Mills: Ex-Chief a "Republican Leader"

Catherine Smith Mills, a new Republican candidate for Cincinnati City Council, is raising eyebrows with her campaigning.

Mills held a fundraiser April 8 that featured former Police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. as the keynote speaker. In a press release touting the event, Mills is quoted as saying, “As a first time candidate, I am so lucky to have the support and mentorship of Republican leaders in Cincinnati like Tom Streicher.”—-

Oh, really?

It's never been stated publicly exactly what political party Streicher endorses, although this revelation may help explain his frequently contemptuous and condescending attitude over the years when appearing before City Council, which is a predominantly Democratic group.

Streicher retired March 18 after almost 40 years with the Police Department, including a rocky 12-year tenure as chief.

What's more strange about Mills' statement is how Streicher already is considered a “leader” in the GOP, just 21 days after he retired from public service. Maybe he's been more active in the local Republican Party without taxpayers or the media knowing about it.

Among the many “highlights” of Streicher's time as chief include his initial resistance to police reforms ordered by a federal court-appointed monitor; his reluctance to confront the slowdown in arrests that occurred after the April 2001 riots; his frequent public temper tantrums; the domestic violence complaint lodged against Streicher by his first wife, Kathryn, which made front-page headlines in The Enquirer in 2001; and his later marriage to a subordinate officer who was then granted disability retirement.

A gushing, semi-factual profile of Streicher that appeared March 19 in The Enquirer indicated Streicher wasn't interested in running for sheriff once Si Leis retires. “Rumors that he'll run for Hamilton County sheriff, he says, aren't true — he wouldn't like the politics of it,” it stated.

Which leaves political observers wondering why he's appearing at a GOP fundraiser and is dubbed “a leader” within the party. Curious.

Also, some people are questioning why Mills is appearing today at the Tax Day Rally organized by the Glendale Tea Party, an organization and event in suburban Hamilton County, outside city limits. Her appearance makes it look like Mills is trying to raise campaign cash for non-city residents who often lobby against Cincinnati's interests, they say.

Mills is a Mount Lookout resident who is works at her family's business, Mills Fence Co. in Golf Manor. She is a former co-chair of the Hamilton County Republican Party's Leadership Council, a young professional networking organization, and has also worked in the Congressional offices of Rob Portman and Jean Schmidt.

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