A lot of people are questioning the recently announced $77K severance package for fired Ogden City Police Chief Jon Greiner. Even for a normal layoff, managers at Greiner's level in private industry would not get anything near that generous, and usually get nothing when fired for cause.
Unfortunately, this represents a small portion of the cost of Greiner's violation of the Hatch Act to Ogden city taxpayers. Utah Risk Management Mutual Association, the insurer who paid the $293,018 for Greiner's unsuccessful defense, is scheduled to be reimbursed by the city over the next five years. Not to mention five years' salary at $154,600 per year. During difficult economic times, Ogden cannot afford such a waste of money.Mr. Greiner was warned repeatedly when he announced his campaign for State Senate in 2006 that he was violating the law, but he and his supporters forged ahead anyway because they disagreed with the law. This reaction is odd. Mention the word "immigration" to most of Mr. Greiner's Republican supporters, and the first thing out of their mouths is, "It's the law! The law must be respected and enforced!" Do we detect a double standard?
Even if the Hatch Act needs modification, Greiner's case is a poster child for why we need conflict of interest laws. Simple common sense, not to mention the Constitutional principle of separation of powers, leads to the
conclusion that the police chief of Northern Utah's premier city should not be simultaneously enforcing and making the laws.
We honor Mr. Greiner contributions as a law enforcement officer, but he should have concentrated on his job as Ogden police chief and left the making of laws to others. Hopefully this serves as a lesson to our Republican friends that they need to respect the nation's conflict of interest laws, even if they disagree with them.
Weber County Democrats