Troup provides updates on police contract and Yates investigation, says Farha ‘showed true colors’ last week
QUINCY — Quincy Mayor Mike Troup says he has no intention of asking 4th Ward alderman Mike Farha to rejoin the two committees he resigned from earlier this week, saying “his time’s up.”
“He showed his true colors,” Troup said after Thursday’s special meeting of the Quincy City Council, during which aldermen passed a $50.29 million budget for the fiscal 2024 year.
Farha, the senior alderman with 24 years on the Quincy City Council, called Troup “tyrannical” and said in an interview with Muddy River News the “best thing for our community” is for him to resign immediately as a deadline to pass a city budget looms. He resigned from the Finance Committee and the governing board of 911 Joint Emergency Telephone System Board — he was chair of both — after Monday’s City Council meeting, when aldermen voted down Troup’s budget 7-6.
“I think his time’s up,” Troup said Thursday. “I’ve already talked to some other people. He’s resigned from that, and I don’t think it’s fair to the other people who are still serving there. There’s a couple of committees that a lot of people would like to be on. Now it’s time to give it to somebody else. He’s refused to meet with me. I get a kick out of that. You can talk to the media. I don’t know if he just needs some attention.
“It’s the same thing when Jason Priest would come (to speak before the City Council). I didn’t agree with everything he said, but he has a right to free speech. I think Alderman Farha disappointed several of his other aldermen with those statements. From what I’m hearing from some of them, they thought he was out of line. I wish he didn’t say those things. I wish he would get together, sit down and talk. It’s up to him.”
During an interview with local media after Thursday’s special meeting, Troup said aldermen need to realize what each other’s job responsibilities are — “and we may need to review what those are,” he said.
Asked to elaborate, Troup said, “The mayor has responsibility of running the city. I meet with the public. I meet with developers. I help attract retailers, businesses and developers to help grow this community. The aldermen have to approve payment of expenses. They have to support the city activity by serving on committees.
“In the last two years, we’ve had three aldermen who unilaterally said, ‘I’m resigning from this committee, this committee and that committee.’ What you’re doing is putting the burden of your aldermanic responsibilities on other aldermen. I’m not sure that’s fair. If you don’t want to serve on a committee, why do you want to be an alderman? … I don’t put people on a committee they have no interest in. Somebody’s got to serve on some of these committees.”
Thursday’s meeting only was necessary because aldermen voted 7-6 three days earlier not to approve Troup’s budget proposal. Aldermen Richie Reis (D-6) and Greg Fletcher (R-1) said after the meeting — and Mike Farha (R-4) echoed in a later interview with Muddy River News — that uncertainty about a lack of communication with Troup about police contract negotiations and an investigation Troup called for into the hiring of Adam Yates as chief of the Quincy Police Department led to their no votes.
Troup addressed both issues after Thursday’s meeting. He said an arbitration hearing on the police contract is set for 10 a.m. Monday.
“All the bargaining people are going to come together in front of the arbitrator, which was selected between the two sides,” he said. “We’re going to sit there, and it’s probably going to be four or five hours. I think everybody wants to get to a solution. I am absolutely interested in seeing something get done.”
Troup then said “there’s some confusion” about the Yates investigation.
“That investigation is a whistleblower action,” he said. “The whistleblower then submitted it to our DAS (Director of Administrative Services Jeff Mays) and to our director of (human resources), because they couldn’t go through the police ranks. (Mays and the director of HR) reviewed it and said, ‘Yes, based on what we’re reading here in the complaint, further investigation is warranted.’
“So who can do that? Well, we checked with our in-house counsel. They said we have conflicts, we can’t do it. We go to the state’s attorney (Gary Farha). The state’s attorney took a look at it and says we’ve got conflicts, so we can’t touch it. We think the appellate prosecutor’s office could do it, so they got a hold of them during the holidays. It took weeks to get a response. They took a look at it, reviewed it, and said, ‘If the investigation comes up with any criminal activity, the appellate prosecutor would have to press charges, so we can’t be involved with the investigation.’”
Troup then said he reviewed the issues with the police aldermanic committee — comprised of three aldermen, with Tony Sassen (R-4) as the chair. That group suggested hiring an investigator, and Troup says an investigator from Springfield was hired.
“We can’t interfere by calling up all the time and saying, ‘Where are you with this? Did you get this answer?’” Troup said. “Until the report is final, he’s not going to say, ‘I’ve got something here.’ Once the investigator has completed his report, he will tell the City Council what he found in executive session. And until then, we aren’t really going know. It could end up being nothing. It could be the investigation uncovered something that wasn’t proper. Then you have to decide: How’s that going to be handled?
“The good thing is, I don’t have to touch it. It’s not an area that the mayor has any power over. We do have an obligation to move forward with that investigation.”
Troup said his focus in the future is making improvements to Quincy.
“I’m trying to get more investment dollars, trying to improve our current housing and getting more developers to come (to Quincy) and trying to get more hotel operations to come to our community, all of which helps our current taxpayers,” he said.
“Target coming here (the retail outlet is expected to open in August) is going to be a good thing. Having a nationally recognized first-class retailer like a Target attracts other national retailers to come to your community, and we’re seeing that. We’ve got another restaurant that’s looking to build in one of the outlets at 36th and Broadway. We can announce that soon enough, but we can’t do it tonight. Stay tuned.”
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