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Posted on Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 5:54 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident files complaint over new police chief's relationship with officer

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti's labor attorney has been asked to weigh in after a city resident filed a complaint over the new police chief's relationship with an officer in the department.

The issue surfaced at the City Council meeting this week when Mayor Pro Tem Trudy Swanson-Winston presented a letter from resident Megan Turf. In the letter, Turf questioned why Lt. Amy Walker was promoted to chief since she is in a relationship with someone in the workplace.

The letter identified the officer as Jill Kulhanek. Winston said the relationship could create obvious problems for the city.


Ypsilanti Police Chief Amy Walker

"These things have to be looked at," she said. "Are we setting ourselves up for some kind of action here?"

She asked City Manager Ed Koryzno, who appointed Walker in December, whether he had considered the possible fallout from hiring someone who is in a relationship with another member of the department.

Koryzno said he was aware of the relationship before the promotion, but didn't believe it would affect Walker's performance. He said he recently asked the city's labor attorney to issue an opinion, which is expected within two weeks.

Winston continued to question why Walker was hired without more consideration of that relationship, but Koryzno declined to comment further.

"These are serious allegations made by a resident, and we need to wait until the labor attorney has rendered an opinion in the next week or two," he said.

Walker declined to comment Thursday, saying she hasn't seen Turf's letter.

"My focus is on the community and to protect and serve the community with dedication, integrity and compassion," Walker said.

Tom Perkins is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.


Come On

Sun, Feb 7, 2010 : 1:27 p.m.

Mr. Gordon your insults directed at Mr. Usher were really unncessary. He is a dedicated court officer because he chooses to work are retiring from YPD. He already put his life on the line for many years for Ypsilanti residents such as your self. Show some respect. What have you done for our community except criticize?

Keith Smith

Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

Two things are pretty obvious, first, Megan Turf has a personal vendetta against Chief Walker and Jill. The second, she is not acting alone (Gee, I wonder who is behind this)! If the relationship between the Chief and an Officer is going to be investigated then maybe Mr. Korzyno should begin another investigation into "Other" relationships that have evolved (I think everyone can read between the lines). At the end of the investigation, many, if not all questions regarding Megan's complaint would finally be answered.

Jeff Gordon

Sat, Feb 6, 2010 : 12:09 a.m.

The Dawg Pound - we have been discussing this topic most of the night and wish to chime in. we all(all long time residents, business owners and community minded neighbors) agreed the most pethetic statament belongs to Vern Usher II. Vern Usher the first must of got all the brains in the family. His reasoning that "it was condoned back then" provides clarity why he is a security guard in the court today. We all agree that that this is not, and must not, be about the resident reporting (Turf), the councilwomen addressing (Swanson),not about the Chief or her significant other relationship, but about leadership. the chief has been provided of a great oppurtuniy (the room is split if she was the right choice, but that is another topic and time will tell if she is or not) will she step up and be that leader. We all agree that the rules are clear in the statuate and handbook and the relationship is improper in the work place. back to leadership. the chief should also be able to read and clearly interpret the behavioral guides. Be a leader and make things right. Spare your agency, your city, your friends,your co-workers the suffering because you have decided to hide behind the rendering of a labor attorney. That is not leadership, that is a follower. Lastly, we all hope and pray the police department can get past this. we need them more now then we ever did. With their declining numbers, we need the officers and command to be working at peek levels - all nay-sayers and negativity must be abolished, and again, that starts with leadership. lastly, we agree


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 8:02 p.m.

It's nice to see folks worked-up over their city. Who said local politics was dead? After reading over the comments - lots of good stuff here - it seems to me that Ms Turf must have expected some backlash given her relationship with the Ypsi Police. However, she went ahead with the complaint and it's up to a lawyer now. We all should take as much interest in our city and it's institutions and hold it's representatives accountable.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 7:22 p.m.

It is disappointing to read this article because it is so very biased. A good article is one that includes all the information. Of concern is the impending lay-off of Ypsilanti police officers scheduled for the near future. If the rules state that Walkers partner is not allowed to work for her now that she is the Chief, then the partner should be let go. If this doesnt happen, there will definitely be hard feelings when someone else loses his job instead. If Ypsilanti doesnt want to enforce the rule that is on their books, then they should get rid of that rule.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 5:42 p.m.

This article should have included the wording of the Ypsilanti employee manual regarding relationships in the workplace. No clear information yields to silly assumptions.

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 3:38 p.m.

...munch...munch...chomp...chomp. Ann Arbor has a weekly tirade by the Jew Haters while Ypsilanti has the periodic railings against lesbian cops....slurp...slurp....more popcorn please...


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 3:12 p.m.

Dading, once again you are correct. In fact, the officer with whom Swanson-Winston got into a verbal altercation is the same officer with whom Chief Walker is supposedly in a relationship. There's bad blood there already, and this is appearing more and more to be a cheap shot by two women trying to keep their agendas hidden.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 3:12 p.m.

Ok, let's finish connecting the dots. Megan, Craig Annis (who lost the Police Chief position to Amy Walker) and Paul DeRidder are all friends. Megan was booted out of the VSC, CoPac and the Police Dept. under Matt Harshbergers administration for controversial remarks and her behavior. Why didn't the Dept. Craig applied to a few months ago hire him? Now, Trudy Swanson, the same Council person that was drunk at a party a few years ago, that said derogatory things to and about an officer, a lawsuit was filed, Trudy had to pay.(Check the archived Ann Arbor News for the complete details of the story.) Here we have three people with an axe to grind. The three have joined forces to try and destroy two officers with years of dedication to the City. I agree, why wasn't any of this brought up when Amy Walker was a Sgt., or Lt. in the Dept. Why is it an issue now? How does this affect her performance as a sworn officer...NOT AT ALL. Shouldn't we be focused on the five officers that the Department will be loosing to budget cuts and not trying to discredit two dedicated officers. I welcome Lt. Walker to the position of Police Chief, Ypsilanti needed a change. Move on people, MEGAN GET A LIFE!

Vernon M. Usher II

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 2:45 p.m.

evidently Ms. Swanson is up to the same old garbage...I was an officer with the Ypsilanti Police Department in the late 60's, the seventies, and most of the eighties. in the seventies we had a black police chief that was married to an officer, and she rose thru the ranks with the department. Seems as if the City condoned this action back in the seventies, and should have no problems with it again today.. I think that it is once again a personal attack by a council person...undoubtedly with information given by a bitter, bitter employee

Martin Church

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 1:59 p.m.

Not surprising of the fighting, with the loss of jobs in the department, people will begin to find a way to eliminate the competion. The city voted for what we have.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 1:51 p.m.

It's not like romance in the workplace is a new thing; a company (or city) that tries to prohibit it or refuses to promote an otherwise worthy employee because of it is being petty and politically correct, bowing to lawyers and the threat of potential liability (at the expense of employee loyalty and morale) in much the same way that others will sell out the personal liberty and freedom of others out of an irrational fear of terrorism. Come on folks, as long as there is reasonable transparency in the promotion process, and one party is not directly supervising the other, I think it's cruel and mean-spirited to say if you fall in love with someone you happen to work with you need to quit a job you love and possibly damage your career. I think this is symptomatic of much of what is wrong with this country; I know people that work for companies where they can be fired for heading down to the local watering hole after work together! Remember when those same companies used to sponsor picnics and softball teams for the express purpose of building interpersonal relationships and boosting employee morale?

dading dont delete me bro

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

wasn't this councilperson involved w/a dispute at a party regarding a sexual orientation epithat too?

Move On

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 12:34 p.m.

I agree there are some hidden agendas and sour grapes here. Both of the officers, who happen to live together, have been long employed, dedicated officers of the department for over 18 years. The Chief does not directly supervise this person. There has never been a problem before. No one ever complained when Walker was a sergeant or lieutenant, why is this an issue now? is likely because the citizen complainant has a personal agenda and is being encouraged by a person within the department who is disgruntled with the selection of new police chief. Similarly, it is likely that the Mayor Pro Tem is also motivated by personal agendas. How about everyone getting back to work and focusing on police work and servicing this community?


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 12:28 p.m.

Dading has the right of it. Megan Turf has a grudge against the YPD because of inappropriate behavior while she was a volunteer with the department. In addition, Trudy Swanson-Winston has a past history with Jill Kulhanek because Kulhanek filed a grievance after Swanson-Winston made several inappropriate comments about her sexual orientation at a city official's retirement party. As long as there was no attempt to hide the relationship from the proper city officials, these officers should not be in violation of anything. According to City Manager Koryzno, that is the case. So, Turf and Swanso-Winston are just trying to stir up trouble. Perhaps, while this kind of thing is being investigated, Swanson-Winston's residency should also be investigated. Last I knew, living in the township instead of the city meant one couldn't hold office within the city.

recovering bureacrat

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

oh come on. it's not uncommon for relationships to form between co-workers-let's give the officer an opportunity to lose the job for herself before we pre-judge the future.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 9:16 a.m.

Last time I checked a persons sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with performance of duty. I would hazard to guess that there have been plenty of other relationships at the dept. that were heterosexual in nature and no one blinked an eye at them.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 9 a.m.

It's too bad the one comment was deleted. It implied there was a similar stituation before, all beit a hetero relationship, and there wasn't as much concern. Perhaps it needs to be investigated too.

dading dont delete me bro

Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 8:52 a.m.

Oh we go again... There is more behind this than just the relationship. Megan was relieved of here volunteer (VSC) status a year or two ago when Megan made contraversial comments about an officer and her relationship. No names were mentioned then, but here's the piece to the puzzle. Chief Walker was then assigned the Citizen's Police Academy (which feeds the VSC)...maybe there's some sour grapes?


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 8:41 a.m.

This is probably new territory for Ypsilanti City Officials but one they must give serious consideration to. Lt. Walker is involved in a personal relationship with an employee of a department in which she is in charge of and it does present some interesting dynamics. The citizen who made the complaint and the Councilwoman who presented the complaint on behalf of the citizen should not be criticized for their action. I'm sure that the City Administrator was aware of this relationship before he made a final decision and it seems he should have addressed this matter up front so that City council members or any member of the community could have at least had some discussion on the matter so it wouldn't have to addressed after the fact. I foresee some problems down the line with this hire.


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 8:37 a.m.

The city is setting itself up for a good lawsuit unless one of the two individuals leaves the department. Corporations do not allow this kind of behavior why should a city?


Fri, Feb 5, 2010 : 7:44 a.m.

Look, if the city manager was aware and appropriate measures are in place to address the conflict of interests, this is moot. It's obvious there's a hidden agenda here. Get a life!