WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Mayor Williams' son-in-law promoted in Wilmington P.D.: New political problem, or inevitable in a small city?

As WDEL's Tom Lehman first reported Tuesday, newly installed Police Chief Bobby Cummings is elevating Mayor Dennis Williams' son-in-law, Sgt. Jonathan Hall, to the rank of Lieutenant. That's among eight announced promotions.

Previous Police Chief Christine Dunning had promoted Hall to Sergeant some 15 months ago.

So did Hall's career get a bit of a boost from the family connection -- or is he just a good cop?

We may never know.

In a way, it's an impossible situation in a small city: It's not Jonathan Hall's fault that Dennis Williams happened to succeed Jim Baker as mayor. Surely, Hall shouldn't be denied promotions just because of his family ties. Conversely, the mayor's critics are going to see this through the prism of past incidents of perceived nepotism in this administration.

Perhaps if none of the previous stuff had happened, fewer people would raise eyebrows.

Mayor Williams' media representative insists the mayor had absolutely no input on the promotions.

But Council member Loretta Walsh notes the obvious: Two quick promotions for Hall under two police chiefs handpicked by Williams at least raise questions about possible special treatment.

Posted at 6:40am on June 4, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Wed, Jun 4, 2014 10:07am
Special treatment? Most likely. But nothing new in cities like Wilmington.

Wed, Jun 4, 2014 11:45am
This may be a justifiable promotion, but being Williams' son-in-law clouds it. Is it common to receive two steps in a little over a year? How many other cops received the same promotions, or like promotions, over that time?

Wed, Jun 4, 2014 6:16pm
Loretta. If one is so scared of people raising possibilities, nothing ever would get done.

In Loretta's world I'd say: I'd better not go to Wawa... Someone might see me and call ShopRite.... I guess I'd better stay home....

In my world, I'd say, screw that guy who calls ShopRite... So what? I'm going to Wawa.

Wed, Jun 4, 2014 7:59pm
As long as Bobby Cummings made the decision, I have no problem with it. I don't think Sgt. Hall should get special treatment, but he shouldn't be denied a promotion just because of who the mayor is. That would be a form of reverse discrimination.

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 12:07pm
The issue is that while Hall was eligible by being on the top band, so where the other nine candidates, some of whom had been Sergeants for over ten years, and opposed to Hall's one year of experience.

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 12:12pm
Hmmmm...... Has nepotism made its way from city hall, to the halls of the police station? It appears to be that way. Where is the Chief's daughter assigned?

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