Miami Twp. trustees accepted the retirement of Police Chief John “Chris” Krug on Friday, but rejected the hiring of a new finance director.
With Trustee Deborah Preston absent, Trustee Charlie Lewis declined to second a motion by Trustee Mike Nolan to hire Harry D. Steger as finance director.
“We are continuing to get our budget in line,” Lewis said in a prepared statement. “I don’t feel like the time is right to hire a finance director.”
Interim Administrator Tracy Williams questioned Lewis’ stance and encouraged the board to reconsider hiring Steger - formerly with the cities of Milford and Loveland, and Butler County - at its next meeting. Fiscal Officer Ann Culp, also absent Friday, recommended hiring Steger after a hiring process started with about 30 candidates, Williams said.
“I’m highly disappointed,” said Williams, a former West Carrollton city manager hired after the firing of Greg Hanahan earlier this year.
Williams said the finance department has struggled since the retirement of Joe Fowler in March. One clerk has been laid off and payroll services hired out to a contractor.
Lewis also pointed out the township administration has less responsibility since the fire department became part of the Miami Valley Fire District.
“I’m not even sure we need a finance director,” Lewis said, advocating instead for reinstatement of the clerk laid off earlier this year.
The trustees also accepted Krug’s retirement and agreed to sell him his 40-caliber Glock pistol for $100.
Krug submitted a letter of retirement Wednesday, after previously urging township trustees to rehire him after his retirement and advising staff that he was considering a run for trustee unless he was rehired.
He is just the latest staffer to leave the township this year.
In addition to Fowler’s retirement, Administrator Greg Hanahan and Deputy Police Chief John DiPietro were fired, six staffers have been laid off and the assistant administrator remains on leave.
Last week, Lewis and Nolan eliminated the human resources director’s position and removed Preston as board president. Nolan is now president.
Nolan and Preston are up for election.
In a May 27 email, Krug stated he had been approached “by a very strong PAC (political action committee) with significant financial resources asking me to consider running for trustee in November and replace one particular trustee. If not re-employed, I would give running for trustee strong consideration in order to keep the Miami Twp. Police Department in place and ensure the MCSO stays out.”
But in his retirement letter submitted to the trustees this week, Krug said that he did not think it was in anyone’s best interests to continue his employment with the township.
Krug said Thursday he was undecided about running for trustee. Sgt. Jay Phares represented the police at Friday’s special meeting.