More on Shockey Nepotism

28 May

– 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.

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5 Responses to “More on Shockey Nepotism”

  1. wrongonred May 28, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Thinking about it more, Todd and Laura are really no different than those individuals prosecuted for receipt of stolen property. They know the benefits (Laura’s business revenues and Todd’s job) were the fruits of ill gotten gains in violation of City Ordinance, policy, and State Statute. If the proceeds were legitimate, Shockey would not have had the business re-registered in Laura’s name to hide his ownership interest when the issue was raised. What did Laura think at the time was the reason for doing so? Surely she must have asked why it was being done.

    If my dad called me and told me he needed my signature to register something in my name, my first question would be why? These two are not 18 year old kids. I think they are almost 30. Surely they are not ignorant of what is going on.

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  2. wrongonred May 28, 2014 at 10:03 am #

    As for the Police Personnel Board, I do not think they have convened in years, so I am reluctant to believe that this hire was done through them, or any subsequent hire for that matter, but welcome corrections on that statement if I am in error.

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  3. shortstop May 28, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I don’t have dog in this fight. I don’t live in Arnold and visit Arnold maybe once a year. I’ve met Chief Shockey, but don’t know him. My questions for any Chief that hires a relative would be…Are you going to be unbiased when you have to make a decision on the persons job performance? Will his supervisors treat him differently because he is related to the Chief? Will the other officers accept him or will they fear he is a pipeline to the Chief? When promotion time comes, is everyone going to get a fair shake- you know some of the rank in file will be upset if the relative gets the nod. Can you guarantee a biased free IA investigation? If the officer is sued, don’t you think the defense will somehow get this connection into the trial? If necessary can the Chief fire his daughter’s husband? If the officer is as good as mentioned (and there is no reason to believe he isn’t) then he should be able to get a job with another department. That or the Chief has started down the ‘slippery slope”.

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  4. shortstop May 28, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    http://articles.courant.com/2011-02-12/news/hc-police-nepotism-0213-20110212_1_departments-nepotism-policies-officers

    Read this link if you want to see the dangers of nepotism on a police force.

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  1. Arnold Gives Chief’s Son-in-Law Cop Job in 2011 | Jefferson County Penknife - May 28, 2014

    […] In my subsequent post, I examine the Arnold police hiring process and some other issues. I have updated this post’s […]

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