COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A union representing area police officers issued a unanimous vote of no confidence against Chief Deputy Michael Flynn of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
The membership of Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge 9 deemed Flynn, who has worked at the sheriff’s office for more than 38 years, “a detriment to the operations and morale” of the organization, unanimously agreeing to deliver a vote of no confidence against him Tuesday, according to a letter from FOP President Jeff Simpson.
Sheriff Dallas Baldwin acknowledged the vote Wednesday but said in a statement that the vote doesn’t mean Flynn will be reassigned or fired.
“Unfortunately, the point of view of the Sheriff’s Administration and the Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing the deputies, doesn’t always align,” Baldwin said. “I’m confident we will resolve any concerns with meaningful, honest communication and clear goals.”
The vote follows an email Flynn sent to sheriff’s office personnel on April 1, in which he addressed the “trying times” for law enforcement officers, who are subjected to attacks “on many fronts,” he said.
“What perplexes me more than anything, is how we attack each other and the ways in which we do it,” Flynn wrote in an email. “We do and say things for no reason other than to hurt and belittle each other.”
When making decisions at work, Flynn encouraged the employees in his email to consider whether they are doing the right thing, if it’s for the right reason, and whether it’s the right time to do it.
“Truthfully, answering these 3 questions in our work environment decisions would go a long way toward restoring community trust, reducing our individual and office liability, reducing discipline, and making the workplace better for all of us.”
Flynn concluded his email by urging personnel to remember the “Golden Rule” — “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the email reads.
It is unclear what prompted Flynn to send the April 1 email.
In a letter to Baldwin, Simpson — who said his FOP membership has his “full support on this issue” — invited him to have a “sit down” to discuss the deputies’ concerns about Flynn.
Baldwin thanked Simpson for the letter, adding that his door is always open to discuss problems pertaining to sheriff’s office personnel.
Baldwin said “communication is often the root cause when issues arise” and that he is implementing communications teams in each division to allow personnel to meet directly with their division’s chief about issues that arise.