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Sep 21, 2007

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jc

Ed, they have nothing on Wray or the N&R would have seen it or the FBI or SBI would have found it.

I really believe this whole case against Wray was brought about by Mitchell Johnson trying to appease Joe Williams and his political action machine. Johnson thought he had Wray with the "BLACK BOOK."

Thank goodness, we the citizens have Bledsoe and Holder to reveal the truth. Holliday and MJ need to step down before they tell anymore lies. They appear to be good men but are so caught up in trying to make a case against Wray it has ruined their reputation. The game is over. Wray is the winner. Johnson and Holliday and the puppets are the Losers.

Roch101

I have a better idea, Ed. Instead of the city spelling out their case nice and slow (which they have been doing, with the emphasis on slow), how about they release the notes and transcripts you describe and let the facts speak for themselves? How about we demand an end to confidential public information?

Ed Cone

Perhaps my colloquial usage is confusing: I don't mean for them to move slowly, I mean for them to provide clarity.

Releasing information is of course a critical part of that -- hence my query about transcripts and recordings and notes -- but along with a data dump I could use an articulated argument and perhaps a timeline.

Roch101

Also, the RMA guy at the presser said that he expects the RMA report to "speak for itself." I asked him how that was supposed to happen if council won't release it and he said I was playing a game because it has already been released. True. But as you point out, despite its release, it's not publicly available.

Mitch Johnson regurgitated the Gardner/Garrity excuse as a reason not to release the RMA report. But when I asked him if Gardner/Garrity rules prohibit the release of information obtained from these kinds of interviews or protect the interviewee from having the information used against him, Johnson admitted it was the latter. What is the justification then for not making the RMA report publicly available? Johnson's answer: "Common sense."

The CA

Ed, JC is right. Wray has been investigated by several agencies, and they haven't found anything. All we have is the RMA which upon further revelations, contains numerous substantive inaccuracies.

We are all being Nifonged. We were told something happened in a certain way, and the facts that have dripped out show otherwise. The City keeps moving the goal post on when they are supposed to let us know the answer to the question you posed as to what Wray did specifically that caused him to lose the confidence of Johnson. Compare that to the undisputed information that Linda Miles at least wanted to "get Wray" and Joe Williams knew that Wray was on the way out before Wray did.

It's not a question of people having made up their minds early, it's simply a matter of taking all the undisputed evidence that has been produced from all known sources and concluding that what it shows is more likely than not, people wanted Wray gone for reasons other than what the City is telling us. Simply put, the weight of evidence is against the explanation offered by the City.

At this point, it's simply a matter of them trying to save face. I don't expect we will get anything substantial until after the election for obvious reasons. Johnson and Miles now have a stake in making sure the current council stays in power so they can keep their jobs despite the growing evidence that they have not been truthful about their roles in the Wray matter. Some members of Council don't want to admit they were wrong or played any role in the Wray fiasco before the election. Others are still nervous that the whole thing won't go away to avoid any embarrassment to them- and it could be a very big embarrassment- which might explain why they were complicit in sacking Wray who was starting to connect the dots, dots that may go beyond a few bad police officers and their shenanigans.

Roch101

"but along with a data dump I could use an articulated argument and perhaps a timeline."

We got something of a telling of the events at the press conference, but little in the way of data. Interestingly, one of the recommendations made by RMA in a Nov. 11, 2005 letter to city attorney Linda Miles, was the creation of a "timeline to reflect key people, dates, and issues involved." Did that happen?

Ed Cone

I don't think it's that simple, Sam.

What Wray knew or didn't know,about the goings-on in his department, and what he told his boss, is at issue.

Jeffrey Sykes

What is at issue is obviously that Wray knew what he told Johnson would go to Miles and then Joe Williams.

It is very apparent that this is about criminal conspiracies being maintained, mid level bureaucrats moving up the ladder and a perfect storm that allowed their separate machinations to converge.

Bubba

"....the RMA guy at the presser said that he expects the RMA report to 'speak for itself.'"


"But when I asked him if Gardner/Garrity rules prohibit the release of information obtained from these kinds of interviews or protect the interviewee from having the information used against him, Johnson admitted it was the latter."


"Johnson and Miles now have a stake in making sure the current council stays in power so they can keep their jobs despite the growing evidence that they have not been truthful about their roles in the Wray matter. Some members of Council don't want to admit they were wrong or played any role in the Wray fiasco before the election. Others are still nervous that the whole thing won't go away to avoid any embarrassment to them- and it could be a very big embarrassment- which might explain why they were complicit in sacking Wray who was starting to connect the dots, dots that may go beyond a few bad police officers and their shenanigans."

These observations point to one inescapable conclusion.

From our employees and and from our elected officials, the city's role in this has been highly suspect for a long time.

David Wray, the other wronged officers and the citizens of Greensboro deserve MUCH better.

For the most part, the council incumbents wishing to return to office should be denied that privilege. The new candidates should state unequivocally and specifically their position on this sorry mess.

Jeffrey Sykes

I had this written before the previous comment, but had to get the other off my chest.

