Luke Ravenstahl left police Chief Nate Harper to decide how -- or if -- to discipline Cmdr. Catherine McNeilly. Harper said he could decide by Thursday (in early December, 2006) whether to discipline or dismiss McNeilly.
Dennis Regan and Catherine McNeilly were suspended Oct. 12, 2006, three days after McNeilly sent Luke Ravenstahl and City Council an e-mail accusing Regan of thwarting her attempt to discipline Officer Francis Rende for abusing sick time and of engineering Rende's promotion to acting detective. City lawyers investigated McNeilly for releasing confidential disciplinary reports about Rende to council members.
Catherine McNeilly's attorney, Timothy O'Brien, described her allegations as a "good-faith effort" to inform city decision-makers about conduct that worried her. "Commander McNeilly is a decorated police veteran with about 30 years of exemplary service," attorney Timothy O'Brien said. "She should be receiving praise -- and not punishment -- for her actions."
Luke Ravenstahl said he didn't consider Catherine McNeilly a whistleblower. Councilman William Peduto disagreed with that assessment and continued criticizing the mayor for an earlier effort to appoint Dennis Regan public safety director.
"As [the rules] are written, you could say that I did," Catherine McNeilly said. "[But] when the police department becomes dysfunctional, sometimes rules need to be broken to take the information to the public." from P-G coverage of court statements in January 2007.