Friday, November 18, 2016

Portage Indiana Mayor James Snyder - Indicted For Federal Corruption

In 2010, I reported Porter County Indiana Magistrate James Johnson's practice of failing to uphold DV protective orders and DV arrest warrants. I was subjected to an unlawful police entry into my home - which resulted in my beloved companion dog and rescue dog being handed over to my abusive ex, by the Portage IN police.  Abbi and Bailey were later cruelly euthanized. There was never any justice in this case.

Indiana Portage Mayor James Snyder, was one of the officials who halted an investigation into the unlawful police entry / deaths of Abbi and Bailey - AND protected the officials involved in this case.

On November 18, 2016 Portage Mayor James Snyder was indicted on federal public corruption / bribery charges.

More corruption charges against Mayor Snyder are expected. Crossing my fingers that there will finally be answers and justice for Abbi and Bailey.
















Wednesday, November 2, 2016

It takes a hero to break the dangerous silence surrounding Officer Involved Domestic Violence

There has recently been some misdirected outrage in Houghton County, after it was reported during the recent Sheriff election campaign  that Sheriff Brian McLean had rehired Deputy Jeffrey Stromer - who had previously been arrested and charged with domestic violence and three counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Sheriff's McLean's direct statement was: "He [Deputy Jeffrey Stromer] tried to change his life around," he said. "We gave him an opportunity to work ..." 

My own personal thoughts, as an OIDV survivor:
The silence/good ole boy mentality of  Monroe County Sheriff Crutchfield repeatedly protecting Deputy Orval Parker and his job - instead of protecting the me, almost cost me my life. My hero, who broke the silence: Michigan State Police Detective Alison King.



Monday, October 24, 2016

Houghton County Sheriff Brian McLean is hoping voters don't care about OIDV




Under MCL 769.4a [Michigan's loophole to the  Lautenberg Gun Ban Amendment], Stromer pleaded no contest to the DV charge - and the three charges of CSC were dropped. Stromer was placed on probation.... 








After Deputy Jeffrey Stromer completed his probation, Sheriff Brian McLean rehired Stromer at the Houghton County Sheriff Department.

Sheriff McLean's reasoning behind rehiring a man who had been charged with THREE counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct?

"He [Deputy Jeffrey Stromer] tried to change his life around," he said. "We gave him an opportunity to work ..." Sheriff’s candidates talk drugs, jail - 10012016 - The Daily Mining Gazette



Where was Sheriff McLean's obligation to the safety and concern of  Stromer's victim ... The Houghton County Community ... And Houghton County Sheriff Department staff?


Has Sheriff McLean underestimated the public's voice on Officer Involved Domestic Violence -- as the Southgate Police Department did, earlier this year?













Sheriff’s candidates talk drugs, jail
October 1, 2016
By Garrett Neese (gneese@mininggazette.com)
The Daily Mining Gazette
http://www.mininggazette.com/page/content.detail/id/554686/Sheriff-s-candidates-talk-drugs--jail.html?nav=5098

HANCOCK - Questions about drugs and the Houghton County Jail dominated the sheriff portion of Thursday's Copper Country League of Women Voters forum for candidates in contested countywide seats.

Republican Sheriff Brian McLean, who has held the post since 1996, is running for re-election against Democratic challenger Derek Poyhonen, who has been a corrections officer with the county for the past 15 years.

McLean said his biggest priority for the next term would be reducing the drug problem, which he said has become "a tidal wave." After law enforcement and the medical community clamped down on opiates, illegal drugs, particularly heroin, rushed in to fill the void.

"When we start to see people losing their lives because of this terrible addiction, that is one of our biggest looming problems right now," he said.

Poyhonen said he would like to address the area's drug problem through educating local children. Reducing drugs could also reduce violent crime and help ease the strain on the jail, he said.

"I would like to get into schools, 2 through 6, build a relationship with the kids, get a junior deputy program going," he said. "That will carry on in the upper grades. That is where I would like to get into drug and alcohol awareness. It might not pay off right away, but it will pay off in the long run."

Poyhonen said his other main goal was returning "integrity, accountability and transparency" to the sheriff's department. He pointed to the department's rehiring of Jeffrey Stromer, a former deputy who was convicted of a misdemeanor domestic assault charge against his ex-wife after first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges were dropped.

"I will never question my opponent's heart," Poyhonen said. "I will never question his compassion for the voters. But mistakes are being made within the department."

