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Former KCPD attorney details concerns with department, interim chief, general counsel in letter

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Dec 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-10 20:20:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — When Ryan McCarty was hired by former Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Chief Rick Smith, he says he was unaware he would be “walking into a den of clowns and thieves.”

The now-former KCPD attorney released an eight-page letter Saturday detailing his concerns regarding the department, but mainly his disdain for Interim Chief Joseph Mabin and General Counsel Holly Dodge.

McCarty maintains in the correspondence his purpose for writing comes from witnessing firsthand the “ongoing erosion of conviction, integrity, faith in leadership, morale and every other indicium of a healthy organization.”

He clarifies his feelings are not directed at every employee but rather those who “set at desks in Headquarters” and lead with “inequity and ineptitude.”

The timing of the release of his letter comes as the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Board of Commissions appears close to selecting the city's next Chief of Police. At about the same time McCarty distributed his letter Saturday, the BOPC was holding the only foruma move criticized by community stakeholders — to allow the public to meet and ask questions of the three finalists.

A KCPD spokesperson told KSHB 41 News Saturday that McCarty started work in the legal department on June 13, 2022, roughly two months after Smith had retired. The spokesperson said McCarty's employment with KCPD ended on Dec. 8, 2022.

The spokesperson says that allegations made by McCarty "have been or will be reviewed and addressed as appropriate."

Criticisms of Mabin, Dodge

The main accusations McCarty makes against Mabin are that he is dishonest, inexperienced, a liability and leads with poor judgment.

One of McCarty’s more brutal observations of Mabin assuming the role of interim chief is that it was like “watching a drunken sailor try to hoist a sail— it was not pretty.”

It is McCarty’s belief that Mabin was in cahoots with Dodge in disregarding 11 complaints about the general counsel, claiming Mabin did not inform the Board of Police Commissioners of the accusations.

McCarty’s other criticisms of Dodge, whom he worked with closely, include that she excluded him from meetings and events after expressing concerns, she is a “known imposter,” and that she is “borderline unethical” in her handling of records requests.

He details in the letter his concerns for the possible mishandling of cases due to her “self-concocted, haphazard methodology” as well as misaligned priorities.

“To this day, as far as I know, she is ordering the closure of records (Missouri Sunshine Law) based on a disingenuous assertion that there is (or was, or perhaps will be at some point in the future) an ongoing investigation,” McCarty wrote.

His general criticisms of both Mabin and Dodge include alleging that they discussed “how quickly the department could destroy emails,” deciding to keep records no longer than 180 days.

McCarty's solution

During his short six months, McCarty says the “red flags kept coming with seemingly accelerating rapidity.”

But rather than offering merely empty criticism, his letter provides what he sees as the solution: the resignation of Mabin and Dodge paired with the hiring of a new chief.

He says he believes in order to move forward and “resuscitate the dying police department of Kansas City,” it is necessary for the new chief to pick their own deputy and serve with a knowledgeable attorney.

And while he claims his firing was “retaliation” and “mob justice," claiming current employees who have expressed similar concerns tell him they “now live and work in fear," he seeks understanding rather than legal action.

“As I said at the outset, my motivation is sincere: the overhaul of KCPD for the common good of the community at large,” McCarty wrote.

KSHB 41 has reached out and not yet received response from the city of Kansas City, Missouri, the Board of Police Commissioners and Ryan McCarty.

This story will be updated as information is available.