The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Former Oregon Police Chief Tom Gulch told city council before a packed room on Oct. 12 that Mayor Marge Brown had tried to interfere on several occasions while he was investigating her son, Officer Jeff Brown.

Gulch spoke after council unanimously agreed to lift a clause in a separation agreement he had with the city that banned him from speaking negatively about the city administration. Councilman Bill Myers last week asked council to lift the clause after he read about it in The Press.

Gulch had wanted to comment about complaints that were made against Officer Brown, who was disciplined for various violations following an internal affairs investigation, but believed the separation agreement prohibited him from doing so.

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Former Oregon Police Chief Tom Gulch said Mayor Marge Brown asked him to resign two months after she had suggested that he promote her son, Officer Jeff Brown, to sergeant.

Gulch made the allegation at a council meeting on Oct. 12.

Gulch said he had just conducted interviews of three officers who were on a promotions list. “Jeff Brown was on that promotions list, and he was at the bottom of the list, the number three officer,” said Gulch. Mayor Brown had stopped Gulch as he passed her in the hallway of the municipal building and asked how her son had done on the interview.

Gulch said he told the mayor that Officer Brown and the other candidates had done well.

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Who voters decide will be Toledo’s next mayor may depend on whether city leaders need to think “creatively,” or if they need a “reality check.”

Those are the words said repeatedly by mayoral candidates Keith Wilkowski and Mike Bell on Thursday during a debate at The Courtyard at Navy Bistro in The Docks restaurant complex.

East Toledo voters got to hear views from both candidates as they squared off in a forum sponsored by the East Toledo Club and The Press. Bell and Wilkowski finished as the top two vote getters in September’s primary, and only one will be elected November 3 to replace current mayor Carty Finkbeiner in January.

Bell attended the University of Toledo with a concentration in business, and was a UT football co-captain and student of the year. He has more than 19 years experience as Toledo’s Fire Chief and State Fire Marshal. He was the first African-American as well as the youngest person ever to lead the Toledo Fire Department with its 500 plus employees.

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Thousands of first responders will now have the opportunity to

heighten their emergency preparedness skills in the latest experiential training and educational resource center around as Owens Community College’s Center for Emergency Preparedness formally opens the doors to a new $3.2 million Training and Operations Center.

The new facility will serve as the “hub” for the Center for Emergency Preparedness and provide first responders with expanded opportunities for real-world, scenario-based training highlighted by the only indoor emergency services virtual training system in the country.

“Owens Community College’s new Training and Operations Center is a welcome addition to the Center for Emergency Preparedness and fulfills a need for a rather expansive facility to conduct year-round training within a climate controlled setting,” said Michael Cornell, Owens Director of the Center for Emergency Preparedness. “Providing first responders with the highest level in realistic training is essential to preparing them for actual emergency situations. This new Training and Operations Center reinforces the College’s commitment to meeting the emergency preparedness education and training needs throughout the region and beyond by offering experiential learning resources unlike any other facility in the country.”

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Some members of Oregon City Council were surprised to learn that a separation agreement the city made with former Police Chief Tom Gulch in 2007 included a clause that prohibits him from publicly saying or doing anything that will portray the city administration in a negative light.

Those who were on council at the time remember approving the agreement, but say the administration withheld the clause from their review.

“When we voted on Gulch’s package to go, I do not remember that being in the paperwork that we looked over,” said Councilman Bill Myers, adding that he will vote on Monday to lift the restriction on Gulch so he can talk about whether he conducted an investigation in 2002 of a woman’s complaints about Officer Jeff Brown, Mayor Marge Brown’s son.

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