McLean said Stromer had been rehired after his sentence and probation was completed.

"He tried to change his life around," he said. "We gave him an opportunity to work at a time where a couple of our corrections officers left their job early and we needed some immediate help. He worked for a couple months and then resigned."

McLean said he had worked closely with community groups and maintained an open-door policy, something which Poyhonen said he would also follow.

McLean keeps him home number listed in the phone book, though he said he doesn't get many work calls at home.

"People will call at the office, stop by, come in," he said. "They want to see sometime, hear about something, we're always very accountable."

The most audience questions came on the subject of the aging jail. Voters most recently voted down a proposal for a combined jail, sheriff's department and district court in 2010.

Poyhonen said he would like to see a bigger police presence for higher-profile cases, particularly in district court. With the jail, he said, the county needs to respect the voters' judgment.

"We're overcrowded," he said. "It's a juggling act every day, and we did it today. We're not going to get a new one. It's a dead issue. So we have to find an alternative way to work with what we have."

McLean said the county has the fewest beds of any in the Upper Peninsula. However, he said, they've been able to work with the courts and prosecutor's office to keep some offenders out of jail through means such as community service sentences.

"We always have to ask ourselves: Who do you want in jail? Do you want people in jail that you're just temporarily mad at, or do you want people in jail that you're afraid of?" he said.

Both candidates feared the potential for a lawsuit against the county. McLean brought up Genesee County, where a federal judge decreed the county's jail didn't have enough room, leaving the county to foot the bill for a new jail.

Four jail studies have been done since 1985, McLean said. The public is past the first hurdle of recognizing the problem, he said, but haven't settled on a solution.

"For years people were saying, 'There's nothing wrong with the old jail, it's good enough,'" he said. "Now, I think the majority of people have said 'There is a problem there, and something needs to be done. I just don't know what that is.'"

In the meantime, Poyhonen said, some fixes need to be put in place. He called for what he said would be a "simple fix" to part of the recreation area where a prisoner escaped 10 years ago that has yet to be addressed.

As a corrections officer, he said, the back of the jail staff has been frustrated with the remodeling in the front offices, including a new kitchen put in this year. He acknowledged the obstacles in doing so - namely, a Department of Corrections requirement that changing any part of the secure area requires bringing the jail up to code.

"If we start tearing into it, we've got to redo the whole thing, but we've got to watch where we're spending our money," he said.

McLean said the corrections officers have the worst jobs of the staff, working "essentially out of what is a broom closet." But bringing the entire jail up to code will cost millions of dollars, he said.

"We constantly work with the board, with the citizens' group, educating, hoping to come across with the legislators - we're looking for money," he said.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's National Domestic Violence Awareness Month ... But, who exactly are DV Agencies assisting and advocating for?

Over the years that I have focused my attention on officer involved domestic violence, I have become accustomed to the cold harsh reality that these victims were not entitled to the same services and protections as other victims of DV.

So, in order to focus on OIDV,  I turned away from what DV agencies were doing -- just figuring they were kicking butt and doing their job to protect DV victims.

But then this week, I heard about the brutal and almost fatal DV attack by Shawn Hurley [Waterbury Connecticut] that left me wondering: Just who the hell are DV agencies protecting? The answer to this question in this case, is terrifying. 

Shawn Hurley was a known abuser, yet with the assistance of a father's rights group, he obtained visitation of his six-week-old son. Meanwhile, the local  DV Agency --  Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, CT -- did nothing to assist the infant's mother, in protecting her child from this monster.

During that visitation, Shawn Hurley broke 14 bones on his infant son's body -- almost killing his son.


In 2010, Hurley was sentenced to eight years in prison for the horrific abuse he inflicted on his son.
And once again, the local DV agency -- Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, CT -- did nothing to assist this child or the mother of his son. NOTHING.

Fast forward to October 2016 - and Shawn Hurley is scheduled to be released from prison.
So, where are the concerns of the Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, during what one can only imagine is going to be pure terrifying hell for the victims of Shawn Hurley?

Do you think that Safe Haven would be the least bit concerned about the danger the victim will be in -- especially since Hurley has lost all parental rights, since being behind bars? Does the fact that the court issued a 99 year protective order against Hurley, raise any red flags at Safe Haven???

Hell no!

Safe Haven is busy trying to convince DV victims, such as Hurley's, that they need to forgive their abusers ... While, Safe Haven is busy promoting abusive fathers' rights.

You see, Safe Haven supports the "Dads Matter Too" group - which supports abusive fathers' right groups. AND, one of the Dad's Matter Too groups - which Safe Haven supports - will be assisting Shawn Hurley, when he is released from prison on October 28th.

Yep, you heard that correctly - a monster who has lost ALL parental rights because he almost killed his child, is being backed by a father's right group, that is backed by the same DV agency that has failed / refused to help Hurley's victims. One can only wonder if this is the same DV agency backed father's right group that assisted Hurley in obtaining visitation on the day he almost killed his son...


WTF?!



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Officer Brian Klonowski - Will NOT Be Southgate PD's new police chief, due to public outrage over Klonowski's 2004 assault of Gina Falconer



Gina Falconer - Brutally attacked by Southgate police officer Brian Klonowski in 2004, after Falconer turned down his advances. 






Voices for Gina Falconer:





















Controversial choice for Southgate police chief will not take job
POSTED:SEP 07 2016 09:40PM EDT
UPDATED:SEP 07 2016 10:24PM EDT
By: Josh Landon
http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/203321613-story




SOUTHGATE, Mich. (WJBK) - The man chosen to become the new Southgate police chief has decided not to take the job after community backlash.

The mayor formally announced the decision at city hall in Southgate that Brian Klonowski will not be the new chief.

Klonowski, a lieutenant for the Southgate Police Department, was on his way to taking the role of police chief when it was announced last month by the mayor.

Controversial choice for Southgate police chief will not take job

Klonowski has a criminal record for a 2004 conviction when a beat a woman he met at a party after she turned down his advances. He served 18 months probation, but no jail time.

"It's astounding. I don't know what all factors were involved and everything but just for it to get to this point I think says something and it never should have gotten this far as far as I'm concerned," said Scott Pruitt, a friend of the victim.

The announcement last month caused backlash -- many residents in Southgate were upset that someone known for assaulting a woman could be the city's top cop.

About 1,200 people signed a petition calling for his resignation from the position.

FOX 2 has learned that Klonowski contacted the mayor last week and declined to take the promotion. The mayor made it public at Wednesday's council meeting.

"I have to tell you there was no motivation as to what made him decide not take the position other than we received communication that he no longer wanted to be considered for the promotion," said Southgate Mayor Joesph Kuspa.

No answered at Klonowski's home when FOX 2 visited, but here's what he had to say in August:
"I understand the unfortunate circumstances -- the embarrassing situation, and it was 12 years ago," Klonowski said. "I dealt with that on three levels -- criminally, civilly and departmentally -- and have attempted to put that behind me and attempted to increase my professionalism."

Puritt is friends with the 2004 victim, and says he witnessed the assault.

"Upon the incident he had the gall to basically state that he was leaving and he was a police officer and there was nothing nobody was going to do," he said.

But it appears that a lot has changed in the past few weeks.

Puritt said he's surprised he turned the job down.

"That really surprised me. I thought we were going to be in for a long fight here, but thankfully we won't have to do that and it couldn't have turned out any better for the police department, but for the city and the community and for everybody involved. I think it sends a good message to the community that the truth does come out and the right prevails."

City leaders say they followed the Michigan Legislature of Act 78 regarding promotions for police and firemen.

Klonowski came in first among other internal candidates in a written and oral exam, and the mayor and city council called him the best man for the job.

Moving forward, the mayor says he will now look at the runner up to Klonowski, but did not give an exact timeline on when a decision could be made.












City looking for new police chief after officer with criminal past turns down promotion
Published: Wednesday, September 07, 2016
By Dave Herndon
http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2016/09/07/news/police/doc57d07a186075f240041532.txt


After more than a week of outrage regarding his criminal past, Southgate police Lt. Brian Klonowski has declined a promotion that would have made him the city's top cop.

“This past week I was advised that Lt. Klonowski declined the promotion to chief of Police,” Mayor Joseph Kuspa said. “I respect him for making this difficult decision.”

City Administrator John Zech mirrored Kuspa’s remarks.

“I’ve gotten to know (Klonowski) during this time,” he said. “He would have made a fine police chief.”

Zech said, Klonowski had strove to achieve the job as chief, but after seeing the outrage from the public chose to pass on it.

“He put the Police Department and the city above his own ambitions,” Zech said.

