– The official path of hire for a police officer goes from the police personnel board to the “appointing authority.” I find no clear answer to who that is; perhaps the mayor. This would suggest that Arnold Police Chief Robert Shockey perhaps did not officially directly hire his son-in-law as a city police officer. But what was his role in the process? It was surely not small. From the council videos in my last post, it was apparent he sits in on interviews with candidates (and perhaps participates in questioning?). Would the police board, made up of civilians, not give great weight to his opinions of candidates, assuming policy was followed and they were involved in the process? Would not the mayor also be interested in his thoughts? And we know that the Chief pushed for the creation of the cadet position shortly before his son-in-law was hired as a cadet. Ethically, this stinks, and it needs to be investigated.
– Arnold’s nepotism ordinance is weak; after all, it allowed a councilman’s nephew to be appointed to a city board. In addition to having a limited range of relationships barred from hiring or appointment, it only applies to elected officials, not to department heads, who have a large role in selecting new hires. However, the city’s personnel policy goes further, and is relevant here:
3.12 RELATIVES OF EMPLOYEES
An employee shall not be allowed to hire, supervise, evaluate, determine salary level, or promote a member of the employee’s family or spouse’s family (as defined in Section 3.1) or have an influence over these decisions.
This was no doubt violated. As with Shockey’s business dealings, who else knew?
– Some have objected to the mention of Shockey’s daughter and son-in-law here, regarding it as bringing family into a political discussion. But in fact, these two individuals have benefited financially from Shockey’s position, so they are relevant to the story. Recall when the daughter-in-law of the Fox C-6 School Board president was hired as the district’s food services director. Was the Post-Dispatch wrong to describe Kelly Nash’s resume, relation to the board president, and hiring? Not at all. This story would have received the same coverage had it come to light at the time of the hire (maybe). But in both cases, the primary focus is on the relative in power and on the policies of the hiring entity.