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Columbus Police Deputy Chiefs Mulling Over Sweetheart Deal

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

At a yearly base salary of $187,574, the Columbus Division of Police's six deputy chiefs are among the highest-paid city employees.

And, as The Sussi Report first reported last week, four of them could walk away with a bundle of cash if they cleaned out their desks and retired.

According to CPD sources, the city has offered a one-time payment of $500,000 - your tax dollars - to Deputy Chiefs Ken Kuebler, Jennifer Knight, Tim Becker, Kelly Weiner, and Tom Quinlan, who Mayor Andy Ginther demoted in January of 2021 from chief to deputy chief.

Sources say that the deputy chiefs have until Monday to accept the offer. If more than four apply, seniority will determine who gets the buyouts.

The Sussi Report reached out to Chief Elaine Bryant, the Division's media relations department, and Robin Davis, the mayor's spokesperson, for a comment. To date, none of them have responded.

Cincinnati lawyer Zachary Gottesman emailed The Sussi Report the following statement. "At the present time, I cannot comment or respond to your questions. If that changes, I will let you know." Gottesman represents Knight in her lawsuit against the city, claiming gender and race discrimination and retaliation.

Last July, Columbus City Council approved a $300,00 buyout to the five deputy chiefs, who all have more than 25 years of service. None of them accepted the offer.

Interestingly, Becker, Knight, Weiner, and Quinlan have all applied for the chief of police opening in Springfield, Ohio.

When they decide to move on, the Division's deputy chiefs will also collect a hefty monthly pension of approximately $11,000, which over the years, could add up to millions.

Earlier this year, 100 Division personnel, including four commanders, nine lieutenants, and 28 sergeants, accepted a one-time $200,000 retirement-incentive buyout. The offer cost taxpayers 20 million and left the Division severely understaffed.

Sources said this is all part of Mayor Ginther's grand plan of "reimagining public safety" and building his own police department. "He wants yes-people," said a veteran Division detective.

If Knight accepts the $500,000 buyout offer, another source said she would likely have to drop her lawsuit against the city.

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