Charlotte officials have begun an investigation of a Civil Service Board member who has fallen asleep during two hearings related to police discipline, says the Charlotte Observer. The concern is that a decision by the board could be challenged in court based on the inattention of the board member.
Al Mandell cast the deciding vote yesterday in favor of an officer who appealed a two-day suspension involving his role in a high-speed pursuit. Mandell, appointed to the seven-member board in October 2002, turned 84 yesterday. His future with the board is in question, the Observer said.
The board, appointed by the mayor and City Council, reviews discipline levied against police officers and firefighters. There are no age limits for the board. Mayor Pro Tem Patrick Cannon said he is concerned about whether all the evidence is being heard and whether fair decisions are being rendered. Mandell dozed off least once during a hearing on Tuesday that began at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m.