Such a strange story developing around here, about a small town in one of the metro counties — only one square mile and home to fewer than 300 souls — has nearly 150 auxiliary reserve officers. The answer is fairly straightforward: The chief sells an auxiliary-reserve badge to any number of wealthy “supporters” in exchange for big donations of cash, not into his own pocket, but to the department and the village, where the money makes up a substantial portion of the municipal budget.
In exchange, the donors get a special police clearance that allows them to carry weapons into places that even permit holders can’t take them, including bars, casinos and stadiums. It’s a very mutual back-scratching sort of arrangement, but a local bar owner decided the chief was a bully and sued to get the list of auxiliaries released via a FOIA request. The release was this week, which brought the comedy to a whole new level:
With several news agencies trying to learn the names of auxiliary police officers in Oakley, one of the state’s leading First Amendment lawyers joined the fray.
But the attorney, Herschel Fink, didn’t want the names revealed. He wanted them kept secret.
Even more surprising was the reason.
Fink, who is one of the auxiliary officers, told village officials releasing the names could expose the officers to harm from ISIS, the radical Islamic group that has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.
Oops, I sprained my eyes. Fink, by the way, is the Free Press’ lawyer. Note he is low in their story, and the lead in the News’. Snicker.
The whole thing put me in mind of the New Rome police scandal in Ohio, which we discussed here many years ago. It’s a reminder that whatever you can say about big-city corruption, small towns can match it dollar for dollar.
Real America. Don’t you love it?
I see some of you were discussing the Curt Schilling story yesterday. I read the blog in question, and had the same feeling as some of you, i.e., this man may be a jerk, but he’s right about this. (Someone explain the name of his blog, though; what is the significance of 38 pitches?) I note one of the young morons who said rude things about his daughter was a radio guy, in the sense that he has a show on the community-college radio station, for one whole hour a week.
Now, I know our own Julie Robinson’s father was a radio guy, but with the exception of him and a few public-station dudes, well, all I can say is: I am not surprised. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, at al — you think these guys got into radio via public-policy think tanks? No. They were disgusting radio guys who decided their opinions need to be shared with the world. When I worked briefly at WOWO in Fort Wayne, I saw things on their bulletin board that would have gotten you horsewhipped at my own office.
If this kid is capable of learning and growth, he’ll absorb this setback and move into the big world that does not include radio.
Not much more bloggage today. You guys?