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.


PREVIOUS STORY
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

Comments

Centauri

http://www.morningjournal.com/ar...
"Vermilion police chief reprimanded for spoof newsletter"

"The reference was disappointing, Anderson said, but it appeared the chief was spoofing his officers, not her campaign. She also acknowledged some police officers were not happy about contract negotiations that took place during her term as mayor.
The phony newsletter did not affect her respect for the chief and his work, Anderson said.
“I really admire and respect Chief Hartung,” she said. “I was really happy he was appointed our chief of police and I really look forward to working with him on some issues I believe we agree on going forward.”

Stop It

I reckon that just makes it dandy and all A-OK?

Julie R.

I think you nailed it, Centauri. I think it has EVERYTHING to do with the election. I wouldn't even doubt that the police chief was in on it just so the derogatory remarks made about Jean Anderson would be made public. After all, Baxter & Co. and their favorite Lorain County law firm of Stumphauzer & O'Toole sure don't want Anderson as the mayor again. They want to keep good old girl Eileen Bulan.

http://www.morningjournal.com/ge...

And while we're on the subject of sabotaging elections ---- did anybody notice the "timing" on the cases involving the fired Sandusky cops being reinstated and how Tone and Binette publicly chastised the city and the city manager, Nicole Ard? You don't think the "timing" had anything to do with their attorney bud Murray running for Sandusky city commissioner, do ya?

starryeyes83

How many people rock on the clock, I know, where I used to work a supervisor and a qc tech was outside the building doggie style on the clock. Midnight shift.

Needless to say they both got fired and the guy had to go explain to his wife who had just had their firstborn a month prior, why he no longer had a job.

Julie R.

Duh, wait a minute here. Why was somebody poking around a police chief's desk? If his billfold was on his desk, would somebody have the right to poke through that?

Also, DUH ...... didn't the former mayor of Vermilion, Jean Anderson, have to file a lawsuit against the new mayor Eileen Bulan, the city law director Rich Stumphauzer and Stumphauzer's Lorain County law firm (who handles legal issues for the city) after they refused to provide itemized accounts of what the law firm was charging the Vermilion taxpayers? In other words, didn't they say it wasn't any of the taxpayers business? So if it isn't the taxpayers business to know exactly what the law director's Lorain County law firm was charging them for, why would personal items on a police chief's desk be anybody's business?

As an afterthought, why would a police chief let something like that lay around on his desk? Even better, why would somebody ~ obviously a cop ~ take it and give it to the Journal and Register to print? (this is beginning to smell)

SamAdams

Go ahead and put me in the "holy CRAP, that was funny" category, will you?

I agree with the people suggesting that this is just workplace humor, mostly because it IS just workplace humor. If you can pay for seminars on "getting along," and if you can pay for a holiday party, this seems to be a pretty cheap morale booster for the return!

As for me, I have a good time at work even though I DO work. Why? Because we've banned political correctness and refuse to take anything too seriously. We work hard, we put out a really good product. What's it to you what we discuss or what we do otherwise?

As far as I'm concerned, the same thing is true for the police department. Are the phones answered? Are officers dispatched as needed? Are patrols conducted as scheduled? Are the bad guys ticketed or arrested? Then what's it to YOU what they discuss or what they do otherwise? Sorry, chief, that too many people are so busy finding reasons to be offended that their lips are permanently pursed and people like you get to pay for their self-inflicted misery.

bnjjad

Exactly. Same thing in my office. Being "PC" is not even a concern with my coworkers. We know each other well enough that we can say things that would otherwise be frowned upon by some of these pursed lips.

Informed

And some of those things are probably against the law. Especially for those in positions bound by rules of ethics.

bnjjad

Not like I'm blasting it out to anybody. They are my teammates and friends. We know each other. We have fun with each other. If the people who are involved are not taking offense then there is noting wrong with it. Legal ethics laws go too far sometimes. This country is too obsessed with being "PC" that nobody is allowed to say anything without being ridiculed. Bad enough people are discriminated against and treated lower than dirt because of their life styles. Now nobody can say what they want in their own company without a nosy somebody overhearing and taking offense and causing a ruckus for something that doesn't concern them. Freedom of speech is gone if you believe some of that.

This would be a non issue I'd nobody had ever saw itit or he did it on his own conputer. And if nobody saw this until now how is it being unethical? Not like it was freely distributed until the SRag got a hold of it and posted for all to see.

Tired of people hiding behind "ethics". I deal with "ethics" everyday in my job and I have had many classes on them. They stretch to far for those who are too concerned with others lives when they need to think of themselves. These same people who concern themselves with everyone's business for problems like this would NEVER step up and help someone in need. I guarantee that.

bnjjad

Further more, he is a "leader of the community" so he should be held to a higher standard and follow ethics. We didn't have ethics 200+ years ago and if we did we would have the queen on our money instead of leaders of freedom. Just because they are a "leader" does not mean they should not be able to express their own comments or thoughts freely. That is part of the problem in this country, leaders are too afraid to piss off the vocal complainers who call ethics and PC in to question to do anything even if it is for the good of the country/state/county/city.

/endrant

ColdAsIce

ahahahhahahaa hilarious! People on the outside of some jobs have no idea how demented humor can be! I think it's funny AF!

fenderstrat52

Boy, sure beats standing around the 'ole water cooler, trying to solve the world's problems. I guess everybody is HUMAN after all. Has "Animal House" really invaded the VPD? Stay tuned! Same "Bat Time" same "Bat Channel"!

Underdog

That is some funny stuff!!! There must be some good comraderry in the VPD. As far as it being written on govt equipment and therefore theft...get real. These guys spend an outrageous amount of time serving and protecting and you wanna bust there butts over this. It's miserable people that look for things to complain about.

starryeyes83

Ironic that the source is anonymously mailed to the paper.

