Brown gets kudos for flubbing police chief search

Matt Westerhold
Nov 16, 2012

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.”



Ms Ard should have been told the truth about what she was getting into before taking this job. I would have thought someone would have told her that she had to deal with a council that didn't always agree, in fact, that most of the time didn't agree.

But with all due respect, Mr Adams, I have yet to see Ms Ard take charge of anything and frankly that is her job. The commissioners actually should realize that. They would have to all agree to fire her and that would really be something. If they can't come to a simple agreement on things, how would you expect them to come to a majority acceptance to fire her for standing up to them when she is doing so for something that is right for the city to better things?

Who did the commissioners fire for "actually trying to manage?" I can't recall anyone who was fired for that one. They got rid of people who were inept, crooked and sneaky, but not one that I can recall who actually did their job.

Ms Ard just needs to show them that she can manage by doing what she was hired to do....manage this city. She doesn't need to OVERRIDE the commissioners, but she does need to guide them when they get out of control as they are now with this chief of police thing. Now would be a good time. If she were to step up and set a deadline, that would be good. Or suggest they get new committee members or something....that would be good. Show some leadership. Show some backbone. I doubt they would fire her. She needs to speak up at the meetings not sit there and say nothing.

Sometimes, you are not given the opportunity to to your job you have to TAKE the opportunity. Perhaps these commissioners need to see that for themselves and learn that she is their equal and better....not their subordinate.

It would be a good lesson for them to learn.

T. A. Schwanger

Actually Wiredmama, the process you recommend is the way Commissioners are assigned to different committees now. However, that does not prevent other Commissioners from questioning the the findings or actions of those committees.

Go to the City's web-site and you will view which Commissioners are on what committee(s).


Mr Schwanger, if that were true, then why do they cross over and stick their noses in each others committees? Why do they not do their jobs? Why does NOTHING get done and why is it that nothing ever gets finished or reported by a single solitary commissioner? Why is nothing ever finished but new things suggested and never completed?

Because the commissioners do NOT follow through, they don't finish what they start, they don't stay within the confines of their own committees or work areas and they don't see things through...that's why. They are too busy watching what everyone else does and not taking care of things they should be doing.

Not ONE thing gets finished that gets started...this police chief matter is a great example of unfinished business that should have been finished. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that with the NUMBER of viable applicants they had they should be able to come up with a minimum of three names to meet the qualifications of the charter....Something is very wrong here. Either the committee itself is being too picky or Mr Brown isn't putting his foot down or Ms Ard needs to put HER foot down. Whatever the problem something needs to be done. It's ridiculous. Just like other things. Nothing gets FINISHED.

I have never seen anything like it before. They should be ashamed of not finishing what they start or starting new things before they move on to anything else. Criss-crossing into each others business, not finishing their own. Constantly sticking their noses into each others committees. Checking up on one another. Discussing what the other is doing all the time. Like spoiled brats.

What a waste of money and time. Questioning is one thing...sticking their noses in other committee members work is another. That is unnecessary and disgraceful conduct. It just isn't done. Enough said.


If Smith thinks Brown is doing a super job, then why are we doing this all over again?


They aren't doing anything over from the sounds of it...just extending things. Even that doesn't seem to be working out. I say this committee isn't doing much of anything and heaven knows they have PLENTY of names from which to draw that DO meet the criteria. Why this is such a problem is beyond me. Makes me wonder what they are thinking.



I wish to recant my previous posting on this site and state that I just read the 17 page report given online by the SR. What a revealing thing that is.

Never ever again will I trust what I read on conflicting reports from this newspaper. Sorry, Matt, but it seems that this report sheds an entirely different light on things than what your paper has been "hinting' at with this police chief search.

It is, in fact, a vindication for Mr. Brown and his committee. It shows not only that, but also shows that Ms Cole and Mr Poole's allegations were unfounded and unwarranted which bothers me to no end. To accuse a fellow council member WITHOUT proper grounds is really something that makes me sick to my stomach. Not only was it unnecessary, it cost this city time, money and a great deal of difficulty. There should be some answers to some hard questions when this is over.

It is obvious that the charter needs to be re-written into something that people can more readily understand and that is less vague in its wording. Everyone is screaming about following that charter, which even the investigator finds vague. Fine. They will follow the guidelines and he pretty much laid them out for the committee.

They really should not have much to do after this. It does not appear that this is a "botched" up as we were all lead to believe , nor is it as fouled up or bad as what we were all lead to believe.

I, for one, intend to apologize to Mr. Brown personally. I suggest many do the same. I also intend to thank the committee.

I hope they get the job done soon and that Ms Ard can make up her mind quickly. I understand she hasn't a lot of "friends" on that commission as well. Perhaps that is a big problem for her too. Maybe the commissioners need to be put in their places or just plain need to be removed if they cannot play nice and well with others. This is getting tiresome.

Good luck to the committee. Good luck to Ms Ard. Some of us out here will be watching with baited breath and we have your back. Go for it.