Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Dlott's choice

Council choking on Dr. Kal


While citizens voted for the politicians of their choice yesterday, Cincinnati Council members voted to give "Dr. Ripoff'' a bum's rush sendoff.

Dr. Alan Kalmanoff, picked by federal Judge Susan Dlott to "monitor'' Cincinnati cops and race problems, sent his first bill. And council was hot enough to fry an eggs Benedict.

"Ludicrous,'' they said. "Insulting'' and "wholly illegal.''

Then they got personal.

John Cranley said, "I do not believe he can be trusted.''

Law and Public Safety Chairman Pat DeWine said, "He showed total disregard for the taxpayers.''

`Rather smug'

David Pepper said, "I don't think he still has any idea that this is not a glamour role.''

Minette Cooper called him "rather smug,'' and Jim Tarbell said the Berkeley, Calif. consultant was "scattered, evasive and obstinate.''

Chris Monzel captured the Hallmark feeling for Dr. Kalmanoff by saying, "He looks more like Dr. Ripoff to me.''

It was a rare chance to see council members take umbrage with both hands - and be dead right.

The bill demanded $55,241, including: $500 to attend an NAACP banquet; $25 to show up at the mayor's office when the mayor was not there; $100 charges for e-mails; $675 to ride along with a cop (about three times as much as the cop made); $300 to dine with Judge Dlott and friends; $250 to meet Ron Twitty, who was forced off the police force; thousands for airfare, cabs, tips, phone calls and even a bill for meeting council members.

"Talk about your $200 handshake,'' Mr. Monzel said.

A few questions

Question: How do you know when Dr. Kal is on the meter?

Answer: Hold a mirror to his lips. If he's breathing, he's billing.

A few more questions:

What was Judge Dlott thinking? Just imagine how Bezerkely, Calif., would react to a police monitor from Cincinnati? No wonder Cincinnati is madder than a cat on a leash.

Did anyone check this guy's references?

Judge Dlott won't say. I will take that as a strong doubt. With just a few phone calls, I found people in Kalamazoo who fired him, and published accusations in Akron that his consulting report was "fundamentally flawed and riddled with distortions and falsehoods.''

Dr. Kal's supporters say he's a courageous boat rocker. But shouldn't irate customers in Kalamazoo and Akron set off a few warning sirens?

Mr. DeWine says Judge Dlott broke the rules to pick Mr. Kalmanoff.

And what about the whole collaborative, a hurry-up deal to settle bogus profiling lawsuits that were not even settled?

"The entire community is being held hostage to the confusion this thing has brought,'' said Mr. Tarbell.

Instead of haggling over a "monitor'' who is trying to gouge the city for $7 million, council should support its cops, he said.

Good idea. But let's pay part of Dr. Kal's bill. The airfare to send him back to Berkeley is money well spent.

E-mail or call 768-8301.

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