Conspiracy Theorist: 09/22

Cover-up at City Hall

Dayton’s rulers pay outgoing city manager
for silence

Mark Luedtke

Normally when rulers cover up their crimes, they try to keep the cover-up secret too, but in the case of the mysterious resignation, or maybe firing, of Dayton City Manager Warren Price after only eight months on the job, the cover-up is in plain sight. The Dayton Daily News quotes Mayor Nan Whaley’s practiced political doublespeak, “We put this on the calendar tonight, and we’ll be completely transparent. But, you know, personnel decisions are private for a reason.” That tells us what we already knew about Whaley, but nothing about why Price quit or was fired.

Whaley says she and her cohorts want to put the matter behind them. That might be the only honest statement they made about ousting the City Manager they brought in.

The DDN reports, “Warren Price, who resigned as Dayton’s city manager on Wednesday, will receive an estimated $46,866 payout as part of a severance package approved by the city commission. The exit payment, equal to about 30 percent of Price’s annual salary, was the result of negotiations between the sides. Price was in the job for eight months and was not eligible for severance under the terms of his contract.”

Besides the shocking news the Dayton City Manager makes $160,000 a year—every struggling Dayton taxpayer should be outraged—you have to wonder why Dayton’s rulers paid Price extra to get rid of him. But not just to get rid of him. To keep him silent. The DDN continues, “The separation agreement says Price waives his right to take any legal action or make claims against the city regarding his employment. The agreement also says, ‘Employee will not disparage in any way the reputation of employer, its officers, employees or agents to third parties.’”

Dayton’s rulers made Price an offer he couldn’t refuse, probably punctuated with a horsehead in his bed. This begs the question: What were they afraid Price would tell about them? He knows something they don’t want public, and whatever it is, they’re paying to keep it secret. But they didn’t pay him off with their own money, as far as we know. To benefit themselves, they paid him off with money stolen from taxpayers. That’s government in a nutshell.

Sounding every bit like the super-Mafioso he and his cohorts are, Commissioner Matt Joseph told DDN, “We want to make sure that people know that when they come to work for us … we take care of our folks.”

Cue creepy music.

Price had a tough last couple of months. Recently a video of a Dayton police officer admitting he pulled over a man because he made and held eye contact went viral, bringing unwanted publicity to the city. The victim threatened a lawsuit. Dayton’s rulers including Price apologized for the officer who was sent to be retrained.

The apology outraged Dayton police brass. “The Dayton Fraternal Order of Police is outraged by the City of Dayton’s ‘Apology’ in a reaction to the media blitz concerning a traffic stop conducted by a young Dayton Police Officer,” Officer Michael Galbraith, Dayton FOP president told the DDN.

Galbraith’s defense of this stop is outrageous. Making and holding eye contact with a police officer cannot be considered suspicious. This event put Price in conflict with police brass, part of the good-old-boy network that rules Dayton for its own benefit.

In another odd situation, on July 7, the DDN reported Dayton would stop issuing red-light tickets unless an officer was present, complying with state law city rulers had previously refused to comply with. However, on August 26, the DDN reported the city would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in state funding for failing to comply. This highlighted hidden dissention among rulers, possibly putting Price in further conflict with Dayton’s good-old-boy rulers.

The selection of Price’s replacement also suggests he was ousted for bucking Dayton’s corrupt crony rulers. A city press release states of Interim City Manager Shelley Dickstein, “Dickstein has structured and overseen the completion of 125 development projects that created 4,800 new jobs, supported the retention of 15,000 jobs, and leveraged over $260 million of development in the Dayton community.” Translation: she’s expert at filling crony pockets with tax dollars.

Whaley said, “[Dickstein’s] economic development expertise will be vital as we continue to move the City of Dayton forward.” That socialist code hints Whaley expects Dickstein to better advance her crony socialist agenda of looting as much as possible from Dayton taxpayers while the looting is good.

The views and opinions expressed in Conspiracy Theorist are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at

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