Post Updated 10/16/15 with MTAS Report and media coverage linked as follows:
Tomorrow night at 6:00p.m. the Oak Ridge City Council will meet at the municipal building to hear the results of the MTAS review/investigation of the ORPD turnover, morale and policy issues. I will update this post with the results.
In January 2015, an action against an officer who simply tendered his resignation revealed a significant turnover rate within the police department. It was later discovered that the original numbers provided by staff were inaccurately low. Since the investigation/review began, we’ve lost 11 more individuals. Our police department of 76 has lost 47 of its staff since Chief Akagi’s arrival four years ago.
After a series of council meetings and “snafus,” MTAS was awarded a NO BID contract by the majority of council in spite of having a clear conflict of interest. They are a subsidiary of TML to whom the city awards a NO BID $1.4 million annual contract for worker’s comp, liability insurance and legal services. Nine out of the nine lawsuits filed against the department since Akagi’s arrival are or were defended by TML lawyers…all paid for by the taxpayers.
During my interview with MTAS, I was informed by Mr. Barton that the relationship was closer than I’d realized in that TML actually created MTAS. Furthermore, I’ve since discovered that over $39 million of our city’s debt is issued through TML bonds for which we pay over $1 million per year in interest. See the debt summary here.
And while all of these conflicts make it highly unlikely that MTAS was able to investigate our most serious issues objectively (any negative findings against the chief or the city, if revealed, could cost both the city and TML financially if lawsuits were subsequently filed), I hope and pray that their sense of decency will prevail.
A chronology of the events that led up to this meeting are linked below as follows: