Harvard won’t alter hiring rule

HARVARD – City Council members and Police Chief Dan Kazy-Garey dropped a proposed amendment to the anti-nepotism ordinance that would have allowed Kazy-Garey’s son to join the police department, Mayor Jay Nolan said.

The city received calls and letters from the residents who disapproved of changing the ordinance since the council discussed the amendment, which was to come up for a vote Tuesday.

“The proposal wasn’t very popular and we didn’t believe it was going anywhere,” Nolan said. “So everybody decided to drop it and go on.”

Kazy-Garey’s son applied for and tested for the police officer position despite the ordinance that prohibits the hiring of full-time employees who have a relative working for the city. The ordinance doesn’t prevent relatives from going through the interview process.

After the two highest-ranking applicants turned down conditional offers of employment, Kazy-Garey’s son was next in line.

But the amendment that would have allowed him to accept the position came under fire, first from members of Kazy-Garey’s staff during a City Council meeting Nov. 27.

The Harvard Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 134 contended that hiring the chief’s son could lead to police being unable to speak freely, enforce discipline or give praise. They also questioned the hiring process.

“We’re pleased, as far as the integrity of the department is concerned, that the ordinance is staying unchanged and intact,” the FOP said in a email statement to the Northwest Herald on Tuesday.

Kazy-Garey said the police department makes conditional offers to applicants in the order that they rank after testing and interviewing. If the conditional offers are accepted, the applicant undergoes final steps such as a background check.

Kazy-Garey said he still hasn’t been given final approval to hire anyone, but said police had “proceeded in the process” of final testing both with his son and the next applicant in line.

That doesn’t necessarily mean either will be hired. Kazy-Garey declined to comment on whether his son is out of the running for the position.

Kazy-Garey would have to step down for his son to accept the job.

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