Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mayor's Defense Of Laketa Cole Is Irresponsible

In his weekly meeting with the media today, Mayor Mallory defended Laketa Cole's recent interaction with Cincinnati police during a routine traffic stop. The Enquirer reports that the Mayor said that Ms. Cole did "nothing wrong" when she called the city manager and a high ranking Assistant Police Chief in the Cincinnati Police Division when she and her friend were stopped for an alleged traffic violation. A video of the scene shows Ms. Cole making phone calls during this traffic stop and then handing the telephone to the police officer at the scene. To read more on this topic and for our comments on this matter from earlier in the week, click here.

When asked by a reporter if the average citizen can call the city manager during a traffic stop, Mayor Mallory, amazingly, answered that citizens were free to call the city manager "if they had his cell phone number."

Statement of Chairman Alex M. Triantafilou
"I find Mayor Mallory's defense of Ms. Cole's actions disappointing, but not surprising. The Mayor's judgment has been lacking in several key respects and this is just another in a long line of critical mistakes made by his administration."

"Even more disappointing is the Mayor's flippancy on the question of whether citizens can call high ranking city officials in the midst of a traffic stop. I understand that the Mayor was attempting humor, but the abuse of power by a city government official to possibly receive special treatment from law enforcement should not be a source of humor for the chief executive of our great city. It ought to be condemned."

"In this moment, the Mayor had an opportunity to offer sound leadership by condemning a member of his own party for what was obviously improper behavior by Ms. Cole. On this question of leadership and on so many others, he has failed our city."