By Charles Sercombe
And the new police chief is … ah, no one.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, a proposed appointment of Lt. Ron Mathias to become Hamtramck’s next police chief met a resounding wall of … silence.
As in, no one on council even offered a motion to accept the appointment, which was proposed by City Manager Bill Cooper, who just happened to not be at the meeting because he’s on vacation this week.
Heck, not even Lt. Mathias was on hand.
It’s unclear what the non-action means, or whether this appointment is dead in the water. Sources who spoke off the record said the council wants to first discuss the matter with the city manager.
Reached by phone, Mathias declined to comment, saying “as an employee, it would be inappropriate for me to comment.”
Those involved in the appointment admitted beforehand that this appointment was not going to be easy.
Mathias is considered damaged goods by some on the council because he was named in a lawsuit two years ago for discriminating against an African-American police officer.
He was also accused of using the “N” word.
Mathias, who has been on the force for over 20 years, denied the allegations. However, the city agreed to settle the lawsuit rather than go through a lengthy court battle – and inevitably a costly one, too.
Fortunately for the city, it only cost $50,000. That’s the deductable in the city’s insurance deal.
The insurance company dished out $330,000.
While city officials figure out who will be the next police chief, City Manager Cooper will continue as Acting Chief.