Klonowski returned to his position leading the detective bureau.

He was a controversial pick for the job following a 2004 conviction for misdemeanor assault. He pleaded no contest, which is treated as a guilty plea without the admission of guilt in court.

He paid court fines, served 30 days on a work program, 60 days on a tether program and underwent anger management and alcohol counseling.

Klonowski met the victim, Gina Falconer, at a birthday party in Romulus that night in 2004.

Falconer suffered a broken nose and a broken bone above her eye as a result of the altercation with Klonowski. Attorney Michael Rataj said his client, Klonowski, was defending himself after Falconer began swinging the bottle at him.

With Klonowski refusing the promotion, the city will now look to the second person on the list of candidates compiled by the outside company,  Empco Inc., that tested the candidates for the job initially.

Only two candidates passed both the written and oral testing required by Public Act 78 to be offered the job. There is no definitive timeline to verify credentials and work out a contract with that candidate.

“The vetting process is underway,” Zech said.

If the second candidate doesn’t get the job for one reason or another, the testing process will start anew, but still following the protocols laid out under Act 78.

Jeffrey Smith, who took the job as the city’s Public Safety Director, will remain the Police Chief as well during the interim.












Petition to have new Southgate police chief step down has more than 1,100 signatures
Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
By Dave Herndon


A concerned resident went to Change.org to attempt to force recently appointed Southgate Police Chief Brian Klonowski into resigning.

Klonowski won’t officially take office until Aug. 27. He was appointed as the city’s next chief Aug. 17 during the City Council meeting.

Klonowski was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2004 after an incident that involved him hitting a woman he met at a birthday party.

According to city officials, and court documents, that remains the only criminal conviction he has ever had.

The petition, which can be found at http://bit.ly/PetitionSGT had 937 signatures within 48 hours of it launching. As of mid-week, early Wednesday afternoon on Aug. 24, the signatures numbered 1,102.
City Manager John Zech said regardless of how many people sign the petition, the city won’t take back the appointment for several reasons.

“I’ve told anyone who has asked to feel free to call me if they think any of our employees are out of line,” he said. “This petition would have to have cause though. There is nothing in the petition that we didn’t already know about.”

While city officials point out they don’t condone his previous actions, they are also quick to point out that by law, he was the only choice to take over as police chief as well.

Southgate operates under Act 78, which provides for a civil service commission. Under that law, the fire chief, police chief and all police department promotions fall under control of that board.

While Kuspa remains the official appointing party, and the Council has to approve the contract, they are bound by the provisions of the Act 78 guidelines.

Candidates for an opening in the police department are given both a written and an oral exam by an independent company. The candidates are then ranked based on test scores, and the top scoring candidate is picked for the job.

The company that administers the tests is Empco Inc. which was founded in 1987.

Zech said there would have to be a pattern of bad behavior in order for the top candidate to be passed over.

“A single misdemeanor charge 12 years ago doesn’t show a pattern of poor choices,” he said. “We don’t condone what he did. He is very apologetic for that.”

If Kuspa had passed Klonowski over for promotion based on a single misdemeanor charge, there likely would have been a lawsuit according to Zech.

Zech said Klonowski has been promoted three times before getting the job as chief, all through the same process. He also attended law school and passed the bar exam.

“They won’t let you have a law license if they feel you are a bad person,” he said. “There is a very strict background check done.”

His experiences as a lawyer have actually aided in his job leading the detective bureau in recent years according to Zech.

“He’s used his knowledge to aid in cases,” Zech said. “That’s been an asset to the department.”

Zech said Klonowski has served his punishment, as ordered by the courts, more than a decade ago and that he deserves a second chance. I think if people look at him as if he was there husband, or brother they would feel he deserved another chance.”

Zech said that as a detective Klonowski has investigated several domestic violence cases, none of which have been handled improperly.

“He handles everything like a professional,” Zech said. “He hasn’t had any blemishes on his record before or after the incident 12 years ago.

“I hope everyone gives him a chance to prove what he can do before they judge him.”












Officer Brian Klonowski - Conviction for OIDV [2004]:
04252004 - Officer Brian Klonowski - Southgate PD - Arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault - Assaulted Gina Falconer - Klonowski yanked Gina out of her chair; threw Gina to the ground; restrained Gina by sitting on top of her; punched Gina in the face. It took FOUR people to pull Officer Klonowski off of Gina - who suffered a hemorrhage to her eye, a broken nose, and a broken bone abover her eye.


