CINCINNATI, Sept. 9 (UPI) — For the third time in four years, the city of Cincinnati has fired its police chief — this time pointing to an ineffective leadership style and a propensity to disregard the chain of command.
Police chief Jeffrey Blackwell was fired Wednesday after two separate investigative reports were issued, citing poor management of staff and using his office for personal gain. For example, one report states, Blackwell would regularly try to obtain free tickets to sporting events.
Investigators also said Blackwell enjoyed publicity and often favored a select group of friends in the police department, rather than respecting the chain of command.
“Morale is at an unprecedented low level, and the general sentiment throughout the department is that Mr. Blackwell’s leadership style has created a work environment of hostility and retaliation,” city manager Harry Black wrote.
Blackwell also supposedly approved overtime work for certain employees in the police department that was deemed excessive, Black added.
“I am immensely, immensely disappointed in the decision,” Blackwell said. “I have worked very, very hard for the people of this city for two years.
“I have had the support of the White House, the attorney general, the national media … but I could never get the support of (mayor) John Cranley or Harry Black.”
Officials have launched a search to fill the position once again, which they have done three of the past four years. Assistant Chief Eliot Isaac will fill the role in the interim, police said.