Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Livesay’s quandary...

To resign or not to resign: that is the question facing Police Chief Wayne Livesay after he filed as a candidate for the District 5 council seat. Although it is not against the law for a police chief to run for office, some worry about him serving duel roles.

"The bottom-line question is, will the influence of campaign money affect the way he performs his job?" said Bobbie Walton, executive director of Common Cause Maryland. "The fact that he has the ability to arrest people and even put them in jail creates more of a concern."
And more.
I am sure that Chief Livesay is a standup guy, despite some recent issues in the department.

Despite what the County Code says, I think that now he is a registered candidate (despite my feelings about his choice of parties) it would serve him and the County best to resign from the police department.

Any appearance of impropriety…
Others are less concerned.
Guy Guzzone (D-Southeast County) said that Livesay would likely face increased public scrutiny to make sure he is "not using his position to further his political goals." But Guzzone said he trusted Livesay to act appropriately.

"In terms of a conflict of interest, that may or may not be there in people's minds," Guzzone said. "All I know is that I have a lot of respect for the man and confidence that he will move forward in a dignified and proper manner. . . . It's all about behaviors. It's not about perceptions."
If forced to choose, I would side with Guzzone. It’s not illegal and being a candidate is far different than getting elected. Also, I think we’ve let the whole “appearance of impropriety” thing go a little too far and now its erroding our trust in everything and everyone.

But, if Livesay’s opponents suddenly end up in jail…well, then we’ll have to reevaluate.

Livesay was to meet with County Executive James Robey to discuss the matter today. We’ll probaly know shortly what comes out of that.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for making "Hay" out of this. Here is the concern about Chief Livesay running and wearing the Chief hat. If I am a business owner in Howard county that has had repeated problems with my establishment being broken into and robbed do I get priority treatment from the Chief if I write a check? And is this fair to anyone who pays taxes and should have a right to equal police protection? Its a question that must be asked and its the reason why you don't see other police chiefs running for office - this is an inherent conflict and its interesting that the "Sun" doesn't seem to care!

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