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Atlanta officer suspended over comments about mayor

By MARCUS K. GARNER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington on Saturday suspended the police union head who said he wanted to beat Mayor Shirley Franklin with a bat.

“The Atlanta Police Department does not condone nor will we tolerate supervisors making irresponsible and inflammatory remarks against the Mayor or any citizen of the City of Atlanta,” Pennington said in a statement released late Saturday night regarding Sgt. Scott Kreher.

Kreher would be relieved of duty and placed on paid administrative leave pending a psychological evaluation, Pennington’s statement said.

Kreher, president of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers — Local 623, on Wednesday told city council members that he wanted to hit the mayor “in the head with a baseball bat.”

Kreher could not be reached Saturday night for comment.

The comment came during a public discussion about seriously injured police officers receiving poor treatment from the city’s workers’ compensation program.

Kreher later apologized for the statement, but Franklin vowed publicly to file federal and state complaints against him.

A statement Saturday from the mayor’s office called Kreher’s comment “reprehensible,” and said she felt threatened.

Franklin declined to comment on the issue of the city’s workers’ compensation plan, however.

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