Sepe, known for firing off fiery press releases, said Fung's handling of "multiple scandals involving" the department "point to very serious problems."
Below is the full text of Sepe's release:
The recent revelations about the multiple scandals involving the Cranston Police Department point to very serious problems. But the root of these scandals is not what the Cranston Police Administration failed to do or attempted to downplay. It is a failure of leadership in the Office of the Public Safety Commissioner.
To those who may be unaware of the name of Cranston's Public Safety Commissioner, he is Mayor Allan W. Fung.
Mr. Fung acknowledges that he holds the position of Cranston Public Safety Commissioner but has intentionally and consistently avoided his responsibility to administer over the affairs of the Police Department. Obviously this lack of leadership is a major contributing cause of these scandals and the resulting embarrassment which each resident of Cranston must endure for the preventable misdeeds of certain Police Department individuals.
Mr. Fung attempts to pooh-pooh his misfeasance by stating that he does not want to "micro Manage" the Police Department.
Micro manage? Right about now after nearly 6-months of scandal revelations I'll bet a handsome sum that Cranstonians would be satisfied with just about any management from Fung in his role as Public Safety Commissioner, assuming he is willing to do the job. But regrettably, Fung has been conspicuously absent - he wasn't bashful to appear before the TV cameras at a February news conference with Major Ryan after a murder suspect was arrested in Florida.
Why has Mr. Fung failed to exercise upon his duties as Public Safety Commissioner? Some say that he cut a political deal with the Cranston Police Union to allow them to run the Police Department in return for the Union's political support of Fung's campaign for Governor. If that's true I guess the Union got what it bargain for and maybe Mr. Fung for what he bargained for but what about us, Cranston's residents and taxpayers. We are forced to endure the embarrassment of routine media reports of scandal in the Cranston Police Department.
Another rumor making its way through City Hall is that Mr. Fung's time is consumed by his campaign for Governor, Hop-scotching around Rhode Island seeking endorsements here, there and everywhere. It's anybody's guess; maybe the truth lies somewhere between these two opinions.
It has long been recognized by experts in the field that a municipal police department the size of Cranston's should be managed on a paramilitary model of organization. The top of this model requires strong professional leadership.
Given the size of our City and the need to keep our road and neighborhoods safe, we should now take this opportunity to open debate on the issue of filling the position of Public Safety Commissioner with an independent professional - unaligned with the day -to-day politics of the Mayor's Office. The qualifications for this position requires a seasoned public safety officer with many years of hands-on experience in all facets of police and fire protection. I am confident that the foreseeable benefits to all of us will far outweigh the public funds necessary to properly finance this position.
Simply stated, Cranston can no longer afford to continue the status quo. The parking ticket fiasco, the Patalano, affair and pending claims of other police personnel have and will cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay-outs and legal fees. This must come to a halt. In fact, the salary of a professional public safety commissioner would most likely cost significantly less than the Patalano payment.