The Pittsburgh Channel has details from my Channel Four Action News report. Here's a point/counter-point from comments made outside Council Chamber.
Jim Malloy, President, Fraternal Order of Police:
"Council made a decision today. I disagree with that decision. I don't think that you reward somebody with 85-thousand dollars when they freely admit that they violated the contract, they violated the rules and regulations."
"They never attempted--and I talked to Commander McNeilly--I explained to her. We were in the federal courthouse. If she thought there was skullduggery going on in the administration, all she had to do was walk down the hall and see the U.S. Attorney and tell them. They'd have sent a task force down to investigate, like they do everything else."
"She didn't do anything except what she wanted to do. She helped write the rules and regulations, but she in turn ignored them when it met her need. That's what I object to. You write these agreements, you work on these contracts, and what we're opening the door to now is that."
"Police officers, they're sworn to keep the privacy of individuals to themselves. You all understand exactly what policemen do out there. They get involved in the intimate parts of many people's lives. And they live with those secrets and keep their mouths shut. Are we saying now that because Cathy McNeilly could the rules and regulations, so can they? I hope not. I think that there's an obligation on the part of a police officer to abide by rules. And there's a greater responsibility when you write the damn things, you must abide by the rules."
".... I think when somebody comes up to you and says 'yeah, I violated the rules, sure, I violated the contract, but I did it for good reasons'--let the court decide whether those reasons have value or not. Not because you're afraid you're going to line the pockets of her attorneys. They're going to spend over a quarter-million dollars on this case, and never put a glove on to get in the ring."
"...I mean, if you do that with every case that comes to city council, and you just simply blindly follow the law department and say 'yeah, well, they think we can lose this case'. You can lose any case, you can win any case. You guys have been around this business long enough to know that some you win, some you lose. But at least you get in a fight."
Bill Peduto, Pittsburgh City Councilman:
"I'm convinced that if we would have pursued this in court that we would have lost. The Whistleblower Law is there for a reason. It's to protect employees. Even those that make decisions that go against union rules."
"Always remember that the U.S. Constitution trumps any agreements. The civil rights of Catherine McNeilly were violated, and if we went to court, we would have lost more than just the 85-thousand dollars that we had to agree to today, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars we're going to have to agree to in legal fees. This city would have lost its integrity."
"From the very beginning, when Dennis Regan was first nominated for public safety director, I said it was the wrong decision. When the investigation went out against Catherine McNeilly, and then the actions were taken against her, I said it was the wrong decision, it would end up costing the city money. These were a series of missteps, of very serious issues that needed to be addressed outside of politics. Unfortunately, the only response from the administration at that time was that I was being political."
"...If that trial were to continue, we would lose. We'd lose a lot more taxpayer dollars than the 300-thousand or so that we're going to lose. This city would have lost its integrity by denying an employee their civil rights--guarantees that are provided to every single citizen in this country."
"Union rules do not trump the U.S. Constitution . They don't trump the Whistleblower Law. That is why we have the Whistleblower Law, so that somebody--an employee-- who feels that there is no other course of action, who feels that the entire system is up against them, has the ability and the right to go and pursue what they know to be right in their heart."
"...Yes, she broke the rules of the union agreement, but we took away her civil rights. Something that's guaranteed to everybody through the U.S. Constitution. We had no chance to win this. We had to fold the tent now, with 300-thousand dollars or so on the table of taxpayers money, because of missteps that were made throughout this process."