Bregel v. City of Newport

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
Writing for the CourtCommissioner Hobson
Citation208 Ky. 581
PartiesBregel v. City of Newport, et al.
Decision Date28 April 1925

Page 581

208 Ky. 581
Bregel
v.
City of Newport, et al.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
Decided April 28, 1925.

1. Municipal Corporations — Charges Against Chief of Police Not Acts or Omissions Held Insufficient. — Charges of "inefficiency and neglect in performance of duty" filed against chief of police, not setting out specific acts or omissions, were insufficient under Ky. Stats., section 3138-4.

2. Municipal Corporations — Evidence Tending to Show Gambling House, etc., were being run Held Insufficient to Support Charges Against Chief of Police. — Evidence tending to show that gambling houses, houses of ill fame, etc., were run after orders were issued to chief of police to close them, held insufficient to support charges of neglect and inefficiency against him, in absence of proof of specific violations or neglect of duty.

3. Municipal Corporations — Dependency on Subordinates and Legal Limitations on Authority Considered in Determining Charges Against Chief of Police. — In determining whether chief of police has been guilty of neglect of duty or inefficiency, fact that he is dependent to some extent on subordinates for execution of orders, and legal limitations on authority of police officers to arrest and search premises, must be considered.

Appeal from Campbell Circuit Court.

WILLIAM F. CLARK for appellant.

CHARLES M. CIARLO and LOUIS REUSCHER for appellees.

OPINION OF THE COURT BY COMMISSIONER HOBSON.


Reversing.

Frank Bregel was a member of the Newport police department for twenty-five years and for eight years of this term was chief of the police department. On February 8, 1924, charges were preferred against him before the board of city commissioners, and on the 11th of February a hearing was had upon which he was adjudged guilty of the charges and demoted to the rank of patrolman. The charges preferred against him before the board were: (1) that he was guilty of influencing votes at the 1923 election and, (2) inefficiency and neglect in the performance of his duties as chief of police in the years 1922, 1923 and 1924; both charges were sustained. He appealed from the finding of the board to the Campbell circuit court; the case was heard and on February 28, 1924, it was adjudged that he was guilty of inefficiency and neglect in the performance of his duty as chief of

Page 582

the police department in failing to properly carry out orders from his superiors and regulating the conduct of the police. From this judgment he has appealed to this court.

There was no evidence that appellant was guilty of influencing votes at the election and this charge was properly dismissed by the circuit court. As to the charge of inefficiency and neglect in the performance of his duty a more serious question arises. Section 3138, subsection 4, Kentucky Statutes, provides:

"No member or officer of the police force or fire department shall be removed from the force or fire department, reduced in grade or pay, upon any reason except inefficiency, misconduct, insubordination or violation of law or of the rules adopted by the commissioners. Any person may prefer charges against an officer or member of the police force or fire department, which must be filed in the office of the mayor, who shall thereupon communicate said charges without delay to the other members of the said board. Said charges must be written, signed by the person making said...

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6 practice notes
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Williams, No. 36718.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...constituting the offense defined in the governing law. State ex rel. Dewald v. Matia, 125 Ohio St. 487, 181 N.E. 901; Bregel v. Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Armstrong v. Civil Service Commrs., 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W. (2d) 1055; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740; Sharp v. Jones, 100 W.......
  • Scott v. Undercofler, No. 40226
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • September 4, 1963
    ...Fisheries Comm., 243 La. 278, 143 So.2d 71; State ex rel. Dewald v. Matia, 125 Ohio St. 487, 181 N.E. 901; Bregel v. City of Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Town of West New York v. Bock, 38 N.J. 500, 186 A.2d 97, 108. Some courts have gone so far as to hold, when the law requires that ......
  • Mason v. Seaton, Mayor
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • December 10, 1946
    ...and of such character as to establish inefficiency, misconduct, insubordination, or violation of law. See Bregel v. City of Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Barney v. City of Ashland, 220 Ky. 657, 295 S.W. 998, and Armstrong v. Board of Civil Service Com'rs of City of Newport, 243 Ky. 41......
  • Hawkins v. City of Lawrenceburg, No. 2002-CA-001706-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • September 12, 2003
    ...included in the September 22, 2000, letter. Compare Mason v. Seaton, 303 Ky. 528, 198 S.W.2d 205 (1946); and Bregel v. City of Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665 Next, Hawkins contends that his due process rights were violated because the appellees failed to provide him with a hearing on ch......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • State ex Inf. McKittrick v. Williams, No. 36718.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Missouri
    • November 9, 1940
    ...constituting the offense defined in the governing law. State ex rel. Dewald v. Matia, 125 Ohio St. 487, 181 N.E. 901; Bregel v. Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Armstrong v. Civil Service Commrs., 243 Ky. 415, 48 S.W. (2d) 1055; Ridgway v. Fort Worth, 243 S.W. 740; Sharp v. Jones, 100 W.......
  • Scott v. Undercofler, No. 40226
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • September 4, 1963
    ...Fisheries Comm., 243 La. 278, 143 So.2d 71; State ex rel. Dewald v. Matia, 125 Ohio St. 487, 181 N.E. 901; Bregel v. City of Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Town of West New York v. Bock, 38 N.J. 500, 186 A.2d 97, 108. Some courts have gone so far as to hold, when the law requires that ......
  • Mason v. Seaton, Mayor
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (Kentucky)
    • December 10, 1946
    ...and of such character as to establish inefficiency, misconduct, insubordination, or violation of law. See Bregel v. City of Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665; Barney v. City of Ashland, 220 Ky. 657, 295 S.W. 998, and Armstrong v. Board of Civil Service Com'rs of City of Newport, 243 Ky. 41......
  • Hawkins v. City of Lawrenceburg, No. 2002-CA-001706-MR.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kentucky
    • September 12, 2003
    ...included in the September 22, 2000, letter. Compare Mason v. Seaton, 303 Ky. 528, 198 S.W.2d 205 (1946); and Bregel v. City of Newport, 208 Ky. 581, 271 S.W. 665 Next, Hawkins contends that his due process rights were violated because the appellees failed to provide him with a hearing on ch......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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