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« Mayoral candidate forum | Main | Waiting still »

Sep 18, 2007

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Anthony

I'm putting my money on "after the election".

cara michele

You're probably watching this live now, but in case you're not, Council just voted (9-0) to release the tape and transcript of the conversation between David Wray, Mitchell Johnson and the City's personnel director, on January 6th. Mike Barber made a substitute motion to release everything about the Wray investigation (with info that would violate personnel law redacted), but it failed 3-6. Sandra Anderson Groat and Yvonne Johnson also voted for that motion, along with Barber.

Ben Holder

I thought Carmany would love to tell us everything..but..she voted no?

cara michele

To clarify: The conversation took place on January 6th (2006), but the release will be immediate.

Barber said that Council had made a commitment to release all of the info after the SBI investigation was over, and "today is the day and now is the time and I believe the people of Greensboro are entitled to it." But apparently, six other Council members disagreed.

Fred Gregory

We have been getting the rest of the story from Ben Holder, The Rhino, Jerry Bledsoe and friends. The Mitch Kool-Aid drinkers in Johnsonville are sticking to their simplistic stories. You know who you are. Sleep well if your collective heads don't explode .

This was a politicaly inspired indictment. What an outrageous shame. Hopefully justice will prevail with some mighty jury nullification. Too bad the good guys will be strapped will back breaking legal bills.

There is a warm place for those who brought this upon these officers and the city.

The CA

Ed, they were hoping we would forget so they could say "good day" and move on to something else.

The CA

Looks like Saint Sandy is full of s__t. Another pol acting like a pol. Sorry anybody was fooled by her act.

StoneSetter

Give it time.

As soon as the SBI report is handed out, we will see DBS copy plastered all over the place

Ben Holder

Sandy still has said nothing about the Walt Jones letter. Anyone who votes for her is totally lost.

Sandy Carmany

Ed,

The first reason that I voted "no" on Mike Barber's motion to IMMEDIATELY release EVERYTHING pertaining to the GPD case was because the attorney general's office had specifically requested that council not do so lest such a premature release jeopardize their court case by revealing all evidence to the defendants and their attorneys prior to "discovery phase." Not only could this create problems for the prosecution, it would have been a deliberate slap in the face to the state's top law enforcement agency that has worked diligently over the last year-and-a-half to investigate this evidence when they could have chosen not to get involved at all.

DO NOT INTERPRET MY "NO" VOTE AS A DECISION NOT TO RELEASE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION EVER! It was a reasoned decision to release pertinent information in a logical, methodical way that will not damage the pending court cases. Over the next several days and weeks, I anticipate a steady release of additional information and explanations to fill in more of the blanks to help the public fully understand everything that has occurred.

Secondly, while many might consider the investigations "closed" with the indictments that were handed down, there is always the possibility of new evidence and information surfacing from various persons directly involved in the case, leaving the possibility of additional charges. It may be extremely helpful to investigators if persons are "left guessing" as to what evidence has or has not surfaced at this point.

Lastly I am acutely aware of the dangers of prematurely releasing information and potentially prejudicing the eventual jury pool, having observed and learned from the painful Duke rape case/Nifong fiasco where the public opinion "convicted" the accused before they ever entered a courtroom. I don't ever want to be any part in "Nifonging" any persons involved in the GPD case.

I'm sure I could have scored plenty of political points this evening by voting in favor of Mike's motion and am certain I will face plenty of criticism from my detractors for voting "no." However, I deliberately rejected political expediency in favor of allowing the investigations and judicial process to proceed on a fair, unbiased course in order to protect the rights of all those persons involved. After all this turmoil, time and effort that has been expended on this issue, it would be absolutely foolish to flush the case down the tubes just so I could look good -- that's just not my way of conducting myself.

I remain committed to releasing all the information we legally can at the appropriate time so that the public has a full understanding of the true facts in this case. The reality is that may not occur as quickly as some might like, but it WILL happen.

(I will be headed to Raleigh first thing Wednesday morning and will be tied up in meetings there as well as the Healthy Homes bus tour when I return to town and then an obligation tomorrow evening. Thus I will not be around to respond to further debate or make other comments until this time tomorrow night. Sorry!)

Tony Wilkins

Sandy, where can a copy of that request from the NC Attorney General's office be obtained? I'm assuming it would be a public document and I'd like to see a copy of it.
For Mike Barber to knowingly make a motion that would directly interfere with a request from the Attorney General's Office would be unusual.
Also, you have been uncharacteristically quiet about the covert basement operations of Linda Miles. Can the public expect a comment from you on that issue?

Jim Rosenberg

What if David Wray's sin is that he jumped the wrong way? Things were getting out of control and he knew it, but he was trying to reign it all in and smooth out the ragged edges. It got away from him, and the City Manager came calling to figure out and straighten up the mess. Wray had a choice at that point: who gets full disclosure and cooperation, and who gets things shaded just a little. Wray chooses to shade the Manager a little and do what he can to avoid what he believes would be unfair consequences to good people. The Manager's is in it fully at this point, and Wray's shadings get uncovered. The Manager doesn't have to conclude Wray is in on anything or a racist, but he's got to have a Chief he can trust -- one who is completely committed as a partner. So, he forces Wray's resignation because trust and chain of command come first. There's a lot of stuff in there, and it's not so black and white to me. What if that's what happened?

Ben Holder

Mike Barber knows the law better than Sandy. They could have released whatever they wanted.

" I don't ever want to be any part in "Nifonging" any persons involved in the GPD case."

Too late, Sandy!

Ben Holder

Mr. Sun,

You keep wanting to put this on Wray. What if Wray did this or that? What if Wray did this and Mitch had to do that?

Hinson found a tracker on a city car. he wanted to make a racist case out of it. Hinson said he was a target. The FBI looked into it and said there was nothing to it. Mitch goes to the DA and pushes it to another agency. The other agency is done and finds nothing close to what the city said they would find. Where was the tracker and the black book and surveillance in the indictments?

Ben Holder

"Also, you have been uncharacteristically quiet about the covert basement operations of Linda Miles. Can the public expect a comment from you on that issue?"

Tony,

I will answer this as Sandy.

Ed,

I really like you. Do you like me?

The CA

I get it, Sandy is saying there is an "ongoing multi-jurisdictional investigation" she doesn't want to compromise. Sounds familiar.

Further, didn't the City Council release tapes earlier this year with conversations by Scott Sanders? Not worried about it, then, were you Sandy?

People want to know about Wray and why he was kicked out and you (Sandy) and others refuse to come clean on that and produce the evidence to support the RMA or any of your public remarks. Tell us how and why Hinson's accusations against Wray could adversely affect the State's case against Sanders and Fox?

They won't. What about the Linda Miles basement conversation that you refuse to address? Nobody trusts any of you except the sycophants at the N&R and some bloggers, Mike Barber excepted.

I'm a lawyer, I know the law, and I think you're all full of it with these excuses. Show us the letter from the AG specifically requesting that you not reveal information about WRAY and HINSON, not Fox and Sanders.

Ben Holder

Sandy just lost the election.

Bubba

And the attempt at damage control by the anti-Wray forces of the Mitch/Linda/Keith/Sandy enabler cabal continues.......without any success, obviously.

Jeffrey Sykes

Beginning at the 13 minute mark in the audio, Wray states that the info in Johnson's report is inconsistent with what he has been told and he disagrees with it. At 13:30 he says, "I stepped into this" based on info brought up during his hiring process and concerns raised my Johnson at that time.

That's no where in MMB's superficial story on GNR homepage.

More of the same from them.

Its ridiculous that you folks in GSO are still going through this.

Solve it.

Jeffrey Sykes

More tidbits for those without time to listen this morning:

Some of this is very inconsistent with that.

Everything I have conveyed to you and **** I believe to be accurate information.

I think I've done right and time will bear that out.


<*He knows he is being fired.

Talking about 70 hours of annual leave.

He mentions termination twice, starts talking about his retirement and employability. Johnson never says you aren't going to be fired, he actually steers Wray toward "taking action" to resign.*>

I've never said he was a target of an *****"investigation"***** His name sufaced.


You have my word of honor that I will not be ugly about this. And I haven't been.
The police chief gets that stuff all the time.

But this isn't the time for that.

