Monday, December 5th, 2016

It’s a perk of the position

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Jeff Wagner writes “No No Nanette” in response to Nan Hegerty becoming the second ex-police chief in a row to sue for discrimination.

Back in October of 2003, former Mayor John Norquist was on his way out of office in the wake of a sex scandal involving a Mayoral aide. In a parting gift to the City of Milwaukee, Norquist’s Fire and Police Commission hired Nan Hegerty to replace Arthur Jones as Police Chief. Four and a half years later, it seems that Hegerty may have had a lot more in common with Jones that anybody thought.

When she was first hired, Hegerty (who had never been a police chief before) was paid around $112,000. When Hegerty retired after four years on the job, she was earning about $132,000 – the same amount that Jones was making when his contract was not renewed. Based on her years of service with the Department, the 56 year old Hegerty pulls in an annual pension of almost $82,000.

Not satisfied to simply retire in her mid-50’s on a pension of $82,000 (plus whatever she also ultimately receives from her years of service as United States marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin), Hegerty has filed a gender discrimination complaint with the State of Wisconsin. In her complaint, Hegerty alleges that new Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn is being paid $143,881 – about 8.5% than she was making when she left office. To Hegerty’s way of thinking, the salary difference has to be because Flynn is male and she is female.

This is not the first time that a Milwaukee Police Chief has refused to go quietly into the good night.

After Arthur Jones was not rehired, he filed two lawsuits against the City. One lawsuit alleged that he was mistreated because he was black. The other accused the Fire and Police Commission of retaliating against him because he complained that he was being mistreated because he was black. Both suits were dismissed.

As was the case with Jones, my guess is that Hegerty’s claim is going nowhere. Unlike Hegerty, who had no experience as a Chief of Police, Ed Flynn was hired after 20 years as police chief of five different departments. This fact alone probably defeats her claim.

I really liked the title.

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