08082004 - Officer Brain Klonowski - Sentenced - Southgate PD - Klonowski pleaded no-contenst to an assault charge. Klonowski was placed on probation for 18 months


10132004 - Officer Brian Klonowski - Suspended from Southgate PD for 1 year. HOWEVER, in December 2004, it was discovered that since Officer Klonowski arrest for assault, he had been working in the 28th District Court.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Officer Brian Klonowski - Appointed Police Chief Despite OIDV Conviction in 2004 - Southgate PD


Southgate Michigan thought when they selected Officer Brian Klonowski as their new police chief, that Klonowski's  OIDV assault of Gina Falconer didn't matter to anyone ... And, they also underestimated the power of OIDV survivors to become Gina's voice






Officer Brian Klonowski - Conviction for OIDV [2004]:
04252004 - Officer Brian Klonowski - Southgate PD - Arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault - Assaulted Gina Falconer - Klonowski yanked Gina out of her chair; threw Gina to the ground; restrained Gina by sitting on top of her; punched Gina in the face. It took FOUR people to pull Officer Klonowski off of Gina - who suffered a hemorrhage to her eye, a broken nose, and a broken bone abover her eye.


08082004 - Officer Brain Klonowski - Sentenced - Southgate PD - Klonowski pleaded no-contenst to an assault charge. Klonowski was placed on probation for 18 months


10132004 - Officer Brian Klonowski - Suspended from Southgate PD for 1 year. HOWEVER, in December 2004, it was discovered that since Officer Klonowski arrest for assault, he had been working in the 28th District Court.










video




video









Officer Brian Klonowski is a perfect example of why OIDV is different than DV:

A police department would never hire someone who committed a DV assault such as the assault that was committed against Gina Falconer [2004].

So if we don't hire people with DV convictions, to be police officers - then why is it when a police officer commits a crime of OIDV, that he is allowed to not only keep his job, but is promoted to the position of Police Chief?











New Southgate police chief's own police record concerns some citizens
FOX 2 Detroit
By: Josh Landon
POSTED:AUG 21 2016 07:08PM EDT
UPDATED:AUG 21 2016 07:08PM EDT



SOUTHGATE, Mich. (WJBK) - Some Southgate residents are concerned after a new police chief with his own police record was appointed on Wednesday night – and they’re trying to put a stop to it.

"I'm calling for his resignation," said Tom Bagwell, a congressional candidate. "At a minimum, he should not be the chief."

Bagwell said he’s upset the City of Southgate appointed Brian Klonowski on Wednesday as the new police chief.

Klonowski was convicted of a 2004 assault when he was an officer for beating a woman he met at a party after she turned down his advances. He served 18 months of probation but did not serve any jail time.

Bagwell said this puts the public's trust in the police department at risk.

"With somebody with this kind of violent history, is he going to do the right thing?" Bagwell said. "Is he going to make the right decisions? It also reflects badly on the down river community and the local politicians to put somebody like this in a position of leadership."

Others who live down river share the same concerns.

"That kind of violent crime, the Supreme Court just ruled, can make you ineligible to carry a gun," said another resident. "This guy carries a gun, and in a few days he's going to be leading a lot of police officers who carry guns."

Klonowski was suspended from the police department for a year, but was brought back a few months later.

The new chief said he is a different person.

"I understand the unfortunate circumstances -- the embarrassing situation, and it was 12 years ago," Klonowski said. "I dealt with that on three levels -- criminally, civilly and departmentally -- and have attempted to put that behind me and attempted to increase my professionalism."

City officials said Klonowski came in first among other candidates in a written and oral exam.

The mayor and city council approved his new contract and said he's the best man for the job.

"Nobody condones what he did but everybody says that what he did, he paid the price for, and he has learned from it," said John Zech, city administrator. "He's apologized for it. He's gone forward and shown that it was something that happened one time and has never happened again."

Klonowski said as police chief, his door will be open to anyone who walks to talk.

"I have no problem speaking with citizens and giving them a chance to get to know me and trust me," he said. "I know I have some reputation to rebuild still and I will be glad to do that."

Bagwell said most police offers do a good job, and when they don't act appropriately, citizens have to call them out.

"There's a hesitation to call out the bad stuff that happens, or to call out officers that have a history of violence," he said. "When you have the lives of the public at hand, you need to be trusted. The public needs to trust they're going to do the right thing."

