“Review Board’s first case involves singer’s daughter” – (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 7/10/1999)
CPRB #01-98: Smith v. Mouser
The Board’s first public hearing was held on 7/9/1999. The daughter of famed singer Tammy Wynette alleged that P.O. Vickie Mouser engaged in misconduct while engaging in a secondary-employment detail as a security officer at Presbyterian University Hospital. Ms. Wynette was a patient in the hospital under an assumed named for privacy purposes. The complainant’s boyfriend was waiting in the Emergency Department waiting area while the complainant visited her mother. The boyfriend and the subject officer exchanged disrespectful words. Upon the complainant’s return to the area and learning of the exchange, the complainant and the subject officer engaged in a confrontation that escalated into a physical altercation between the two and the removal of the complainant to the Allegheny County Jail.
Six of the seven Board members received testimony and evidence. Their Findings sustained the complaint and the Recommendations consisted of a 90-day suspension, a 1-year prohibition on secondary details and remedial training related to incident management and de-escalation. On July 28th 1999, the Findings and Recommendations were forwarded to the Mayor and Chief of Police. The plan was to disclose publicly the Findings & Recommendations with the response from the Mayor/Chief of Police.
“Citizens secrecy board?
A newborn police watchdog isn’t being fully open”
“Given all the review board has gone through just to get to this point, is it possible that it simply doesn’t get it? After all the disputes that have resulted in mutual suspicions that may never be overcome, why has the board chosen to keep its first precise discipline recommendations under wraps for nearly a month?”
(Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Editorial excerpt, 8/18/1999)
Point taken, and swiftly so…
The Board conducted a public hearing and amended their Rules & Operating Procedures on 9/28/1999. Thereafter, Findings & Recommendations were released to the public simultaneously with conveyance to the Chief of Police and the Mayor.