<

Get a Grip

You and the Law

Richard S. Allen, Attorney at Law

What’s gone wrong with you people? I come back from vacation and what do I find? Sarah says the Chief of Police and Officer Rynearason drove by her house and …and….pointed! Then someone looked up a license number on the LEIN. Presumably to find out the owner of a car.

Then Tom Koch prattles on about “files” being kept by the police department. Files! From people that can’t write a coherent police report!

Look, there’s no law I know of that prohibits driving on city streets. Especially if you’re a cop and it’s your job to drive on those streets. As for “pointing” the Criminal Code seems to have skipped that horrendous offense. The LEIN is a computer network run by the State Police. It has administrative rules on its use dating back to the days when Troopers were checking out the names and addresses of attractive girls for non-law enforcement reasons. It may get a cop in hot water with the post commander, but it’s not a crime.

Then there’s the ridiculous “investigation” of Chief Miedzianowski starting with a parenting time complaint by an ex-wife. Accusations against cops, judges and lawyers are part of the game. Anyone who gets near the toxic pit of the criminal justice system gets accused at one time or another. It’s expected. But they also expect to have their names cleared without being left twisting in the wind. If everyone feels they have to cover their rears with “investigations,” then get them over with, and do it now. Don’t drag this stuff out. It just gives the crackpots more opportunity shoot off their mouths at the expense of people trying to do their jobs. Whoever is supposed to be in charge of this circus had better show some leadership or quit and let someone else lead.

To spread the criticism around, it’s time for the two newspapers I write for to show some journalistic guts. We don’t have to repeat this kind of stuff. OK, so we’re not the New York Times, but we should do some kind of culling out of half baked accusations. As small town papers we give a forum to anyone who wants to write a Letter to the Editor no matter how off the wall they may be. But that doesn’t mean we should be used to carry out every local vendetta by reporting foolishness as news. Repeating everything you hear is gossip, not reporting.

Summers over and it’s time to move on. Schools started, the Lions are winning, and we’re about to go into the most important political year of our lives. There’s plenty to talk about without being the sounding board for every crank and sorehead with a typewriter and a grudge.

As for the City, get a spine transplant and make a decision. Quit the stalling and buck passing with this endless investigating. If you’ve got some reason to fire your Chief of Police than do it. If you don’t, get off his back and let him do his job.