February 2021

Columbus police chief out, should mayor be next?

Courtesy of ABC 6
By Tom Bosco
January 29, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Mayor Andrew Ginther has seen enough and has removed the chief of Columbus Police. While many said they want to see Ginther follow close behind and step down, the mayor said Friday he’s not leaving City Hall.

Ginther’s comments came less than a day after his announcement that Thomas Quinlan will not continue as police chief, being relieved just before the expiration of his probationary period. Quinlan was named chief in December of 2019. He will become a deputy chief of CPD.

Stephanie Hightower, president of the Columbus Urban League said she wasn’t surprised by the mayor’s removal of Quinlan. She said someone outside the department would be best to replace the chief.

MORE: Who will become the next Columbus Police chief?
“(Someone) who doesn’t have ties that are so embedded in a culture that will now not allow it to to be able to reform itself,” she said.

But Hightower won’t join those calling for the mayor’s resignation. Many on social media demanded Ginther follow Quinlan out the door.

Hightower likens Ginther to a manager who hires an employee who doesn’t perform and must fire that individual. She commended Ginther for making a change.

Ginther said he takes responsibility for hiring Quinlan as chief. But he said he’s not going anywhere.

“(Voters) have elected and reelected me,” Ginther said. “We will have another election in 2023 and the people of Columbus will decide whether or not the equity agenda, police reform, and focusing on our opportunity neighborhoods is the direction they want to go, or in a different direction.”

Ginther was first elected as mayor in 2015 with 59-percent of the vote. He ran unopposed in 2019.

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