How does nepotism happen in City Hall?

Either we have rules and policies, or we don’t. It seems there are two types of people who work for our city- honest, hard-working qualified types- and those on the “friends and family” plan.

I’ve written about the cronyism before. I’ve written about the patronage jobs. I’ve questioned how some families seem to be entirely on the city payroll, and nothing changes. No outcry, no investigations, no examination of qualifications. I get anonymous calls about hiring of people without testing or even posting of the jobs. I know of “contract” workers who get a nice check without having any real accountability, and I’ve known about this for a while- the lawsuit by former IT head for the City, Bill Hill- for wrongful termination, after he was forced to hire Rashad Young’s grandfather who turns out to be into kiddie porn:

before he left to take a job in Cincinnati in 2002, Young was named acting assistant city manager. Hill claims Young urged him to hire his step-grandfather, Charles Evans, as deputy director of ITS, according to the lawsuit. Hill acted on Young’s suggestion….

Problems escalated when Hill issued a reprimand to Evans for violation of the city’s sick leave policy.

“Evans exploded in response, accused Hill of being a racist, indicated he would take the matter to his grandson, and threatened that Hill’s employment would be terminated …,” according to the lawsuit….

Federal investigators entered the fray in 2006 seizing computers, disc drives, VCR tapes, compact discs and DVDs from Evans’ office and home. He pleaded guilty in United States District Court in 2008 to one count of possession of child pornography.

via City pays $145,000 in bias case.

Because of the hiring of someone on the “friends and family plan” we have a lawsuit, a bunch of legal fees (which were probably 3x the cost of the settlement) a department in turmoil, a perception of incompetence, and to top it off, the taxpayers now get to pay the settlement costs- which would have kept 2 police officers on the streets next year.

It’s time for a full-out examination of every hire on the city payroll. It’s time to not only terminate people who were hired for whom they know, but to terminate the people who hired them. It’s time for a professional management team to step up and start acting like professionals, because frankly, we can’t afford any more of these lawsuits or settlement payouts.

It’s also time for the city to stop sandbagging with legal maneuvers on the illegal firing of city traffic signal electrician Victor Pate who was wrongfully terminated for moving to Jefferson Township when the residency rules were overturned. The cost of the outsourced lawyers by far exceeds the cost of paying Mr. Pate back his lost salary and benefits.

Real professionals own up to their mistakes and do the right thing. Apparently we don’t have them running city hall. Rashad Young, you are not missed. The citizens of Dayton should be suing Young to recover the settlement costs of this case. An investigation should take place on how Evans was hired, and if it is determined that Young broke hiring rules, his pension should be at risk. It’s time to start setting examples, and this might be a good place to start.

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