Police Chief Charles Horner
The Dispatch report on Marting’s was one of the reasons Mayor Bauer and two members of the Portsmouth City Council were recalled from office by irate voters. The Portsmouth Daily Times (PDT) could not have done this kind of investigative reporting because it operates under the thumb of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce and the Southern Ohio Growth Partnership. The Dispatch reported on the pressure that had been put on the PDT to follow the chamber of commerce’s political line. The Dispatch explained: “Some traditional advertisers did not buy ads in the special issue on development after the chamber [of commerce] called for a boycott of the edition, said Rick Greene, the newspaper’s managing editor.” Unlike the PDT, The Dispatch is not under the thumb of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce. The publication of The Dispatch story on the Marting deal helped publicize the scandal, and Bob Mollette and his wife Teresa, as irate as any
Judge Marshall invalidated the Marting sale to the city because of the secret meetings in which that sale was hatched. Undeterred and brazen, city officials had tried to conduct city government in secret, as had been the case in the past. Through the courts and Judge Marshall's ruling, the Mollettes prevented them from doing so.
Fast forward two years. Now the Portsmouth City Council is up to its same dirty tricks, trying to foist the Marting building off on the city by means of a follow-up Rube Goldberg scam they have worked out with Clayton Johnson. But they have not succeeded yet. A referendum in May will put the fate of the Marting building up to the voters. The publication in 2004 of the Dispatch report on the Marting scandal awakened many Portsmouth voters, and the results of the May referendum should show whether or not those voters have gone back to sleep.
Portsmouth: Drug Pipeline
The Dispatch story has already had immediate political consequences. Who was damaged politically by it? The whole city government has been put on the defensive, but nobody has more to explain than the
Horner in a Corner
Because Horner has been police chief for the last four years, he has some explaining to do about why
But Horner insists
What stats is he talking about? The stats that put Portsmouth high on the FBI's Crime Index? The stats that make
There is a sign on the river side of the flood wall boasting of
If Horner as a long-time drug cop and now police chief does not bear responsibility for
Why did Mayor Bauer (shown at left) prevent the chief from cracking down on narco-criminals? In his Jan. 23 remarks to the city council, Horner did not offer an explanation. However, it was rumored that Mayor Bauer abused drugs. Lee Scott told me in an interview in my 2004 DVD Recall of Mayor Bauer (available at the Portsmouth Public and SSU Clark Library) that Bauer’s drug use was “very well known in the city.” Although Horner had five criminal investigations of Mayor Bauer going at one time, he apparently did not investigate Bauer's drug activities, perhaps because it is unwise for those who live in glass houses to throw stones.
All in the Family
Because drug dealers are so pervasive, especially in
So not only did we have a mayor reputed to be abusing drugs, we have the son of the police chief apparently selling them as well. But if it weren’t for the investigations by bloggers like Welton and Teresa Mollette, who would know? An online search of public records now will turn up nothing on David Horner, because on
A police chief who has a son dealing drugs has a potential conflict of interest – a conflict as a public law enforcer and as a father.
It was rumored that Mayor Bauer was about to fire Horner, but before Bauer could fire him, Horner made charges against the mayor that led eventually to the mayor’s recall by the voters. Russell Cooper, claimed he was targeted by Horner because he attempted to recall councilman David Malone. The New Boston police officer who was investigating Horner's son claimed he was being set up by Horner. Lee Scott, who was a central leader of the recall of Mayor Bauer, has recently made a similar charge against Horner in a Jan. 21 letter, which he posted on Moe’s Forum.
Lee Scott Accuses Horner
Attention - Horner, Donnini, DEA & others.
Please stop sending drug dealers to me.... I am not a dealer and am not interested in buying the two pounds offered yesterday. It is just as illegal for you to try to sell drugs as it is for me to buy them. I am not interested in going back to prison and the next person you send (friend of mine or not), I will deal with them like I would any other piece of crap that is trying to harm me or mine and then-----IT IS YOUR TURN.
PLEASE - try and concentrate on the real problems (some are your very own) and leave me out of your setups with busted snitches----
Thank You----- LEE
Molletttes in Horner's Crosshairs
Bob and Teresa Mollette, active in the reform movement, also appear to be in Horner’s crosshairs. If Horner showed half as much determination to crack down on drug-dealers as he has on blogging citizens identified with the reform movement, then maybe the city’s reputation for crime and corruption would not be quite as bad as it is. Chief Horner and Mayor Kalb are determined to stifle the political reform movement in
The mayor and the chief of police are doing everything they can to frustrate the Mollettes from bringing transparency and honesty to city government, and they are coordinating a public relations effort, with the complicity of the Portsmouth Daily Times, to discredit the Mollettes, the two citizens who are currently doing the most to reform our corrupt city government.
The Portsmouth City Council is now trying to change the city charter to make it more difficult for voters to recall elected officials. This puts Horner and the current mayor in a very awkward position, because they would probably not be chief and mayor if Bauer had not been recalled. “I have seen the best of recalls and I have seen the worst of recalls,” Horner told the city council. The recall of Bauer, which saved Horner’s job and put Kalb in the mayor’s chair, was good, but the more recent attempts to recall other city officials are bad. Or so he implies.
Up to his eyeballs in city politics, in which he may one day drown, Horner has become the cheerleader as well as the tool of the current city administration because his continuing as chief of police, in the face of Portsmouth’s notoriety as a drug hotbed, depends upon the support of the city council and the mayor. If they will protect him and his job, he will protect theirs from recall. In an extraordinary statement to the city council, on Jan. 23, Horner claimed that those who have recently attempted to recall public officials are “domestic terrorists.”
In nothing has Horner and the police department been as diligent and thorough as in investigating what Horner characterized as an alleged “series of improprieties” in the recall petitions of reform candidate Russell Cooper a native America who was trying to mount a challenge to David Malone, the rubber-stamp councilman of Ward 2. Cooper’s purported improprieties received the kind of high priority, all court police press that in other cities might be used in the war against drug dealers. But in
We have the example of the Bush administration playing the terrorist card to cover up its own corruption and incredible incompetence, so it should not come as a surprise to see the chief law officer of