Some citizens are petitioning with a goal of collecting 1,000 signatures.












Southgate's new police chief has a checkered past
Published: Saturday, August 20, 2016
The News Herald
By Dave Herndon
dherndon@heritage.com


Much has changed in the past 12 years for Southgate police Officer Brian Klonowski since he was sentenced in 2004 for beating a woman he met at a party.
On Wednesday night, he was appointed as the city’s new police chief. He will be sworn in later this month.
Klonowski did not respond to several attempts by The News-Herald to reach him for this report. He did speak with WJBK-TV on Wednesday after the meeting at which he was appointed chief.
"My door as a chief will be open," he said in that TV interview. "I have no problem speaking with citizens and giving them the chance to get to know me and trust me. I know I have some reputation to rebuild still, and I will be glad to do that."
The vote to appoint him was unanimous, and several City Council members spoke highly of his years of service to the city.
In a letter announcing the appointment of Klonowski, Mayor Joseph Kuspa said the 21-year veteran of the police force is an “accomplished professional.”
The charge Klonowski was convicted of was a misdemeanor. He pleaded no contest, which is treated as a guilty plea without the admission of guilt in court.
He paid court fines, served 30 days on a work program, 60 days on a tether program and underwent anger management and alcohol counseling.
He met the victim, Gina Falconer, at a birthday party in Romulus that night in 2004.
Falconer said Klonowski was harassing her at the party and she threatened to hit him with a beer bottle.
Falconer suffered a broken nose and a broken bone above her eye as a result of the altercation with Klonowski. Attorney Michael Rataj said his client, Klonowski, was defending himself after Falconer began swinging the bottle at him.
As a result of the assault, Klonowski also was suspended from the Police Department for a year without pay. He served three months of that suspension before being allowed to return to active duty. While the case was in the court system, he was put on desk duty, but remained an officer.
"I understand the unfortunate circumstances and embarrassing situation," Klonowski told the TV station. "It was 12 years ago. I dealt with that on three levels -- criminally, civilly and departmentally -- and have attempted to put that behind me and have attempted to increase my professionalism."
Former Southgate Police Chief Larry Hall was outspoken at the time of the incident. He said he believed Klonowski should have been fired.
"To me, this is nothing short of astonishing," Hall said in 2004. "This represents an affront to the female victim and creates the perception that misconduct is tolerated in the Southgate Police Department. We are the people entrusted to enforce laws and maintain order.”
At the time of Klonowski’s reinstatement, Falconer said she was at a loss for words.
"You always hear that cops look out for their own," she said. "I guess it's true. This is a shock for the citizens of Southgate because they're the ones paying for it."
She could not be reached for comment Wednesday after he was promoted.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Councilman Bill Colovos said Klonowski went to law school while working as a police officer and became a licensed attorney.
“He has served the city well,” Colovos said during the meeting.
Councilwoman Karen George, while not objecting to the appointment, said the council approves only the financial portion of the contract. Per the city charter, the mayor had authority to appoint the chief.
Kuspa told The News-Herald that under state Public Act 78 all of the candidates for chief go through independent testing. Whichever candidate scores the highest on the test has to be offered the position.
“There is a process in place that has to be gone through,” Kuspa said. “The testing is done outside of the city.”
Kuspa said that while the crime was egregious, Klonowski served the sentence imposed by the court and has been an upstanding officer during Kuspa’s seven years as mayor.
“I can’t judge him on the actions taken by a mayor and Police Department before my tenure,” Kuspa said. “I can only judge him since I’ve been with the city.”
Kuspa said that in recent years Klonowski has risen through the ranks of the department, and has been tested at every step. He said it is of note that there wasn’t any public outcry each time Klonowski was promoted.
“No one is condoning his actions,” Kuspa said. “At some point that becomes history and you have to judge a person based on who they are now.”
Other than the incident in 2004, Klonowski has a spotless record, and has had no formal complaints filed against him as an officer, according to the city.
“He’s been an exemplary police officer,” Kuspa said.
As police chief, Klonowski will be paid $92,151 per year.
Also at the council meeting, current Police Chief Jeffery Smith was appointed as the city’s new public safety director to replace Thomas Coombs, who is retiring.

Smith will be paid $98,601 per year.





