Credibility of leadership, City of Dayton style

As a City Commissioner, I wouldn’t be writing this. I would however be calling an executive session to discuss the conduct of a manager with the City Manager. It’s not the drunk driving that concerns me, although, I believe drunk driving to be one of the most underrated felonies, it’s the actions both of the City employee after the crash, and the questions of credibility as to the reaction of the city. If the man has to have a license to have the job, then he should be on un-paid leave until the matter is resolved, or accept a position that does not require a license.

Here’s the meat of the DDN story:

(Thomas J. Ritchie Jr.), the city’s waste collection manager arrested in May for drunken driving has been allowed to keep his license by a judge who has since been voluntarily removed from the case.

(his) license is classified as “suspended” by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles after he registered a blood-alcohol level of .153 during a May arrest.

Dayton Municipal Court Judge Dennis J. Greaney, who was assigned Ritchie’s case, said he reinstated Ritchie’s license after his attorney made the request while entering a not guilty plea on May 20.

As part of his job description, Ritchie, 40, must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license, city spokesman Tom Biedenharn said.

Greaney, a Democrat on the bench since 2006, said on Aug. 14 he asked to be removed from the case.

A visiting judge has since been assigned the case.

Greaney said he made the request because he personally knows and received campaign contributions from Ritchie and his father, Tom Ritchie Sr. — a local labor union field organizer and board member for the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Ritchie’s attorney, Terry Posey, said his client has been allowed to drive without restriction, but is not driving city vehicles.

Ritchie was arrested about 3 a.m. May 18 after he crashed his 1998 Ford Explorer into a concrete wall at Wayne and Wilmington avenues, according to police reports.

A Breathalyzer test showed Ritchie’s blood-alcohol level at .153 — nearly twice the legal limit — at the time of his arrest.

In his written statement to police, Ritchie said he had been drinking, but a friend named “Tony” offered to drive him home.

Ritchie said Tony fled on foot after the crash and he was trying to chase him.

A witness to the crash said he watched Ritchie try to drive away from the accident, but the truck was immobilized.

From the driver’s seat, Ritchie tossed a beer bottle from the vehicle and fled the scene on foot, according to the witness’ statement.

A woman who recognized Ritchie as the driver, found him nearby in the parking lot of 10 Wilmington Place and told him to return to his truck, the witness said.

Ritchie returned and was arrested for failure to control and operating a vehicle under the influence.

Ohio OVI laws state that first-time DUI offenders must immediately forfeit their license, which could be suspended six months to three years upon conviction….

Ritchie has not been disciplined by the city, Biedenharn said.

via City’s trash chief keeps his license after OVI arrest.

Because Tom Ritchie Sr. is a political power broker in Dayton, and a contributor to every member of the current City of Dayton Commission’s campaign funds, it’s no wonder this hadn’t made it into the paper sooner. This, unfortunately, is how we do things in Dayton. Overlook it as long as possible.

How is Mr. Ritchie performing his job without a license? How can he continue to work without driving city vehicles? And, most importantly- how can a man who allegedly runs from the scene of a crime, lies and then allows a prejudiced judge rule, still be in a position of authority in an organization serving the public?

I expect more from people who work for us. You should to.

The public trust is not negotiable in my book. To bad, Judge Greaney doesn’t see it that way, nor does current city leadership.

Your thoughts (esp. since the DDN closed comments on this)…?

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14 Comments on "Credibility of leadership, City of Dayton style"

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Jennifer Alexander
Jennifer Alexander

So both Dems on the Montgomery County BOE Board…have family that drink & drive & act like asses when they get caught & don’t seem to be treated the same as average Joe Citizen when it comes to facing the punishment of the crime???


It’s common for a judge to stay the Administrative Suspension until the case goes to court, when, if convicted of DUI or a similar offense, the suspension is reinstated. That said, this particular judge should have removed himself from the case immediately, and Ritchie is a scumbag.

The city is reacting as my own company does; once you have been charged with a DUI or DUI-related offense, you are prohibited from operating any vehicle on behalf of the company (we differ from the city here, we prohibit business use of your personal vehicle; if operated on company business you are our liability) until your case has been decided in court. If convicted, it’s a 3-year disqualification from operating any motor vehicle on behalf of the company, and we don’t acknowledge “can drive for work” privileges that the court may approve.


Without insulting the Ritchies, I know what would happen to me if I were arrested for being drunk, crashing, and leaving the scene.  I would be unemployed.  I detest Dayton’s double dealing.  If you support those in power seems you always find a soft place to fall.  Shame on the city, and shame on DDN for not turning on the comments.  They sure do when it is a policeman or firefighter accused of ANYTHING.  Guess they don’t contribute to campaigns much.


A little bit of Appalachian corruption and good-0ld-boyism in the heart of the urban midwest.  I love this stuff.  Note that Ritiche Jr is the head of the saniation dept.  Ritchie Sr is the political big dog.   Gee, wonder how Ritichie Jr got that job.

Joe Rusty

What a sham, Tom Ritchie should have immediately resigned from the Board of Elections, not because he was OVI, everyone makes stupid mistakes and he made one that night. He should resign because he did a second stupid thing, one can be forgiven, two-time to pay the piper, he fled the scene of an accident and only returned after being confronted by a witness. The Dennis and Tom show and BOE should be over. Let’s not forget about Dennis’ tax issues.


But would the talented Redchief, the writer, ever drink drunk is the true question here.

NO, So if Redchief does not, no one should.

He was a Demo-rat anyhow, 86 him…………

go clones…


Mr Ritchie Jr. must have thought his postion was the city’s wasted collection manager!

Gone From Dayton
Gone From Dayton

Like I have, you really should investigate the criminal record of Housing Inspector John P. Syx aka Jack Syx.  Same thing.  Arrested and convicted by jury of OVI, still drove a city vehicle for his job while on suspension.  Conviction overturned (2010) on appeal and heading back to Dayton Municipal for another trial (June 2011).  He now has a new lawyer.  A lot of records are available through the Mont. Co. Clerk’s online records system because of the appeal.  Some are available through Dayton Muni Court.

Was driving a city vehicle AFTER arrest AND conviction of OVI.

I can’t go public w/my name because Jack is a very dangerous man who has already threatened me during a city meeting.

Jeff Dziwulski
Jeff Dziwulski

I love this stuff.  Dayton:  Briar Babylon.   Where’s Buford Pusser and his big stick?

John W.

Tom Ritchie Sr. is part of what the local democrats call the “redneck mafia”.  BOE director Harsman hires the family members of local labor union mafia members if “Don Ritchie” aproves it and in return BOE board member Ritchie lets him get away with, well, everything.  Current county clerk of court Brush was hooked up with his democrat party endorsment by Ritchie and got the campaign funds to win his election only through the blessing of the local “redneck mafia” leadership according to a source at the BOE.  More information is starting to leak again from the BOE FYI, the Directors there are as dirty as you get.