The incoming Toledo mayor and soon-to-be former police chief butted heads again Tuesday, this time over announcing key personnel changes for the next administration.
Mayor-elect D. Michael Collins accused Chief Derrick Diggs of obstructing a smooth transition to his administration and making it difficult for the new police chief by not approving a notice announcing the promotion of two deputy chiefs and the demotion of a current deputy chief.
“I am disappointed that the current administration is resisting the changes that will be taking place in 2014,” Mr. Collins said. “Creating unnecessary acrimony is unfortunate.”
Mr. Collins was a police officer for nearly three decades before he was elected a district city councilman.
“I have not heard of obstruction like this in my entire career with the police department,” he said.
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Chief Diggs announced his resignation earlier this month, which cleared the way for Mr. Collins to promote Lt. William Moton as the chief of police effective at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
Chief Diggs, who cited “irreconcilable differences” in policing philosophies with Mr. Collins as a reason for his resignation, said the personnel notice was rescinded because it did not follow department protocol, not because he wants to obstruct the Collins administration’s transition.
“It was rescinded because it wasn’t properly authorized,” the chief said. “It did not come to me directly. I had no knowledge about it. I am the chief of police, and personnel orders are initiated at the police department by the chief.”
Chief Diggs said he did not know who ordered the notice but added: “If Lieutenant Moton wants to make a personnel order, he has to do so as the chief of police.”
Lieutenant Moton could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Mr. Collins, who will be sworn in Thursday, acknowledged that neither he nor Lieutenant Moton have the authority yet to order changes.
The mayor-elect wanted a promotion ceremony to occur at 9 a.m. Friday, which necessitated Chief Diggs approving the order Tuesday.
“Because today is the last business day of the city of Toledo, the chief will remain the chief until the end of business on Jan. 2,” Mr. Collins said.
The rescinded order stated Lieutenant Moton would be chief of police, Capt. George Kral would become a deputy chief and serve as assistant chief; Capt. James O’Bryant would become a deputy chief, and Deputy Chief Diana Ruiz-Krause would be demoted to the rank of captain.
Chief Diggs said he authorized a separate notice that Lieutenant Moton would be promoted to chief effective Friday.
Lieutenant Moton, 68, is the oldest officer on the department, and his retirement is necessitated in about a year by the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. Mr. Collins said the short-term appointment will allow time for a younger command officer to be mentored by the lieutenant as a natural successor.