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Hiring of former police chief was a good decision

Much has been said about the return of former Hamtramck Police Chief Max Garbarino.
Recently, a divided city council agreed to bring Garbarino back, but this time as a liaison officer for the police department.
The vote caused controversy for a couple of reasons. First off, three of the councilmembers who supported his return are lame ducks who are about to be out of office in a few weeks.
But, we have it on good authority that the three council-elect members were also in support of rehiring Garbarino. Plus, Mayor Karen Majewski and Councilmember Fadel Al-Marsoumi, who are not leaving office, voted in favor of Garbarino.
Another reason for the controversy is the manner in which Garbarino was brought back. The resolution and contract for his return was a last-minute addition to the city council meeting from a couple of weeks ago.
We agree that appearing to ramrod a resolution through casts doubt and suspicion. As the phrase goes, “bad optics.”
The other reason some are against the rehiring is because Garbarino was forced out of his previous job as police chief by former City Manager Katrina Powell.
The reason, or reasons, for his departure are mysterious since it all was never explained, and there is also a gag order preventing Garbarino and the city from talking about the details of his firing, or forced resignation, or whatever you want to call it.
We’re not going to rehash this strange episode. But we do know one thing for sure: Garbarino was well-liked among the immigrant community during his tenure here.
He reached out to those communities, and made real connections.
That’s a skill which is badly needed in this city. We are confident that this bond will continue, and that the concerns raised by our ethnic communities will be better addressed.
Communication in this town is everything. Garbarino’s hiring was a good decision.
We wish Max Garbarino the best.
Dec. 13, 2019

14 Responses to Hiring of former police chief was a good decision

  1. Dennis Nowak

    December 14, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    “…….there is a gag order preventing Garbarino and the city from talking about the details of his firing.”

    Really.

    What judge issued the “gag order”? I do not recall any court case ever filed regarding the “administrative leave” that caused Max to be escorted out of City Hall.

    Katrina Powell also claimed that the severance agreement with Max allowed the City of Hamtramck to disclose the reasons for his leave in the event he re-applied for work with the city.

    Max now claims – publicly for the first time – in an interview with WXYZ-TV that he received six months in salary as severance pay when he left the City of Hamtramck in 2016.

    At the last City Council meeting City attorney James Allen told City Council that the parties to the negotiated severance agreement were free to amend the terms thereof at any time. So why not amend that severance agreement to permit release to the public of the details why Katrina Powell placed him on administrative leave?

    Max should be the first one to want to disclose the records substantiating the circumstances around being placed on administrative leave. This would help alleviate the cloud that has hung over him since his departure as chief of police.

    There are many in the city who respected Katrina Powell and believe she cared only of advancing the city’s best interests when placing Max on administrative leave; they
    will not buy Max’s claims of Powell’s acts being “political” until proof of the actual grounds are made public to support Max’s assertions.

  2. Oh Wow

    December 16, 2019 at 8:59 am

    “The other reason some are against the rehiring is because Garbarino was forced out of his previous job as police chief by former City Manager Katrina Powell.”

    I expect the review to be accurate. This statement is completely false and the Review knows it. Even if you believe bringing him back is the correct thing for the city to do at least be truthful and stop the spin.

    Max was not forced out. He voluntarily resigned. In fact he is the one that approached the city about resigning. He volunteered to resign as long as the city stopped the investigation. Which the city did then he resigned as he said he would.

    Please explain how he was forced out?

    The real question the Review needs to ask is what was he hiding? If he did nothing wrong why volunteer to resign as long as the investigation is ended.

  3. ugh

    December 16, 2019 at 11:36 am

    The bias of the Review is showing. How can you think it is a good idea to bring back someone when you have no idea what they did that caused them to resign? No one forced Max Garbarino to resign, and for him to say he did nothing wrong but not admit to what he did only adds further suspicion. This was a grown adult who was the Chief of Police and a law school graduate, not some punk taking a bad plea deal. If he did nothing wrong then he should have fought back, not tucked his tail between his legs and resign. Calling it “his firing, or forced resignation, or whatever you want to call it” only serves to show the Review has completely abandoned all responsibility to report the news accurately and has entered into Fox News territory.

  4. Nasr Hussain

    December 16, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    @Ugh

    Yes, fought back like other city officials who were fired or forced to resign and cost the city hundreds of thousands in litigation and settlement fees ( A quarter of a million to settle former DPW director’s lawsuit in addition to exorbitant legal fees).

    What he did was a wise decision and for the benefit of the city he loved & still loves.

    If what he did was an egregious conduct that should have been prosecuted, then city officials who let him sign the agreement are the ones to blame.

    Forcing him to submit his resignation and giving him 6 months of his salary clearly indicates that what was done wasn’t serious enough to warrant prosecution and that whatever it was, it was just used to force him to submit his resignation.

    Just do a simple court search for the cases involving our elected city officials’ and you will mysteriously find that they have stopped getting tickets for violations after wining their seats whether it’s traffic violations or a code violations.

  5. Curious

    December 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    @Nasr

    How was he forced to resign?

    What officials are getting preferential treatment?

  6. Resident

    December 16, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    The chief was gone because Katrina Powell wanted him out… When the story broke on review, I commented that the chief was good man, and I was disappointed to see him go… After all these years, the chief still appears to be a good man. I am happy to see him back. With a law degree under his belt, I hope he takes over Hamtramck Law Department, and makes good use of his law degree.

    -Resident

  7. Oh Wow

    December 19, 2019 at 8:39 am

    @ Resident

    He was gone because he resigned. He resigned because he didn’t want to be investigated. Those are the facts.

    No amount of spin is going to change.

  8. Resident

    December 19, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    @Oh Wow – why did the City pay him 6 months severance pay? He may have been entitled to unused vacation pay for resigning instead of being fired but that can’t be 6 months worth. If a crime was committed, I believe there’s still time for investigation within statute of limitations… You seem to have all the facts. Why not file an affidavit with Wayne county prosecutor?

    -resident

  9. Roadman

    December 19, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    @Oh Wow:

    Ex-Chief Garbarino claims that he received six months severance pay to resign.

    If these (unconfirmed) facts are accurate, then money may have been dangled in front of him as an inducement for him to resign and find employment elsewhere.

    We will never know for sure unless the City of Hamtramck releases this information to the public.

  10. Roadman

    December 24, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Max is promoig himself with a new website:

    http://www.maxgarbarino.com

  11. Tea Party Patriot

    January 4, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Quick questions for the City of Hamtown:

    Will Max be an employee or independent contractor with respect to his upcoming work with the city?

    Who negotiated the contact terms between Max and the city?

    Will Max actually being doing police work for the city and, if so, what exactly will that entail?

    Will the hiring of Max result in a loss of power or responsibility with respect to Chief Moise?

    Was Chief Moise consulted or did she approve Max’s hiring?

    Will Max receive a full benefit package in his new role?

    Answer these questions, City of Hamtown!

  12. Oh WoW

    January 6, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    He is an employee that will report directly to Kathy Anger. He won’t be part of the police department. Supposively he will have some police powers which I’m not sure how that exactly works. Is Kathy building her own private police force?

    To all your other questions, Kathy and city manager responsible for handled all contract info.

  13. Jessica

    January 8, 2020 at 8:02 pm

    I think Kathy is doing a good job and agree that Max was a good hire.

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