The controversial retirement of Miami Twp. Police Chief John “Chris” Krug is the latest in a series of changes in the local government of 30,000 residents, as well as businesses from around the Dayton Mall south to the Austin Landing development.
Krug submitted a letter of retirement to township trustees 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.
“I wish Miami Twp. government the best of luck as it continues to struggle with the many issues it faces now and will face in the future. May God bless Miami Township, the State of Ohio and the United States of America,” Krug concluded the retirement letter obtained Thursday through a public records request by the Dayton Daily News.
Krug’s departure continues about nine months of township turmoil.
Earlier this year, Administrator Greg Hanahan and Deputy Police Chief John DiPietro were fired, six staffers were laid off, the finance director retired and the assistant administrator went on leave.
Last week, trustees Charlie Lewis and Mike Nolan eliminated Human Resources Director Lisa deGuzman’s position and removed Deborah Preston as board president. Nolan is now president.
On Thursday, Nolan said he expected the trustees would hire an interim chief to manage the department until after the November election. The seats held by Nolan and Preston are up for election.
Nolan said the township needed to hire an outside administrator to oversee reorganization of the police department.
The trustees are expected to act on Krug’s retirement - and name a new finance director - at a special meeting at 10 a.m. Friday.
In a May 20 letter to trustees, Krug said he would retire by July 31, to take full advantage of his retirement benefits before reforms took effect. But Krug also asked trustees to be rehired. Separately he sent an email to selected police staff stating that if he wasn’t rehired, he would consider running for trustee.
Nolan and Lewis said they characterized the email, obtained by the Dayton Daily News through an open records request, as a “threat,” and Nolan called it “blackmail.”
In the retirement letter submitted Wednesday, Krug said, “I would need to retire by July 31, 2013 in order to not be impacted by pension reform; but I do not believe remaining an employee of Miami Township past June 28, 2013 would serve any purpose for either of us.
Krug said he changed his mind on May 30 - his 67th birthday - after reexamining his priorities, not in reaction to the trustees’ comments about his potential run for office.
“My decision to retire has nothing to do with any of that,” Krug said, adding he delayed submitting the retirement while weighing the decision.
Krug said the earlier proposal would have saved the township about $15,000 and that Lewis and Nolan were wrong to accuse him of threats and blackmail.
“There was no demand to them to rehire me,” he said. “It was a proposal.”
He declined to say whether he would run for trustee in November.
In the 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.”
Some residents have discussed forming a joint district with other police jurisdictions or a contract with the sheriff’s office. Others have been strongly opposed. The idea to contract with the sheriff ’s office for police services was first discussed publicly by Nolan, a former chief deputy for that office.
On Thursday, Nolan said he was no longer proposing a police district.
Before coming to Miami Twp. in 1996, Krug received a service pension from his 25 years with the Dayton Police Department. Nolan described Krug’s retire-rehire proposal as “triple dipping.”
In his first township retirement letter, Krug stated that, should he be rehired, he would pay the employee’s contribution to the pension fund, which would result in a minimum annual savings of $9,400. He also said he would “consider going on Medicare with a supplemental health insurance policy, provided some financial incentive was provided for me to make this transition.”
He requested continued full use of a township-owned vehicle, life insurance coverage and that the township “pay for any uniform expense,” and continue to provide an $800 a year clothing allowance.
Krug wrote that it was a terrible time for him to leave the department, noting that he led the effort to get the recent levy passed. “I have kept the police department focused and moving forward during the DiPietro investigation and subsequent fiasco.”
DiPietro was fired after it was found an investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office found that he violated several department policy and procedures when he hosed down a naked 17-year- old girl who had been pepper-sprayed. He has appealed the firing.
Lewis and Preston could not be reached Thursday.
Staff writer Lou Grieco contributed to this report.