Wednesday, September 23, 2015

City Manager addresses Pocomoke regarding Sewell Termination

An Open Response to Emails re the Termination of Pocomoke City Police Chief 
Please allow me to provide a general response to all those from across the State, as well as from Pocomoke City, who have sent the form email to our City Clerk regarding the termination of employment of our former Chief of Police. I will address the points raised by paragraph as presented in the emails.
1. The characterization of the “firing as “unlawful” is a matter of legal opinion, and has been expressed without knowledge of the facts; which facts the City is prohibited by law from providing. I will say this – no one has been fired, disciplined, etc. on the basis of race, or for filing an EEOC claim, or for assisting others in filing an EEOC claim. I am often surprised that folks want to jump to conclusions because someone else says it is so, rather than waiting for the process to play out. Believe me; if it were legal to tell you why Chief Sewell was fired, I would be first in line to do so. You might also ask yourself this question, if the City is so racially negative and motivated, how is it that Chief Sewell ever became the City’s first African-American chief? Also, the statistics do not support the claim that crime is down overall in Pocomoke City. Although acceptance in the community is a significant factor, being a Chief of Police requires more than just being popular in any community.
2. The only type of meeting where a discussion of an employee’s performance and action to be taken is at an administrative function or closed session. Although a technical violation of the Act may have occurred (not admitting same), the notice to be provided, again as provided by law, would and could not have named Chief Sewell. That is part of the protection offered all employees when it comes to personnel matters.
3. On a personnel matter, it was not necessarily so that a vote was required to be taken in public, only that it be reported. Everyone is aware that the vote was 4-1, with Councilwoman Downing the only vote opposed to the termination. The law does not permit the “explanation” referred to in the emails. To “explain” would be to “reveal.” We simply cannot join the public into the personnel matter process. Why there is the continuing doubt over this proposition is beyond me.
4. Regarding the issue of asking media to leave the room, the Mayor has many times, contritely, taken responsibility for his mistake. I note that the email notes that “hundreds” of citizens came to express concerns. If you heard the Mayor, he asked some media to leave to make room for the citizens. Not a legal excuse, but a well-intentioned motivation.
5. I, too, stand for transparency in the government process. I have provided many government clients over the years with open meetings, public information, and ethics training. My contract and resume will soon be posted on our web page. Although I was not employed by the City at the times these actions were taken, I am satisfied that the firing of Chief Sewell was warranted and legal, and was not done in violation of his, or anyone’s, rights. I trust that the public will give Chief Harden an opportunity to move us forward.
Ernie Crofoot.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see that our Mayor and Council have taken steps to restore these positions by hiring Mr Crofoot and Chief Hardin.
Mr Hardin is a true professional whom I had the opportunity to work with when he was in Princess Anne, absolutely what Pocomoke Police need and I assure them he will get things straightened out. He is a no nonsense player. Get your affairs in order, do whats right or look for a job, that's my advice to the Officers.
Mr Crofoot is also a no nonsense player whom I am familiar with from Caroline County. He too is great for the town.
Look up folks, things are gonna be much better once these two get working hand in hand.

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering how long before a light bulb goes off in some's heads and they figure out that the elected officials and other government employees can not legally discuss a former employee's termination or employment record.
They act like this is unique to Pocomoke or something.
Every time I hear them say at a council meeting they 'want answers' all I can think is 'duh, what are you simple or something?
Enough already, it's getting old. They are acting like a bunch of children.
As supposed men of God (and I say supposed because The Word seems to have escaped them) the Bible has many quotes and verses on the virtues of patience. A real man of God does not pick and choose which parts of the Bible they want to follow. They talk the talk and more importantly THEY WALK THE WALK.

Romans 8:25~But if we hope for what we do not see, WE WAIT FOR IT WITH PATIENCE.

"WAIT FOR IT WITH PATIENCE! Patience never means accusatory confrontation.

Philippians 4:6~Do NOT be anxious about ANYTHING, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Anonymous said...

I am proud of the Pocomoke mayor and council for selecting Ernie Crofoot as city manager. His accomplishments are many and his experience is vast. I had never heard of Mr Crofoot before but took the time to investigate and no one can ever say that the best person wasn't picked for the job.

Anonymous said...

If the good reverends, pastors, preachers whatever you call them spent half as much time on being real religious leaders as they did on this nonsense crime just maybe would take a drastic decline.
The young "ladies" need to be told to keep their pants up and the young "gentlemen" to keep their zippers zipped! It's that simple.
Too many babies being born in sinful unions with losers and criminals who have no desire to be fathers. In and out of jail not paying for the children and not being in their lives on a consistant basis. when they are, the baby daddies acting like gangsta's with their idiot music and ghetto trash mouths. Kid's as young as 3 running around saying the N-word-real classy and yes I have heard this! The little girls then go on to make more babies they can't support and the little boys thugs-yes I said it-Thugs!
Citzens group would best be served by going in the neighborhoods telling mothers and father if they are even around to throw out the devil's music the youth listen to and not allow it in the home. Stop letting the kids associate with kids whose parents are criminals and who have no moral values.
Crime is a result of the absence of the tradional family and it's not no police chief or polices job to reduce crime. It's the parents job to make sure their kids aren't grown up to be criminals and it's the religious leaders job to tell this to their flock.