New pick for Southgate police chief draws controversy
The Detroit News 
August 18, 2016 - 8:16 p.m. EDT 
Southgate officials have named a new police chief but the appointment is drawing controversy.
Brian Klonowski, a lieutenant who currently heads the Police Department’s detective bureau, was picked by Mayor Joseph Kuspa for the top cop job, Southgate administrator John Zech said. The City Council approved the recommendation Wednesday.
Klonowski, however, has a past conviction for assault.
In 2004, Klonowski was charged with punching a Romulus woman in the face, breaking her nose and fracturing her chin. He pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of assault and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, The Detroit News reported.
The police officer also was ordered to pay court fines and costs, serve 30 days on the court’s work program and 60 days on a tether in addition to completing anger management and alcohol counseling.
As a result of his conviction, the Southgate Police Department suspended him for a year. But Klonowski was back on the job earlier than expected when then-Mayor Dennis David reduced his suspension to 90 days.
Since then, Klonowski has risen through the ranks to become a sergeant and lieutenant, as well as attended law school, Zech said.
“His record has been excellent,” he said. “He’s taken his law training and incorporated that into his work. ... He did all of the things the court called for him to do and picked up his life.”
Klonowski could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday night.
At the City Council meeting, members heard a reciting of a letter from the mayor that called Klonowski “an accomplished professional with 21 years of service to the city.” None of the council members raised objections to his promotion, according to a taped recording.
Reached for comment late Thursday, John Graziani, City Council president, said “all procedures were followed properly” regarding the move but referred further questions to other Southgate officials.
Some residents have complained to the city about the promotion, expressing concern about Klonowski’s charge, Zech said. But the administrator added that Klonowski ranked first in candidate testing by an outside agency. He also noted that the new chief has been an “exemplary officer” who handled numerous cases, including ones involving domestic violence.
While the assault was a “serious mistake,” Zech said, since then “he’s proved to the people of Southgate — the mayor in particular — that this was a one-time thing. He’s lived his life both on-duty and off-duty in such a way that there’s been nothing in the record that makes the mayor or myself ... think that this (promotion) shouldn’t occur."







New Southgate police chief was convicted of assault in 2004
POSTED:AUG 17 2016 10:29PM EDT
UPDATED:AUG 17 2016 10:29PM EDT
Hannah Saunders
FOX 2 Detroit
http://www.fox2detroit.com/news/local-news/193177115-story









SOUTHGATE, Mich. (WJBK) - Southgate has appointed a new police chief but concerns are being raised about the officer in line for the job.

An assault in his past has some questioning the promotion of Brian Klonowski.

The last time Klonowski was in the news, he was convicted of severely beating a woman at a party.

It's an issue he says was so far in the past, it's no longer relevant.

This is the face of the woman Brian Klonowski beat in 2004. They had just met at a party when she says, she turned down his advances. Then she says the officer yanked her into the ground from a chair, punching her until her eye hemorrhaged and her nose and her cheekbone broke.

He was convicted with assault after pleading no contest, he was suspended without pay from the Southgate Police Department for one year. Although the city brought him back to work after only three months.

He says he's changed.

"I understand the unfortunate circumstances and embarrassing situation," he said. "It was 12 years ago. I dealt with that on three levels - criminally, civilly and departmentally and have attempted to put that behind me and have attempted to increase my professionalism."

The lieutenant was appointed chief by the mayor and city council Wednesday night. He will start after a swearing in ceremony August 27. He says in the past years he's attended law school, risen in the ranks, and he is ready for his new role.


"I believe every incident that can be negative and embarrassing, you reflect upon it," Klonowski said. "And use that to improve parts about yourself."

City officials say of the several internal candidates, Klonowski came in first in a third-party written and oral exam. The mayor and city council members approved his new contract and say he's the best man for the job.

"Nobody condones what he did, but everybody says what he did, he paid the price for," said John Zech, city administrator. "He's learned from it, he's apologized for it, he's gone forward and shown that it was something that happened one time and never happened again."

For anyone who has any doubt, Klonowski says, he's willing to talk with them.

"My door as a chief will be open," he said. "I have no problem speaking with citizens and giving them the chance to get to know me and trust me. I know I have some reputation to rebuild still, and I will be glad to do that."

At the time he served 18 months probation but no jail time.

The victim who was beaten by the newly appointed chief, along with her family, say they are sickened by this decision. This woman says she's moved on, and did not want to go on camera  out of fear of any further police harassment.