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« No free lunch | Main | Mercenary blues »

Sep 17, 2007

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Bubba

"Maybe Bledsoe will lede his next installment by addressing what Wray knew, when he knew it, and what he told his boss about it."

So where's the indictment of Wray, and his other so-called culprits?

Maybe you'll write your next N&R column by addressing what this action doesn't say.

David Hoggard

"So where's the indictment of Wray, and his other so-called culprits?"

The "indictment" might be that this happened on his watch.

I notice this from the press release, perhaps regarding your "so-called culprits":

"Some issues were determined to be criminal violations that could not be pursued or prosecuted because the two year statute of limitations on misdemeanors had lapsed by the time sufficient evidence was brought to light. Because the statute of limitations had lapsed, the officers who potentially would have been charged for those misdemeanor crimes were not able to be charged criminally."

Other shoes are under the influence of gravity, but haven't quite hit the ground, I suspect.

BrendaBowers

You're being and ASS again Ed. Two officers were indicted and from what I am reading it had something to do with their actions with Fulmore's computer and could be nothing more than a violation of his rights in tampering with his "personal use" computer without a warrant. That is the computer given him by HUD for police work which would have then made any thing his superiors did with it perfectly within their rights as his superiors. HUD had however allowed him the use of the computer for personal business. Really not the most criminal act considering what Fulmore did, and is probably still doing. Let's just wait to find out what the indictment is all about before braying. BB

Ed Cone

The indictments are discussed in the links included in the post. They include counts of Felonious Obstruction of Justice and Felonious Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice, along with Felonious Accessing a Government Computer.

They involve conduct by members of the unit most closely linked to allegations of wrong-doing by Wray, and deal with the targeting of an officer (Fulmore) mentioned prominently in the investigative reports.

The RMA report says, "Wray knew or should have known that this Special Intelligence Division had crossed the line of appropriateness." Wray's forthrightness in informing his boss about issues within the department has also been a big issue.

Thus, asking what Wray knew, and when, and what he told his boss, seem like perfectly reasonable questions.

tonywilkins

If Ed's insinuation above and Holliday's sudden fondness of defending the city's actions are supposed to show wrongdoing on the part of David Wray they are both failing miserably.
The fact is that indictments are out now and Wray doesn't have one. Holliday is scurrying about trying to save the city's reputation and money.
Where is the big smoking gun against Wray that the council can't wait to tell us?
Is this it Council?
Is this all you've got against David Wray?

Ben Holder

Let me start by saying if my one of my kid's were in danger and i had to chose between Fulmore saving them or Fox or Sanders saving them..I am taking Fox or Sanders..

Hogg: The statement: "Because the statute of limitations had lapsed, the officers who potentially would have been charged for those misdemeanor crimes were not able to be charged criminally" is really shady...what charges? If you cant tell them or bring charges dont report about the ones that got away...bush league crap..You also wrote:"Other shoes are under the influence of gravity, but haven't quite hit the ground, I suspect."

let me know when you see the whites of their eyes.

meblogin

Why do you guess Wray was not arrested?

BrendaBowers

Meblogin, I think you just may owe me and David Wray a great big apology on your blog. We promised each other to do that depending on which of us came out on the wrong side, remember? But, really, they didn't get anything on David Wray I believe because surely he would have been the first to be indicted. I too would like to know what those crimes were that had passed the statute of limitation. I would again guess these crimes were not David Wray's because he wasn't in office long enough to have out run the time limitations. Stay tuned as I am and it will probably get real interesting around town in the near future. BB

Ed Cone

People are moving the goal posts here. This story doesn't hinge on an indictment being returned against Wray.

Wray resigned after the City Manager questioned him about alleged improprieties within the department, especially within SID. Wray's forthrightness about events was also questioned.

There are now felony indictments of SID officers. What Wray knew about their behavior, and what he told his boss about it, seem highly relevant questions.

Indictments aren't convictions. Many questions remain to be answered. We know more today than we knew yesterday, but this thing does not appear to be over.

Ben Holder

"Wray resigned after the City Manager questioned him about alleged improprieties within the department, especially within SID. Wray's forthrightness about events was also questioned."

according to who?

Bubba

"People are moving the goal posts here."

You are the prime example.

"The RMA report says, "Wray knew or should have known that this Special Intelligence Division had crossed the line of appropriateness." Wray's forthrightness in informing his boss about issues within the department has also been a big issue.

Thus, asking what Wray knew, and when, and what he told his boss, seem like perfectly reasonable questions."

We all know who had the major impact in how the RMA report turned out to be the biased and flawed document it is.

This whole thread is just one more attempt to deflect attention away from what the FlayWray crowd doesn't want to talk about.

David Hoggard

According to Mayor Holliday, for one. Mitch Johnson, for another. Others on Council also.

I know what they say don't mean much to some, but I thought I'd answer Ben's rhetorical question just the same.

Bubba

"According to Mayor Holliday, for one. Mitch Johnson, for another. Others on Council also."

I will repeat Ben's question:

According to who?

Ben Holder

Hogg: Those people follow the legal advice of Linda Miles.

The CA

This is the story of a newspaper making wild accusations of racism against a police chief that after two years of investigations results only in indictments against two other officers regarding matters unrelated to the sensational headlines.

No mention of Wray, no mention of Hinson, no mention of black books, no mention of "secret police". All of Ahearn's themes are wiped out. No apology from the N&R there. All the RMA stuff about Wray, gone with the wind. No crimes by Wray there.

The criminal syndicate in Greensboro should be happy because it is unlikely that any other police officer will investigate wrongdoing within the department out of fear that they will get double crossed by the City Council who can't stand up to certain members of the community and the N&R who will gleefully and unapologetically accuse them of racism.

The guys investigating the criminals get busted and the criminals go free, that is what is being lost in the mix.

But if the U.S. Attorney stays involved, the house of cards and the syndicate may yet fall. Big fish in little ponds don't impress the Feds, nor are they intimidated by them.

Ed Cone

It's been clear for some time that there is much more to this story than Wray vs. Johnson, or Wray vs the N&R, including the seemingly unsavory connections of some officers, big-time crime, racial politics within the department, etc.

But that doesn't change the fact of these indictments, which go straight to key elements of the investigative reports, nor does it sweep away questions of Wray's knowledge of the underlying behavor and his representations to his boss about the indictable behavior and perhaps other issues as well that did not result in indictments.

The CA

Those "key elements" ignore what the officers were investigating and whether it was justified. The RMA left out a whole lot of information about alleged criminal activity by officers. Only Ben and Jerry (no pun intended or ice cream involved) have been putting out that information. Instead, the "Wray as racist" theme permeates the RMA which has not been substantiated.

It seems like there is a deliberate deflection away from dirty cops to those investigating dirty cops. A common sense question one needs to ask is simply "were Sanders and Fox justified in investigating Fulmore further?" They may have crossed the line (something a warrant would have easily cleared up), but that shouldn't distract us from the reasoning behind their decisions. But that is what is happening here, and almost certainly by design.

Since OJ is back in the news, it is again appropriate to state that it is possible that Mark Furman planted evidence but OJ is still guilty. We are focusing on the planted evidence and not the larger criminal act. The smokescreen started with the theme fed to the eager N&R, through the City Manager's office and then the RMA. Who made the smoke and why? That is the question only a few are trying to answer.

cara michele

CA, following your analogy, I have a question:

If "A" planted evidence, but "B" is still guilty, who should be punished?

1.) A
2.) B
3.) both
4.) neither

Ben Holder

If "A" planted evidence, but "B" is still guilty, who should be punished? Ummmm...Mitch Johnson..duh

meblogin

Though my memory is foggy on many topics including this one...my earlier position was that I believed Wray to be a fine young person/man back to his high school days and that I hoped he was not guilty and that there would be good reasons for his actions. I also believe that if Wray is guilty he should be held fully accountable. It will take more time.

My question to Ed....stands...

John D. Young

I certainly have been wrong many times before but I knew Tom Fox back several years ago when our sons were on soccer and baseball teams together. I saw Tom at several T&R hearings and got a little reconnected in the hallway.

