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Battle Creek City Officials hold news conference but won't answer questions

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From Left to right City Attorney Jill Steele, Interim Manager Susan Bedsole, Interim Police Chief Jim Blocker, Human Resources Manager Paul Engels and Assistant City Attorney Brad Sysol.
From Left to right City Attorney Jill Steele, Interim Manager Susan Bedsole, Interim Police Chief Jim Blocker, Human Resources Manager Paul Engels and Assistant City Attorney Brad Sysol.

BATTLE CREEK (WKZO) -- Once again Battle Creek City Officials are dealing with issues in their Police Department. 

Battle Creek’s acting Manager Susan Bedsole and Police Chief Jim Blocker held a scripted news conference Friday afternoon but refused to take questions from the media and say they will not do interviews.                    

Bedsole did confirm that the focus of the probe is Deputy Chief Jim Saylor and Inspector Maria Alonso, mentioning them by title and not by name. 

The two high ranking officials in the department are both on paid leave until the situation is resolved. 

 Bedsole says that is routine proceedure when allegations are made to make sure employees are compensated while they are being investigated, and not an "indication of any type of wrongdoing." . 

Then she said they are trying to determine if an alleged personal relationship between the two created a "hostile working environment” that may have had a negative impact on the department.  

Interim Police Chief Jim Blocker says the integrity of the department is on the line.

Bedsole says they hope to resolve the matter within three to four weeks.

Its just the latest in a series of perceived and real problems within the Police Department that has been a source of great friction between elected commissioners and appointed adminstrators, and left City Hall in the hands of interim appointees.  

 

 

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