Solicitor, chief reach truce

It is reassuring that York Police Chief Bill Mobley and Solicitor Kevin Brackett have offered a public declaration that they have resolved their differences. But their statement makes clear that this whole mess could have been avoided with better communication.

The disagreement was sparked, in part, by a letter hand-delivered to Brackett's office Oct. 1 by York Mayor Eddie Lee. The mayor charged in the letter that too many charges had either been dropped or reduced by the solicitor, and that too many repeat offenders were ending up back on the street.

Brackett later countered that his office had issues with the evidence produced by York police on some cases. And that prompted Mobley to accuse Brackett of acting more like a defense attorney than a prosecutor and of trying to get back at the city for its complaint about reduced charges and dropped cases.

Brackett later went on to say that many of the cases presented to him were too weak to take to trial. Conflicting testimony, the unwillingness of witnesses to testify and the questionable nature of victims' stories reduced the likelihood that the charges would stand up in court. Often, said Brackett, pleading the defendants to a lesser charge made more sense.

Last week, Brackett and Mobley -- to their credit -- met in Brackett's office, discussed the issues in this dispute, listened to both sides and came to an agreement. In a jointly written letter to The Herald dated Nov. 8 and signed by both men, they stated that "any questions as to the competency of commitment of the solicitor's office or York Police Department have been resolved."

Mayor Lee said the he was pleased that the two sides had resolved their differences. He also said that the intention of delivering the letter to Brackett was to prompt more communication among law enforcement agencies.

We hope that will be the result of this nearly month-long dispute. It requires no special arrangements; if Lee, Brackett or Mobley has questions about what the others are doing, all he has to do is pick up the phone and make a call.

Mobley and Brackett wrote in their letter: "Any further issues that may arise will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, and we both agree it is important to work together to make sure that the lines of communication remain open."

Amen to that.

After meeting to resolve their differences, Brackett and Mobley publicly made amends.

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