Letters to the Editor

Medina doesn't discriminate

 

Since my family moved to Medina in 1976 many members of racial minorities have chosen to make Medina their home. These bright people had the choice of many nice communities and would not have chosen to come to a place of racial prejudice.

We currently have two members of a racial minority sitting on our City Council.

Jeffery Chen, a person of considerable talents, was hired onto the police force and later elevated to police chief – no discrimination there. He impressed many citizens to include my wife and me.

Unfortunately for all, there arose allegations that Chen engaged in behaviors inappropriate to a city employee and police leader. Shortly after being interviewed by an investigator for the city, he chose to resign. He later asked to withdraw his resignation and was allowed to do so – no discrimination there.

There followed a thorough investigation of relevant facts by an investigator for the city. After its completion, the city manager with council support terminated Chen

Chen sued the city and a federal court jury believed Chen's assertion that discrimination was a factor in his termination and made a large damage award. Post trial motions will be made, and it will be months before a final judgement will be entered.

Here is one take away. The termination for cause of a government employee is procedurally demanding and uncertain. When such an employee happens to be the member of a minority, the process becomes far more delicate and hazardous. Given this, courage is required by those under duty to proceed.

I have long known two Medina council members who participated in this extended and arduous process. They are of the highest character and would not permit this termination had there been any element of racial discrimination in the decision. I am sure the same holds true of our other council members and our city manager. I applaud their tenacity in public service.

It might be worth noting my wonderful daughter-in-law is a citizen of China resident and working in the U.S.

Bruce Hand, Medina

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