Tom Fox has always appeared to be be one solid, fine person and fine policeman. As Ben said above, Tom Fox is the type of policeman I would want around if my family was in trouble. We still have a long way to go in all this mess.

The CA

The evidence against B gets supressed, but B still goes to trial on the remaining evidence. This may have been the mistake Fox and Sanders made- overkill. That's what Mark Furman did and it probably cost the state the case against OJ.

By the same token, Fox and Sanders could have gotten a warrant. Of course their defense will probably raise the question as to whether a government issued computer that permits personal use (and possible illegal activity) falls within the statute under which they are accused. If they were looking only for personal information, the state may have a problem getting a conviction. Fulmore is probably hoping they will take a plea because he will be on trial every bit as much as them if this thing goes to a jury.

cara michele

"We still have a long way to go in all this mess."

Well said, John. And it is a mess. A hot mess.

Jim Rosenberg

To me, the Wray story is one where at every turn all the individuals and groups involved chose to honor their personal affinities over their shared obligations. The people and institutions all made moral compromises in favor of natural allies and at the expense of the greater good. This created a center which couldn't hold. There wasn't enough trust among the disparate groups to create and maintain a space towards which everyone would move, so the only option was a mass retreat to the corners. That's where we are now, with everyone repeating the same mistake as they stand together in their affinity groups and try to apply a template to the whole thing which is consistent with their shared views. This is precisely the kind of toxic distrust that brought us to this point, and is certain to deposit us here all over again. In Greensboro, all the doors stay locked -- not just David Wray's.

jaycee

Wray did nothing wrong, the N&R's bullshit was just that, and Mitch Johnson, Linda Miles, and Lorraine Ahearn destroyed a mans career for nothing.

Fred Gregory

What the CA said above.

This is a perversion of all that is just.

I guess this comment sorta excludes me from the jury that will hopefully nullify the indictment.

David Hoggard

"Nothing" is a lot like "never" and "always", Jaycee. The word should be used with caution.

I believe Rosenberg got it right.

Obviously there were problems in the department, mostly caused by distrust among the ranks that split among racial lines (this IS Greensboro, afterall).

A failure to address and correct that distrust contributed to Wray's downfall, in my opinion.

Anthony

CA: It seems like you kind of danced around a direct answer to Cara Michele's question. You addressed "B", but not really "A". If "A" has done something wrong, such as planting evidence, isn't it proper that "A" is punished for that?

I personally think that both should be punished in her example. Whether or not "B" is actually guilty, those investigating the crime cannot go around breaking the rules in pursuit of a conviction. Otherwise, you open yourself up to abuses such as those in the whole Nifong debacle. As outspoken as some of you were against that, I'm surprised you aren't making that connection a little more readily.

Ed Cone

Anthony, you cut right to an important issue: the standards to which we hold law enforcement officials, and the accountability demanded of them.

All of the other concerns raised in the course of this saga -- and this thread -- are important and need to be addressed.

But none of that stuff washes away the allegations of wrong-doing by the Chief. Those allegations need to be addressed.

Bubba

All the pushback by the anti-Wray crowd, as detailed above, is but trivial distraction from the greater issues regarding good government in Greensboro and is (let's be VERY charitable in this description) disingenuous at best.

Bubba

"But none of that stuff washes away the allegations of wrong-doing by the Chief."

By whom, and under what circumstances?

More validation of my previous post....

Ed Cone

I won't attempt to speak for others, but I'm not "anti-Wray." This is a complicated story, and reducing it to a simplistic us-vs-them frame doesn't do it justice.

Bubba

"This is a complicated story, and reducing it to a simplistic us-vs-them frame doesn't do it justice."

Nice words, Ed.....especially in light of your opening salvo in this thread:

"Maybe Bledsoe will lede his next installment by addressing what Wray knew, when he knew it, and what he told his boss about it."

The smarm of your first remark undercuts the rationale of tyour most recent.

cara michele

Bubba, I have to respectfully disagree. I'm not anti-anybody, but I also find it hard to believe that either "camp" in this mess is 100% faultless or 100% corrupt. It's a rare conflict where both sides don't share some responsibility. And you don't have to be "anti"-anyone or anything to recognize that. Just pro-reality.

Honestly, I have no idea who is telling the truth in this whole drama. So it would be impossible to pick a side if I wanted to. (And I don't.) I'm just ready for it to be over.

David Hoggard

Same with me, Ed. I'm not "anti-Wray" either. I think this issue is not as simple as the black and white (no pun...) some are assigning to the mess.

There are a lot of grey areas and Wray's role in the way he ran the department is in there somewhere.

Hinson, Fulmore, Brady, Wray, Sanders and all the others... none of them are squeeky clean.

But... above all... in my book, this whole thing was started through an effort by City Staff to avoid lawsuits (by Hinson and others). In the rush to cover the city's legal ass, it spiraled out of control. This is the result.

But still... I think there are a bunch of people who did wrong with, perhaps, the best of intentions... Wray included.

Jim Rosenberg

Anti-Wray crowd? What I think is actually way less dramatic. I think the truth here is filled with ambiguity. From the inside, the police department was filled with cliques -- some along racial lines. Some cops were doing bad things, and some investigators pursuing them exceeded their authority motivated by both righteous intent and personal biases. From the outside, there was pressure from affinity groups which tended to sharpen and widen internal divisions. All around, there was a swirl of rumor and fact which hung in the air like a fuel waiting to be ignited. Into this fire, the local columnist and newspaper began to upend cans of gasoline and strike matches. At the center of it all, a new City Manager turned to a new Chief of Police for answers. The Chief, in an effort to protect what he believed was good work being done by good men, communicated to the Manager a mix of mostly truth, but also half-truth and omissions. The Manager, frustrated by poor communication and bruised trust, took aggressive and highly public actions which closed alternate paths and exacerbated the very situation he was attempting to remedy. With the case under formal investigation and no real facts to provide any relief, the whole matter became driven by the most extreme stakeholders, who framed it up in simplistic and self-serving ways. And here we are.

Ben Holder

"The Manager, frustrated by poor communication and bruised trust, took aggressive and highly public actions which closed alternate paths and exacerbated the very situation he was attempting to remedy."

Good grief!

Ben Holder

Linda Miles did not do anything with good intentions.

Bubba

"The Manager, frustrated by poor communication and bruised trust...."

The evidence leads to an alternate conclusion.


For all who protest, I refer you to Joe Guarino's thoughts which, as usual, are spot on here.

Beau Dure

Holy cow. I know next to nothing about this case, but from reading the comments here, a lot of people just don't want anyone to ask questions about Wray or the police in general.

I'm seeing a lot of "This is just distracting us from other issues" or "Oh yeah? The N&R still stinks!"

I'm also seeing a lot of "the investigation didn't proceed quickly; therefore, all these guys are innocent!"

Not knowing the case, I have no idea whether the N&R was fair in its coverage. But I've never been impressed with the arguments coming from the other direction, and this thread simply proves why.

Something seems wrong in the police department. A statute of limitations can prevent legal action, but it shouldn't be of any comfort to you. Even from a few hundred miles away, I can smell the dead fish here.

mick riggs

This case has dueling newspapers, bloggers, etc. If you are really interested and would like to be more informed I strongly suggest more reading beyond the newspaper and this particular blog. Trust me, the info is voluminous. Follow some links here and there in this thread.

Ed Cone

There's a link in the lower right-hand column of this blog called Wray fray, which takes you to numerous posts, comments, and links to articles in the N&R, Rhino, City sites, etc.

Be careful if you are committed to a simplistic Wray v Johnson storyline, or to ascribing that kind of reductive view to others, though -- your head might explode.

Bubba

"Holy cow. I know next to nothing about this case, but from reading the comments here, a lot of people just don't want anyone to ask questions about Wray or the police in general."

No, we're not letting the anti-Wray crowd twist the indictments into something it is not.

We're holding them accountable for their revisionist version of certain events of the story, a version that has been completely been discredited discredited.

