Thursday, March 18, 2004

News briefs



Worker fired after on-air racial comments

WEST END - Cincinnati City Manager Valerie Lemmie fired a city radio technician Wednesday, a day after he was indicted on a charge of breaking into police and fire radio frequencies and making racist and threatening statements.

William A. Westerkamp also was brought up on two administrative charges: making "violent, threatening, offensive and racially inflammatory statements" on city radio frequencies on Feb. 22, and for being arrested while on the job March 2.

Speech scientist says lieutenant used slur

WEST END - Cincinnati Police Lt. Jeffrey Butler probably used a racial slur when he was being interviewed by internal affairs investigators five years ago, a University of Cincinnati speech scientist concluded in a confidential analysis provided to the city March 2 and released Wednesday.

Suzanne Boyce, an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, said background noise and degradation of the videotape make it impossible to identify conclusively what Butler said at the end of this sentence: "Can you get my gun so I can lock up some (disputed word)?" But Boyce said expert listening, acoustical analysis and lip reading make the racial slur the most likely word said.

The department's Internal Investigations Section is investigating.

Business development center leader named

Cincinnati City Manager Valerie Lemmie has appointed Scott C. Stiles to run the city's new "one-stop" development center.

The center, at 3300 Central Parkway, is expected to open April 26. A recommendation of last year's Economic Development Task Force, the center is supposed to streamline economic development by putting building permits and small business development programs under one roof.

Stiles, an assistant to the city manager, was previously the city's real estate manager and liaison to the Economic Development Task Force.




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