Albion mayor jumped to conclusions with possible overpayments to police
I attended the most recent village board meeting, Oct. 26, in the village of Albion. I asked a few questions, mostly directed towards the mayor.
The mayor definitely mislead board members and the taxpayers into believing that it was necessary to hire a firm to do an “audit” of the last police contract signed by both parties. The contract was negotiated in good faith. There was no intentional misleading involved at all.
The mayor spent thousands of dollars hiring an agency to conduct, what he calls, an audit. Then, he spent more money on attorney fees? The report came back that the village overpaid the police by over $200,000 over the past five years.
However, it turns out that this was not an audit at all, but only a report based on information given only by the mayor. And to make things worse, the mayor went to the press before even talking with the police union, current and past board members to possibly figure out a solution to a so-called problem. Huge mistake.
As I said back a few months ago, “the mayor will have egg on his face.” And that is coming to fruition as we speak. The village attorney admitted that the counsel for both the police union and the village were currently negotiating a settlement agreement.
Mr. Mayor, make sure you have all the facts before you jump to conclusions.
To the Village Board, please don’t ever mess with public safety. We are the public and we want to feel safe.
Thomas K. O’Hearn, retired lieutenant Albion Police Department