathroom use is a pis s poor example.

Stop It

Uh oh...Do you like your bacon Xtra crispy?

Darwin's choice

Good grief! Get over it! That's funny stuff!


Geez lunch break. Bunch of old ladies......take a joke . . .r


The chief might want to spend a little more time cleaning the drug problem in his town that's what the clown is really being paid for.haha


A blight on all decent Police who take their jobs seriously and wish to set an example to children.
Vermilion trusts this man to be an example of children and youth, he testifies against those who are charged with a crime and his mind is twisted with such disparaging filth. No decent parent would want this man speaking to their children in school about how they can trust a Police Officer when he writes such things. Such offices should set an example above and beyond society to look up too, I consider such language as filth and the humor disrespectful and deranged.
His integrity is also in question when he claimed to write it during his lunch break, then later saying it was 'an inappropriate use of work time and equipment," WHICH ONE IS IT, personal time or work time?
Those who think this is appropriate because its funny reveals the decay of our society.
And to think that Sandusky fired their Captain over a parking ticket.

The Mayor should confiscate his computer and send it in and find out when it was written, during lunch or on the clock.


Truth2u: Agree 100%. Maybe I have no sense of humor, but he is a man holding an important position in the city. A lot of people will see a joke of a police officer when they look at him now. I did notice that the paper had a date stamp of 8:48 am. That's a really early lunch hour.


Becuase Police only work 8-5?


you're right grandma--you obviously have no sense of humor.


looks like more than just a few minutes to me.


Is this a setup to get the chief out? What is someone going through his desk in the first place? Did the Mayor put someone up to going through his desk?


Just got through reading the so called newsletter. This is coming from a police chief? It doesn't make for setting an good example for his men. There are laws about sexual harassment in the workplace and poking fun of various religions. It was very distasteful and an embarrassment to his department. Is this guy mentally stable or fit to command? What a shining example for the city. The City of Vermilion can do better.


It's workplace humor among guys. Same thing at every place I have ever worked, except for the fact we never write it down. Don't get sucked into making to much of this. "Bigger fish to fry" as the saying goes.


They probably don't work at fun places. If they work at all. Having a bit of fun WITH your coworkers is necessary in my opinion, keeps attitudes and team moral higher.