By JIM LINCOLN
At Monday’s Tecumseh City Council meeting, Kilbuck Street resident William Shell asked why the city was not being “transparent” regarding information on three Tecumseh Police officers who were recently disciplined as a result of an intoxicated sheriff deputy arrested last February for OWI.
The city has not released the names or disciplinary action taken against the three officers.
The issue stems from an incident on Feb. 27, 2010, when Tecumseh Police officer Darrin Briggs drove Lenawee County Sheriff Deputy Kelley McCrate home from the Tecumseh Plaza. McCrate was stopped at the plaza where he registered a BAL (blood alcohol level) of .19. Approximately 90 minutes later, the deputy was involved in an accident on Matthews Hwy. Two other Tecumseh police officers, Troy Stern and Chad Rogers, responded to the accident, according to the Feb. 27 police report.
“It’s odd,” Shell said of the silence regarding the issue. “They’re public employees. Why is this shrouded in mystery?”
Mayor Harvey Schmidt said there are still issues to be resolved. “We are not at liberty to discuss,” he said.
Shell said if it were anybody else it would be made public, but because the police did it, “it’s hidden behind a cloud.”
City Manager Kevin Welch said, “It is an employer-employee situation, and some things I can’t make public.” Attorneys have recommended withholding information, according to Welch
“Is council comfortable with this?” Shell asked.
“I am comfortable,” Schmidt responded. “We have employees going through a grievance process.”
City Attorney Laura Schaedler said the officers did not commit a crime, and said labor laws are now protecting them.