We're also holding them accountable for their attempt to frame the discussion into a meme that's usable for their not-so subtly told point of view, such as found here:


"Maybe Bledsoe will lede his next installment by addressing what Wray knew, when he knew it, and what he told his boss about it."

....and here:

"Be careful if you are committed to a simplistic Wray v Johnson storyline, or to ascribing that kind of reductive view to others, though -- your head might explode."

The CA

Anthony, the answer to Cara's question was correct under the law. Illegally obtained evidence is supressed and the case against the principle goes forward on the remaining evidence.

This is not exactly what is happening in this case, because the allegation isn't about evidence being obtained, but criminal acts to try and obtain evidence. There is a distinction between "illegally" obtained evidence in the context of a criminal trial which really means "obtained in violation of a persons Constitutional Rights" which is not criminal, and "illegally" obtained because it was obtained in violation of a statute. Here we have the latter, but the spirit is essentially the same. That is to say that the person being investigated, like OJ, is overshadowed by the acts of those investigating him. My point is to not lose sight of OJ.

I will make a prediction now that unless these two guys take a plea bargain, they will be acquitted if these charges go to a jury. The evidence about accessing a government computer is ambiguous because the computer was also being used for personal use and that is the info the cops were after. In that charge, it is almost certainly a Constitutional violation (which is moot because Fulmore hasn't been charged), but I don't think a jury would be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the act was done with criminal intent considering the investigation. Without criminal intent, there is no crime.

The same is true of the obstruction charges. Sometimes, not everyone needs to know out of fear that an investigation will be compromised. Most jurors would probably understand this and walk these two guys.

Finally, if this matter goes to trial, Fulmore will almost certainly be called to testify as a witness by the defense to justify their actions. He will be under oath and can be asked about nearly every aspect of the allegations that Sanders and Fox were investigating. He may not want to do that.

This is a weak case based on what has been made known even giving the prosecutors every favorable inference. Make no mistake, alleged criminal acts by Fulmore and others will be on trial every bit as much as Fox and Sanders. If enough dirt is presented, a jury is very likely to conclude that what Sanders and Fox did was justified- even if it turns out they were wrong.

Weak case. Acquittal.

The CA

And Jim, you are probably correct in the general sense, but why race was thrown at Wray while his predecessors were absolved of any responsibility for the fractures/factions is what is ticking people off. It seems completely unfair to Wray that he gets labeled a racist for the situation he inherited solely because his predecessors were black and he is white.

From the outset, the case against Wray was couched in terms of race, and none of those responsible for that theme have come clean.

Bubba

"Honestly, I have no idea who is telling the truth in this whole drama."

That statement is a whole lot more credible coming from you than it is from others whose previous words make their current protestations a little silly.

Anthony

Sam:

Thanks for the reply, and for the legal details as well.

"This is not exactly what is happening in this case, because the allegation isn't about evidence being obtained, but criminal acts to try and obtain evidence."

That speaks even more to the point Cara Michele seemed to be alluding to: If criminal acts were committed to try to obtain evidence, they should be punished too, seeing as they are, well, criminal.

"My point is to not lose sight of OJ."

I agree with that point, however I don't think that we have to lose site of OJ to punish those who would compromise the law in an attempt to put him behind bars. The two do not need to be mutually exclusive.

"Make no mistake, alleged criminal acts by Fulmore and others will be on trial every bit as much as Fox and Sanders."

If this is true, then I would think that seeing this go to trial would be a good thing all around. It holds law enforcement accountable, and gives the officers a chance to either clear their names, or be punished if there was wrong doing. It also gets Fulmore and others on trial when there may not have been enough evidence to get the job done before.

Ed Cone

My questions aren't anti-Wray, but they do go straight to a central part of the City's case against him.

If he knew this stuff was going on, and didn't come clean with his boss, that's bad.

If he didn't know, or knew and came clean, then on this point at least he was ill-used.

Jerry is the guy telling Wray's story. It would be great to see him address these questions.

Let the facts come out, and then decide. It really works better that way.

meblogin

Ed,

What if Wray's boss could not be trusted with the information?

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