Barton Shares Interview Names with Akagi/More ORPD Investigation Developments

At the encouragement of multiple council members during the Appearance of Citizens at our April 13th meeting (and in direct contradiction to what council voted on in our March 27th meeting), a retired officer contacted MTAS requesting to be included in the interview process. As you can see in the email below (see #1 below), he was declined.

Second, contrary to what my fellow council members stated, MTAS is directly tied to TML and the conflict of interest of using MTAS has been revealed through TCA which empowers TML as the official agency for MTAS. (see #2 below)

Third, it was discovered this week that the list of interviewees was discussed and disclosed to the Chief of Police, Jim Akagi who then shared it with the entire police department, the city manager and the city attorney. This action violates council’s promise of impartiality and anonymity – the two most basic demands made by the public during our February 9th meeting. (see #3 below).

Finally, it was reported here late Friday that the state POST commission voted unanimously to seek the opinions of the U.S Attorney General and the Anderson County District Attorney on whether or not Jim Akagi violated the Order of Protection (read here, here and here) that was issued against him and in place for over a year. My understanding is that the commission sent Akagi a request for response sometime last month. Just as with the Order of Protection, the city manager has yet to disclose either these serious actions to full council.  

1. Norris Declines Retiree Participation

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Norris, Margaret <margaret.norris@tennessee.edu>
Date: Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 8:28 PM
Subject: Re: Oak Ridge Police Department Review
To: Philip Nall
Cc: “Barton, Rex D” <rex.barton@tennessee.edu>
Mr. Nall,

Thank you for your email and your interest in the police department  review in Oak Ridge.

As you may know, the scope of the review is limited.  We currently have no plans to talk to retirees but if that changes, I will be in touch.

Again, thank you for your interest and offer of assistance.

Sincerely,

Margaret

2. MTAS is a subsidiary of TML

https://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/

49-9-407.  Municipal Technical Advisory Service. 

  (a) As part of the Institute for Public Service, the Municipal Technical Advisory Service exists to provide studies and research in municipal government, publications, and educational conferences and to furnish technical, consultative, and field services to municipalities of the state in problems relating to fiscal administration, accounting, tax assessment and collection, law enforcement, improvements and public works, and in any and all matters relating to municipal government.

(b) This program shall be carried on in cooperation with and with the advice of municipalities in the state acting through the Tennessee Municipal League and its board of directors, which is recognized as their official agency or instrumentality.

HISTORY: Acts 2010, ch. 891, § 4.

From: “Baughn, Trina” <tbaughn@oakridgetn.gov>

Date: April 15, 2015 at 2:11:56 PM EDT
To: “Krushenski, Ken” <KKrushenski@oakridgetn.gov>
Cc: City Council <CityCouncil@oakridgetn.gov>, “Watson, Mark” <MWatson@oakridgetn.gov>
Subject: Re: Police Department Review

Thanks. I called MTAS and was given the phone number for Rex Barton which is 423.506.0402. BTW, I noticed that at the very bottom of Ms. Norris’ (MTAS) letter the following statement, “…in cooperation with the Tennessee Municipal League.” I was also provided the attached TCA regarding MTAS which states, “(b) This program shall be carried on in cooperation with the advice of municipalities in the state acting through the Tennessee Municipal Leagueand its board of directors, which is recognized as their official agency or instrumentality.”

I maintain that council’s selection of MTAS as an “independent third party” is a conflict of interest given the MTAS relationship with TML, who provides us with our insurance and legal defense in cases brought against the city by individuals, citizens and employees. 

I also note that a vote has already been taken on this issue. So my commentary should not be construed as deliberation since the vote has already occurred.

From: “Krushenski, Ken” <KKrushenski@oakridgetn.gov>
Date: April 15, 2015 at 1:40:06 PM EDT
To: “Baughn, Trina” <tbaughn@oakridgetn.gov>
Cc: City Council <CityCouncil@oakridgetn.gov>, “Watson, Mark” <MWatson@oakridgetn.gov>
Subject: FW: Police Department Review

This contact information was sent on Tuesday. Call me if there are any questions. I will put a copy of the MTAS agreement in all Council mailboxes this afternoon. Exhibit A to the agreement is the MTAS Proposal with the scope of work, address, phone number, etc

3. Email communications between Akagi and Barton

From: Akagi James T.
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2015 7:49 AM
To: Police (All); rex.barton@tennessee.edu
Cc: Watson, Mark; Krushenski, Ken
Subject: FW: Police Department Review

Mr. Barton – thanks for your e-mail, I will advise you as soon as I receive responses from Division Commanders, per the proceeding.

To all employees – FYI.  Please see me if you have any questions.

To those employees listed for interviews – your interviews will be scheduled by your division commanders around your work schedules.  We will try to get interviews scheduled when you are on duty whenever possible.

Deputy Chief Massengill/Captains Smith and Uher – please coordinate for scheduling of interview times for personnel amongst yourselves ASAP, then advise listed personnel in your commands of their interview times.  Send results back to me and I will send them on to Mr. Barton.

Thanks to all,

James T. Akagi

Chief of Police

City of Oak Ridge, TN

jakagi@oakridgetn.gov

(865) 425-3506 (Office)

(865) 425-3607 (Fax)

From: Barton, Rex D [mailto:rex.barton@tennessee.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 16:14
To: Akagi James T.
Cc: Norris, Margaret; Watson, Mark
Subject: Police Department Review

Chief Akagi,

Per our conversation earlier this week, I am attaching a letter detailing the methodology for the police department review.  I’m asking that you distribute it to every police department employee, along with the attached copy of the original resolution adopted by the Oak Ridge City Council. 

I’ve also attached a schedule for the first 20 interviews and a list of the folks we have selected for those interviews.  As we discussed in our meeting, I would like for you and you staff to place the listed employees on the schedule, with an eye toward minimizing overtime and minimizing stress for the officers’ off duty life.

After you and your staff place the names on the schedule, please email it back to me.  If at all possible, we would like to have it by the end of the week.

As is mentioned in the attached letter, we will add additional personnel on later days.  With that in mind, if you could hold yourself available for the morning of May 8, we will try to do your interview that morning.

Thanks for your cooperation,

Rex Barton

Police Management Consultant

Municipal Technical Advisory Service

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