I was very honored to get it. <*the job of chief.*>

We had a series of meetings were we talked about a list of things, the problems in the org. A pretty long list. I went about attacking those from day one.

29 min mark

Schedule was foremost example. i knew it was going to be a problem. when i bit it off.


If I were concered just about me, then I wouldn't have "bit it off."


If you think any chief in his right mind wants to walk in on this stuff, then you are wrong.

said he didn't enjoy being called over *somewhere** (redacted) and being told that they were going to go after **** if we didn't do something about it.

i felt like my response was pretty measured during all of this. i did my very best to do what i thought was right.

****** was a guy i promoted brought him into my office and his name surfaced as someone that could be providing info.

i wanted so bad to go to him and say whatever you are doing just stop it. but i couldn't.

31 min mark

Jeffrey Sykes

MORE

I called across the street and asked *** who set all this up and asked him "tell me if I am wrong."

<*Long redaction of audio*>


Even then I wanted to make sure.

Said he's invested in **** and ***** <*his voice full of anguish over being sold out*>

That doesn't mean everything they do is right.

But I've invesyted in guys ... you've got your act together, right? <*you can hear him raise his hands and let them fall onto his chair*>

Up to 33 min mark he talks amidst redacted audio about people coming to him about a dirty cop. He replies "bring me something."

Same thing with Loraine Ahearn when she came to see me and said you've got a dirty cop out here what are you going to do about it?

Bring me something.

32:55

Then goes into the part reported by MMB about when he walks out of the door with his head held high.

Jeffrey Sykes

34min

I figured this was coming. Its not a surprise. Friday afternoon meeting. Joe Williams is already *spreading the word* that the police chief will be gone by the 12th.

35:22

Johnson:
ok. Well.

Think about the process and where you want to go with this. That's why I wanted to give you the weekend...

I understand.

I'm willing to discuss some other process.


36:30

My concern is the department and the community. I would prefer not to get into ... releasing a whole lot of information ... I will have some control over what I release.


Wray

We're both grown men ... lay out for me what you're saying Mitch.

Are you saying that if I chose to resign...

Johnson

Given the information ... I would be wrong to discuss a resignation with you .. but I could support, but that would have to be combined with some sort of press release from me explaining why you've resigned and why I've taken the position I've taken.

<*said he has a second there, who has been kept informed and understands the situation and knows "what I need"*>

If you want to discuss that we can.

I think that's up to you.. I want you to know I'm not negotiating with you ... this is a very difficult thing.

Bubba

"Joe Williams is already *spreading the word* that the police chief will be gone by the 12th."

Imagine that!

Anyone still want to defend the anti-Wray/Wray resigned meme further?

The CA

The people elected Joe Williams, didn't they? Did I miss that election?

Fred Gregory

Sam,

" Boss " Tweed wasn't elected eitherbut he as hell sure ran City Hall in NY.

Ben Holder

http://thetroublemaker.blogspot.com/2007/09/tales-from-basement.html

Bubba

Meanwhile, nary a word about the Jones letter, especially this passage:

"During my involvement with Ms. Miles in this matter it always struck me that the plight of the black officers was a means of pursuing a personal grudge against David Wray and not of genuine concern."

Instead, some folks are feeling "vindicated" by the Monday indictments.

Yeah, right.......

Jeffrey Sykes

*Given the information ... I would be wrong to discuss a resignation with you .. but I could support, but that would have to be combined with some sort of press release from me explaining why you've resigned and why I've taken the position I've taken.*


I misheard this in the audio, he says "I would be willing"

Wanted to correct that, since full transcript is now available via Ed's other post.

The CA

Meaning termination was the method of choice, but a face saving resignation might be considered. Either way, it's clear Wray did not truly quit voluntarily. The basement conversation in the Walt Jones letter suggests the fix was in against Wray and we are all still wondering why- or at least would like someone to come forward and confirm our suspicions as to why. I think it may as simple as a group of people not wanting a white police chief for various reasons. If that is the case, where does the real racism lay? Or it may be that some people did not want the police chief to expose criminals in the ranks. I feel confident that it was one or the other or both, but almost certainly not for the reasons we have been given.

meblogin

I think Sandy is good and deserves support and to be re-elected.

Sandy Carmany

Tony W.,

I have not seen anything in writing from the attorney general's office making that request. I learned of it verbally from the city manager and confirmed by councilmembers who have had separate individual private conversations with Mr. Coman.

Different attorneys often have differing legal opinions and interpretations - isn't that what keeps them in business? [smile} I'm reminded of the old joke that the one attorney in a small town almost went broke until a second attorney moved into town, after which his business flourished. A majority of us councilmembers did not agree with Mike B's interpretation and viewpoint(and yes, he was indeed well aware of the attorney general's request when he made his motion).

I have no reliable information about the supposed Linda Miles issue on which to form an opinion. If you have questions, you should be asking her about it and get the answers straight from her.

Tony Wilkins

Thanks, as always, for responding Sandy.
One brief clarification please:
Linda Miles is not my District 5 representative. You are, and you are her superior. She works for you.
If you are made aware of suspicious activity by Miles and you do not inquire about these accusations, and act upon them if necessary, are you not doing the same thing David Wray was alleged to have done and was suspended for?
Sandy, I do not want this question to sound antagonistic as I do not mean it that way. I just genuinely want to know.

Sandy Carmany

Tony,

The only awareness I have of this supposed misconduct is in the sensation-seeking, National Inquirer-style of the The Rhino which I do not consider to be a reliable source of information.

Secondly,I HAVE had a conversation with Linda about this allegation and heard her side of the story. Let me remind you that whenever I have passed along such explanations or other clarifying information directly from Mitch or Linda in the past (logical sources, go straight to the one with the answers and inquire), I have been labeled, skewered and villified as being their mouthpieces, puppets -- you name it -- "incapable of thinking for herself"! So you place me in a no-win situation -- don't respond and and you say I'm not fulfilling my duties, do respond and I'm being their puppet -- either way, I'm severely criticized and can't please you. Thus, I am removing myself from that no-win "middleman" role when all I can do is pass along and repeat "he said/she said" information. If Linda wants to publicly explain her side of the story, she will do so. If you as a citizen (and she works for YOU) want to hear that explanation, you are free to contact her and ask.

Ben Holder

Only an idiot would rely on what Linda Miles says.

Jim Rosenberg

I remember being highly persuaded by these two direct quotes from January of 2006, which had such a high level of certainty and hostility about Wray -- from sources I considered unlikely to have been out to get him or fooled by spin.

http://snipurl.com/1qy47

Councilman Tom Phillips said, "I stick by what the city manager is saying. I just wish we were in a position to release more information. ... The former chief is very good at choosing his words." Councilwoman Florence Gatten put little stock in Wray's explanation Wednesday. "It's a pathetic attempt to explain illegal actions," Gatten said.

Where are they now on this?

Bubba

"Where are they now on this?"

Probably trying to reconcile their words said at that point with the revelations that have been produced since and the reality of the situation as it now stands.

Lots of folks on the anti-Wray bandwagon would be well served by doing the same thing.

At this point, all the known information does not serve you well.

The CA

"If you have questions, you should be asking her about it and get the answers straight from her."

Why didn't that apply to David Wray? It seems certain members of the council didn't seem to have any problems addressing the David Wray issue when it suited their purposes instead of dodging the question like you (Sandy) are attempting to do now with regard to Linda Miles.

You have a letter from Walt Jones stating what happened in the basement, yet you don't seem the least bit interested in whether it's true, Sandy. Deliberate blindness.

My prediction is that a lot of people will be out of office soon, Mitch Johnson will be the new John Dean- making up stuff to cover up his own role in the coup against David Wray orchestrated by the criminal syndicate in Greensboro and the prominent people they are protecting, and some surprising people will be going to jail, probably on federal charges.

The fact is, almost nobody on City Council has any credibility left because they have been unable to justify the firing of David Wray, they lie about releasing information, and they apply different standards to different people.

It just goes to show how powerful certain interests are and that it is never a good idea to appoint someone to the City Manager's position who has a background in physics and technology instead of someone with a business, management or political background. There is nothing in Mitch Johnson's resume that suggests he was qualified to manage the City of Greensboro and he proves it daily. He and Linda Miles are the Titanic, and you guys are all going down with both of them because you refuse to be skeptical about what they are telling you and ask more questions. John Dean all over again.

Roch101

Sandy, question: In deciding to defer to the attorney general's request because releasing information may harm their case, isn't the corallary that the release of information may help the defendants? Do you think the city should be chosing sides?

The CA

Good question, Roch. Another good question would be "why can't the City release the information as it relates to Hinson's accusations against Wray & the "black book" since they are unrelated to the Fox & Sanders charges?"

People have accused George W. Bush of continuing to postpone judgment on the Surge ("we'll know in September; no wait, April, etc"). This is what the City has been doing in the Wray matter for two years now. Moving the goal post- promising to tell all at the appropriate time, but the appropriate time never comes.

The CA

One more question along the lines of what Roch is asking, is the City saying that when discovery is turned over to Sanders and Fox, they will make everything known- or will they again move the goal post until after a trial?

The CA

I'd be willing to bet that 2/3 or more of the information the City has on the Wray firing has no bearing on the Sanders/Fox case and won't even be part of the discovery provided to the defense. As such, there is no reason not to release it other than to avoid the shame of having mislead the public for two years and the questions that such a revelation would raise. Questions and revelations that are already being asked and revealed.

I don't believe the City has any intention of ever letting the full truth about Wray come out.

The day Wray said "connect the dots" was the day he had to go. He was getting too close to connecting the dots, some which have been made well known and others, possibly more damaging, that have not been made publicly known.

Ben Holder

They should release all of the surveillance info..that was a bunch of BS..they had me on tape..why did they not tell me about it?

Sandy Carmany

CA,
1) Several councilmembers DID have direct conversations with David Wray during that time and reported the content of such to others of us.

2) I have received NOTHING from Walt Jones.

Roch,
I do not see deferring release of evidence as choosing one side or the other. As I and others have stated earlier, it is an attempt not to "pull a Nifong" on the defendants which could possibly hurt, not help, them.

I predict that tomorrow's special council meeting will result in the release of more information. Stay tuned.

Ben Holder

The meeting tomorrow will include the release of the RMA interview with Wray. I gave you guys that report a year ago, right?

Ben Holder

From the Walt Jones Letter: "In fairness to me this letter should me made equally available to the city council so that the record may be corrected."

However, council did not get it.

The CA

1) Do you doubt the veracity of the Walt Jones letter as posted on Ben's site? Aren't you the least bit curious about it?

2) You guys Nifonged Wray, so why not these guys?

Roch101

Sandy,

I have great respect for your service to our city, but your shifting rationale for objecting to the release of this information is maddening. The public was told that we would know what the council knows when on-going investigations were completed. That time has come, yet new objections are now raised and they don't hold water.

Today's adjusted excuse, that the city doesn't want a repeat of the Duke/Nifong situation is completely ludicrous and ignores the lessons of that event. The Duke students were able to be "tried" in the media precisely because information was kept secret, not because everything was made public. Surely you can see that -- it's the reason Nifong was disbarred and went to jail.

Council are not our parents. We do not want it deciding what it thinks we can or cannot understand or should know. The people deserve to have all information about the Wray affair and we deserve it now. The excuses being offered for further delay are not legitimate.

The CA

Great post, Roch. Right on point.

StoneSetter

Sandy Carmany

2) I have received NOTHING from Walt Jones.

True you haven't. It was sent to city attorney Linda Miles, Martin Erwin and Allen Duncan at Smith Moore,with the request that "this letter should me made equally available to the city council".

The reason you have not seen it is because Linda Miles or Mitch Johnson decided that City Council should not see it.

What was it Mitch told David Wray?

Something about "whether you were told or not, what happened in your shop is what happened in your shop".

And YOU are one of the shopkeepers

The CA

Stonesetter, she has seen it. Ben Holder posted it on his blog, and unless Sandy and the rest of the City Council has a reason to believe it is fake (something Walt Jones has not claimed), they are purposely avoiding dealing with it.

Have any of them even called Walt Jones to ask him about the contents? I doubt it. It's plausible denial.

Mitch is John Dean, Wray is Archibald Cox, the City Council are Haldeman and Erlichman, and I'm still trying to figure out who is playing the role of Nixon.

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