Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dial "M" for "Moneypenny"

I was asked at a luncheon today, "what's going on with Akron's Police Chief?"

I wish I had a good answer ... but the odd thing now 72 hours after Marco Sommerville's city council sucker punch is that for everything that was said, what wasn't said has created quite a lot of uncertainty.

Follow me here:

Marco didn't really lay out why he wants Chief Michael Matualvich gone now .. he just said he wants the chief to resign.

Meanwhile, Matulavich really didn't scream that he wants to keep the job .. he just said that he intends to fulfill the one year remaining on his contract.

Meanwhile, Akron's FOP President, Paul Hlynsky, went on the radio saying that he respects the chief but didn't really send a vote of confidence that he would go to war to keep Matulavich ... Nor have any other police groups for that matter ..

Meanwhile, Mayor Plusquellic was asked at his weekly news conference to give his thoughts on Marco's comments. Plusquellic spoke softly for a while .. but eventually segued into comments that Hlynsky has "crucified" him for his decisions and just wants city hall to hire more cops all the time (and while that may be a valid argument, the mayor wasn't asked about any of that .. he was asked about Marco's comments). In the end, the Mayor didn't seem to support either his council president or his chief .. and remember, it was Plusquellic who chose and appointed Matulavich in 2000.

So again .. where does it all stand tonight? I guess I don't know what the "M" boys are telling us ..

Marco wants change ...
Matulavich wants an apology (I think) ...
Mayor wants some creativity brought to the department ...

Hmmmmmmm ... so it's no wonder people are asking me, "what's going on with the Chief?"

One bit of insight I will pass along ... several veteran officers are convinced (and have been for a while) that it's another "M" that's waiting in the wings ... and that Garry Moneypenny's appointment as Chief Deputy with the Summit County Sheriff's Office is really a grooming process to bring him in as Akron's next chief a year from now.

I can see where they draw that theory. The Mayor and Moneypenny have a great deal of respect for one another and get along well .. and Moneypenny was well-liked as a veteran police officer in Springfield and also during his tenure as an Akron councilman. From the outside he'd be a good fit; on the inside, that would remain to be seen considering the department has a history of promoting from within.

To assume that's it's all been planned that way takes an Oliver Stone screenplay though as Drew Alexander certainly sees Moneypenny's value to the SO and who knows? maybe Drew sees Garry as his successor?

Again, Michael Matulavich is a 40-year veteran and under contract for another year .. so it's a moot point and pure speculation to consider anyone else to lead the department. Still, the rank and file are already doing that .. and I doubt city hall would deny or say publicly that Gary Moneypenny won't be the next chief.

But one thing appears clear from "M" boys this week .. all of them see a new chief in place 12 months from now.

No comments: