Jun 27, 2006

Toledo Police Chief Jack Smith Resigns

Left: Police chief Jack Smith; photo courtesy of Owens.edu

(Toledo, OH) Only six months into his role as police chief, Jack Smith will be returning to the position of captain tomorrow morning.

The soon-to-be ex-chief got into a "heated" altercation with Toledo Mayor Caty Finkbeiner this morning. When the exchange veered toward a physical confrontation, another unnamed city employee stepped in and separated the men.

One of my contacts in police headquarters said that he is surprised that Smith lasted as long as he did.

"Both men are extremely hard-nosed, and as much as I like Jack, the relationship was doomed from the start," he said, requesting anonymity. "It was only a matter of time before this happened, because Carty has no diplomatic skills."

The argument apparently centered around gang activity in the North End. Captain Smith defended his department's actions with regard to gangs after the mayor challenged the department's effectiveness.

More as this story develops...


Kate said...

I heard a little bit of Jack Smith's bio. He'd have torn the Mayor up.

Lucky for Carty the someone who was standing by didn't let it escalate. Many parties probably would have.

Anonymous said...

Well he or she should've realized before actually working for Carty--which is a no-brainer. If I was in Carty's position in regards to gang activities and rampant crime--I too would jump up and down at the police dept. to be more effective. No excuses! I'm sure the past several weeks Carty's been getting an earful from Toledo residents from various neighborhoods so it was overdue for this situation to happen between the mayor and the chief. With so much negativities on the radio and media about police officers slacking, I would be hopping mad. Time for someone to be held accountable.

Brian1984 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brian1984 said...

It has been my pleasure to work with both the mayor and the chief for just a few days now and I can tell you that the mayor is upset about what happened.

However, I feel duty-bound to dispense with the more dramatic parts of the story.

There was no physical confrontation. The Chief stood up to make a point. The mayor stood to make a point. They exchanged some ugly words. No one got between them. Nobody in the room thought the confrontation was going to reach a physical level.

The administration is sorry that Jack Smith chose to take his anger to the media. The classy thing to do would have been to resign without comment.

Jack Smith has been under a great deal of stress lately, and the mayor is willing to admit that he should have been more sensitive to the particularly tough circumstances the chief has been dealing with over the last two weeks.

However, the chief and the mayor disagreed on the subject of gang enforcement As the person who made the promise to the voters, his obligation is to make sure that the chief is doing his job at that level.

There isn't anybody on the 22nd floor who wishes anything but the best for Jack Smith. He's a damn good cop and was a damn good chief.

Brian Schwartz
Public Information Officer and Executive Assistant to the Mayor.

Anonymous said...

Carty is nuts and always has been.

This is utterly consistent with his conduct for DECADES.

liberal_dem said...


My head is spinning from your version of what happened with the lunatic who would be mayor. Of course, you Republicans have learned the art of spin well from your mentor, Karl.

Naturally, as a $75,000 mouthpiece for the mayor, your job requires that you dress up the pig.

Unfortunately for you, Brian, though you may dress him in a Brooks Brothers suit, he still smells like swine to us.

Do said...

Brian Schwartz said: The administration is sorry that Jack Smith chose to take his anger to the media. The classy thing to do would have been to resign without comment.

Brian, why are you suggesting that Jack Smith should have just taken the belittling of Carty and slunk away with his tail between his legs? You refer to the 'classy' thing to do. As in "don't embarrass Carty and make the public aware of what goes on on the 22nd floor?"

Jack Smith is a professional law enforcement office. Carty chose him to be Chief. Carty sent Navarre packing. Now we are supposed to believe that this was all a 'misunderstanding' and that Jack Smith over-reacted? I know Carty's temperament. I know that in his campaign he made reference MANY times to "a Mayor cannot do this job without the administrators and the citizens." (or something along those lines)

Carty should be encouraging his department heads to make the most of their resources. Instead it seems as though he is challenging them. Carty is NOT a law enforcement officer and cannot possibly know the fine line that is walked everyday by these people.

I like Carty the Person. I, for one, am beginning to question the motives of Carty the Mayor. He needs to learn to encourage without intimidation. He will get a lot further.

Anonymous said...

It's my understanding that Brian was not actually in the meeting. Those that were have said it came very close to blows. The Chief has stated that if Rienbolt the Magnificent and Morpheus hadn't stepped in it would have. Perhaps Brian should stop using a blog site and make a formal statement in front of the cameras and microphones, he sure is gettng paid enough to do that at least.

historymike said...

Jack Smith and Carty Finbeiner are the only two people in that room who have commented publicly.

Smith perceived the conflict as becoming physical, while Finkbeiner says it was not heading in that direction.

People can choose to believe who they wish.

I am intrigued that Mr. Schwartz chose to describe Chief Smith as being "under a great deal of stress lately." This, to my ears, sounds like spin.

Can we really be expected to believe that a man who has faced countless stressful situations in the military and law enforcement has had his judgment shaken merely by the administrative stress in city government?

As an ex-administrator, I have to think that a gun pointed at my head is more stressful than office politics. Smith, after all, was instrumental in bringing down Jospeh Chappell in his murderous rampage through West Toledo in 1998.

Anonymous said...

The stuff about Toledo cops "slacking" is horseshit. Crews spend their shifts running from call to call without time to take a break, hit the bathroom or...

do any proactive police work.

Community involvement? Forget about it. When you have a "hot" call and The Box is holding two or three more, nobody gets in much "slacking." Plus they're all pissed over the media's portrayal of the North End riot.

But the fools who run the union thought that dumping Ford and electing Carty would be some sort of panacea.


Big blunder there, people.

Kate said...

Mr. Schwartz also commented that he should have resigned without comment.

Sadly we call this type of behavior enabling. As in enabling dysfunctional behavior.

Somebody at One Government Center needs some emotional counseling. And quickly, might I add.

Info here: http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info2/a/aa052197.htm

It can be a rage-aholic, an alcoholic - insert any emotional instability here. It can't continue unabated unless it has an enabler. End of story.

Mr. Schwartz - are you an enabler?

Hooda Thunkit said...


"The classy thing to do would have been to resign without comment."

Classy? By what standard??

I can appreciate the position that you are in but, Carty's behavior still comes off as unstable.

And, after hearing both sides, and consideering both "perp's" histories, I'm buying Jack Smith's characterization of the events.

Smith's story lacks the spin that Carty's has, in abundance...