The head of the police union said the city balked for weeks at paying the legal bills accumulated by the two officers who were involved in a shootout that left them hospitalized and a gun suspect dead.
"Nothing," Police Benevolent Association President Thomas Hoffman said was the response he got from City Hall during seven weeks of requests that the city cover the expenses of officers Joshua Comitale and Chad Klein.
On Wednesday, Hoffman went public with his complaint and within hours Mayor Lou Rosamilia's administration said it would pay $5,000 in legal fees for the officers.
First off, saying nothing is not balking. Balking would have been more like:
Hoffman: Mr. Mayor, will you pay the legal fees?
Rosamilia: Yeah, right! Like that's going to happen. Don't think so.
If so, why the silence?
Like the frozen pipe fiasco, the city may have a very good reason for inaction. In the pipe case, homeowners are responsible for lines running to their homes. The city cannot be responsible for every frozen pipe in the city. Doing so sets a terrible and potentially expensive precedent. Not explaining the issue doesn't help. In fact, someone needed to tell Lou, just thaw the pipes and we'll worry about the precedent later. It's just good politics and bad PR not to. Here, again, silence.
Say what you want about Tutunjian, but as long as the person(s) involved had never criticized him or his administration, he would have been down at the house with a hair dryer or Bic lighter trying to thaw the pipes himself. Sure, he probably would have been working on the gas line and not the water line but you get the point. The former mayor understood PR. The current mayor never has, never will and now it no longer matters.