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Published: Wednesday, 6/4/2014

Meeting of Sykes, unions is sought

Ministers want to mediate

Sykes Sykes
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Leaders of the Interdenominational Ministerial Association want to facilitate a meeting between Councilman Larry Sykes and the unions calling for his resignation.

“We would love to be more of a mediator,” said the Rev. Cedric Brock, president of the religious group that represents 60 Toledo churches. “We’re just trying to bring peace to this resolution.”

The comments came hours after the Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association, at the forefront of seeking Mr. Sykes’ resignation, again urged city council to take action.

“Basically, we’re asking his colleagues to take action against him,” said Dan Wagner, president of the police union. “His arrogance has superseded his ability to lead the city.”

In April, Mr. Sykes sent a letter to police Chief William Moton claiming he’d been “profiled” by two police officers.

In May, after an internal police investigation, the allegations were deemed “unfounded.” Since, the police union and others have publicly stated the councilman should resign.

Tuesday, Mr. Wagner, via interoffice mail, sent an eight-page letter to council outlining six “charges” that he said should be levied against Mr. Sykes: dishonesty, abuse of authority in dealing with the public, violation of the city charter — council member shall not interfere with administration, violation of the city charter, chapter 8, section 180, violation of state law which disallows for knowlingly filing false complaints against a police officer, and conduct unbecoming.

Mr. Wagner said he expects to hear from council within days, but if not, the union will go to the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office and ask for a special prosecutor to investigate.

Mr. Wagner also asked council to amend the section of the city charter that deals with the recall of elected officials. Currently, such officials cannot be recalled in their first year of service. Mr. Sykes was elected in November.

“We’re sincere and his actions need to be disciplined,” Mr. Wagner said.

Mr. Sykes apologized to the police department after the officers were cleared. Since, Mr. Sykes has said repeatedly — and did again Tuesday — that he is moving on and declined to comment.

“We’re just praying for the situation,” Pastor Brock said. “We’re praying there will be healing on both sides.”

Staff writer Ignazio Messina contributed to this report.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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