MIDDLETOWN’S JOKE OF A SELECTION PROCESS FOR POLICE CHIEF

Rarely does The Shad express an opinion of the goings-on in a particular town. I tend to stick with state or national issues so as to interest all readers. But in the case of the nomination of Patrick McMahon for police chief by Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, all state residents should take note. It’s a lesson on how one elected official—Giuliano—can make an absolute farce of a selection process for a very important position.

Let’s stipulate that The Shad is not a resident of Middletown and therefore has limited standing on the issue. However, I do visit the cool, kind of eclectic town often. And I care about governmental process throughout the state. In Middletown’s case, the joke of a nomination process calls into question the credibility of the mayor and the authority of police chief.

Guiliano convened three separate panels to recommend a candidate for the top law enforcement position in town: one made up of law enforcement officials and two of residents. The third chose a candidate other than McMahon. Giuliano then said he needed to include the work of the second panel in his decision. One could logically conclude the mayor would have convened panel after panel until he could justify the selection of McMahon. What was supposed to be a process to include expert and community input ended up being exactly the opposite. Giuliano knew who he wanted (McMahon) and was going to nominate him regardless of the input. Giuliano seems ready to name McMahon “acting chief” indefinitely should the common council reject McMahon’s nomination. That would be the ultimate slap in the face to town residents who footed the bill for the recommendation panel’s work.

Giuliano should remember he is an elected official who is supposed to serve the people of the town not a baron of his own personal fiefdom.