And then they complain about the usernames on here.

Hmmm, smh.

Julie R.

Ironic is right. I have a gut feeling this was a bit of sabotage done only to get the police chief's derogatory remarks out there about the former Vermilion mayor, Jean Anderson, who is running for mayor again.

2Timothy1-7

Chief Hartung states he wrote it on July 31, 2013, which is the date of the first and only issue. However, the document appears to have been faxed or received by a public office on September 27, 2013. Your gut feeling appears to be correct and it looks like it has Stumphauzer's fingerprints all over it.

Julie R.

This was so unprofessional and juvenile it's pathetic. One would think the people in Vermilion would be embarrassed to have a clown for a police chief like that one. On the other hand, you're right. It not only has Stumphauzer's ~ not to mention mayor Eileen Bulan's ~ fingerprints all over it, it also has the fingerprints of Baxter & Co.

Julie R.

That Lorain County law firm has their fingerprints on a lot of things in corrupt Erie County. The reason the jokes in the county go to great lengths to cover it up is because the jokes in the county have their fingerprints on them, too.

Julie R.

That Lorain County law firm sure did have their fingerprints on that fraudulent transfer of my elderly mother's half to property seven months before her death. So did her Huron attorneys. Considering how a former auditor authorized that sneaky criminal transfer and the former recorder knowingly filed fraud documents ~ not to mention the PROSECUTOR that oversees those offices ~ I would have to say the COUNTY sure did have their greasy fingerprints on it, too.

Darkhorse

BNJJad: It doesn't matter if everyone is doing it, it matters if you are doing it and got caught. Does everyone have to follow the leader?
People need to use common sense which I don't think exist anymore.

Colonel Angus

There are some really uptight see you next Tuesdays around here.

Chief Hartung

A few points to correct.....
1. I have no idea where the page 5 of 9 stuff came from. That was on Jessica's copy from whoever sent it in. This was sent to several different places by different means. I heard about this a few weeks ago from other reporters. Jessica would have to answer that.
2. There is no political involvement. This was a result of an internal matter. This has nothing to do with Mayor Bulan or Jean Anderson or the election.
3. Most every story has a hidden meaning based on an event that occurred. I won't try to defend the content but try and take into consideration there's more to the story than what you read. I don't really think Steve Davis is a jerk. He knows that. The "Hot Sister" comment had nothing to do with his sister and was an entire story by itself.
4. It really did take 15 minutes. Microsoft Publisher has a template for newsletters. There was only about a page worth of writing and the story was already there. Not really a whole lot to it.
5. Whoever said my photo looked like I still has part of the cheeseburger in my mouth, that was funny.
6. My lunch break was in my office. I never indicated I was at home when I wrote this or denied writing it in my office.
7. Any suggestion Ken Stumphauzer was involved in this is pure nonsense.

Julie R.

Are you absolutely certain about 2 & 7, Chief Hartung? After all, I noticed you didn't include your law director or your mayor in your satire piece.

BTW, where did you ever get a Quarter Pounder/w cheese for your lunch break at 8:48 a.m.? I thought McDonald's only served the breakfast menu until 10:00 a.m.

kURTje

Hey Chief just remember: Most don't have a life. Or - "Small town/small minds."

Julie R.

Hey Chief Hartung, one of the complaints about the fired Sandusky police chief Kim Nuesse was how she wasn't keeping Kevin Baxter and Sheriff Lyons informed of secret drug raids.

Just out of curiosity, did you?

meowmix

I still think it was one of the funniest things I've read in a long time! I'll bet he's an absolute riot off the job too!

Julie R.

Good thing Nuesse didn't use the computer at the police station to write satire or the clowns in the county probably would have come up with some idiot charge against her --- like maybe "possession of criminal tools." (i.e. criminal tool: the computer) Wasn't that one of the idiot charges that the county clowns got the disbarred attorney Elsebeth Baumgartner for?

Chief Hartung

Julie R.
1. You failed to notice the "time stamp' was made two months after the letter was written.
2. Kevin Baxter and the Sheriff have nothing to do with me.
3. I have enough respect for Mayor Bulan that if she wanted my resignation, she would only have to ask for it. That makes me positive on 2 and 7.
4. I'm not up to speed on your politics enough to figure out what you were getting at on the last post, so I'll leave that for someone else.

Julie R.

(1.) I didn't fail to notice the time stamp was made two months after the letter was written because, to be honest, I never even read your satire newsletter until today. Also, no offense but I really didn't think it was all that funny.

(2.) What do you mean Baxter and the Sheriff have nothing to do with you? If Sandusky's fired police chief was crucified because she didn't keep Baxter and Lyons informed of secret drug raids, why wouldn't the police chiefs in the rest of Erie County have to do the same thing? Hard to believe there are only secret drug raids in the city of Sandusky.

I also find it odd that first, who would have the nerve to pilfer through a police chief's desk and second, if the person was that offended by it why wouldn't they just send it to your city law director or your mayor instead of sending it to the Journal and Register?

Sorry, but I don't believe it. I stand by what I said --- this was just an unprofessional and juvenile way to get what was said about your mayor's opponent Jean Anderson out there.

fenderstrat52

Julie R., who died and made you Columbo? Fingerprints all over it? Where do you come up with all this "outside the box" thinking and unfounded allegations? Lorain county, Erie county, sabotage, election fraud, must have been this, must have been that. How the hell did a simple "internally" generated document become a "Watergate" type issue with you? If's and But's, If's and But's, could you go a little more to the extreme? I think not. Your opinion is your opinion, but that's all it is. Leave the investigative work to the qualified people Detective!

Pages