I go back to the fact that David Wray was raised up through the ranks of the Greensboro Police Department, promoted to the highest levels by black police chiefs, and pursued extensive management training at UNCG and a little place called Harvard University.

The position being taken by the city that David Wray was a rouge bigot hell bent on punishing innocent black cops is about as ludicrous as the argument that he should have been fired for mismanagement.

This is the most disgusting display of black power politics I have ever heard of or witnessed.

Shameful.

This resignation memo is a disgrace.

Ed Cone

The memo doesn't mention race. It says Wray mis/underinformed his boss.

I wrote a year ago about "the broad public perception that Wray was not a racist, and that he was a decent hard-working local boy made good," and I still think that's the case.

The second paragraph of this comment does not necessarily contradict the first one.

David Hoggard

I attended the press conference and came away with a better understanding of why Johnson was going to put Wray on administrative leave. And I will fire my blog back up over the weekend to 'splain my take within the documentation.

But for now... one thing from the news conference stuck with me.

The RMA guy stated that he urged Johnson to lock Wray's door and not let anyone in until it could be inventoried after that fateful weekend. Apparently the first happened but not the second. By the time they (RMA) got to the contents of the office, the RMA guy said, "it had been cleaned out... ...Several file drawers were empty..".

To the attorneys out there... if Wray removed all of the files that were presumably evidence and personnel related... and the information in those files are now the source for Bledsoe's Rhino series. Is some law broken?

Maybe Wray was locked out of his office... but maybe Jerry had a spare key.

Bubba

"I wrote a year ago about "the broad public perception that Wray was not a racist, and that he was a decent hard-working local boy made good," and I still think that's the case."

That was about the time the official line changed from "Wray the Racist" to "Wray the Bad Employee".

Nothing we have read (besides the now discredited things)and nothing we have heard has established that either oneis correct.

Ed Cone

Actually, "Wray the Bad Employee" has been there all along.

From Johnson's 1/18/06 statement: "Wray had critical information, which he did not share with the City Manager, the City Council, or the community regarding the Hinson investigation and the existence of the purported 'black book.'"

From Johnson's 1/26/06 statement, detailing alleged problems in Wray's department:

# That documents were altered by top management to support their desired outcomes (sometimes also involving the forging of officers’ names);

# That improper pressure and intimidation were brought to bear on officers—both minority and non-minority, men and women—who expressed disagreement with the views of upper management;

# That minority officers were subject to more intense scrutiny of their actions and missteps than were non-minorities and that the authority of minority officers was undermined; and

# That Internal Affairs and Special Intelligence failed to follow long-standing procedures of reporting, investigative boundaries, and documentation.

Bubba

"# That documents were altered by top management to support their desired outcomes (sometimes also involving the forging of officers’ names);

# That improper pressure and intimidation were brought to bear on officers—both minority and non-minority, men and women—who expressed disagreement with the views of upper management;

# That minority officers were subject to more intense scrutiny of their actions and missteps than were non-minorities and that the authority of minority officers was undermined; and, and indeed that other forces not r
# That Internal Affairs and Special Intelligence failed to follow long-standing procedures of reporting, investigative boundaries, and documentation."

And evidence to support such allegations was not then nor is it now presented by the city.

Evidence to the contrary has been provided by Bledsoe, Holder, and other people that strongly suggest the allegations are not true.

Furthermore, there is evidence that suggests the entire anti-Wray meme is the result of insidious and sub rosa machinations.

Ed Cone

Actually, the indictments would seem to support at least some of the allegations about undermining of authority, and misbehavior by SID.

Please point to specific evidence provided by anyone that counters allegations of things like doctored documents. Jerry has done a great job of describing the troubling environment at GPD, but where are the line-by-line rebuttals of the specific allegations?

Joe Guarino

Ed, I found it interesting that the alleged forgeries did not result in indictments. It seemed that this would have been the one easily demonstrable offense that could result in charges. Was it because of some aspect of the law that we don't know about? Or because the evidence was not as clear as it was represented to be? Or because the parties involved dragged their feet and allowed the statute of limitations to expire? We really don't know-- after all this time, the primary documents and contemporaneous documentation are still being withheld.

Ed Cone

"We really don't know-- after all this time, the primary documents and contemporaneous documentation are still being withheld."

Kind of a problem, huh?

Jeffrey Sykes

From Johnson's 1/18/06 statement: "Wray had critical information, which he did not share with the City Manager, the City Council, or the community regarding the Hinson investigation and the existence of the purported 'black book.'"

Isn't the critical information about Hinson the fact that he was "not a target" of the multi-jurisdictional? Didn't Wray state in the audio released this week "I never said he was a target. I said his name surfaced"

Am I missing something?

Jeffrey Sykes

...."the purported 'black book.'"

Purported is terrible word choice in this instance and seems to undermine the argument in favor of the black book being taken seriously as an indictment of Wray's veracity.

I seem to recall that Wray has repeatedly claimed that he was investigating the reports of a "black book" this all spun into hysteria.

The term black book in itself, to me, is proof enough of the racial decapitation that is at the heart of this case. A smoke screen to throw the dogs off the scent of the true criminals behind the scenes.

Now if GPD had put white men in a line-up book meant to id a black suspect, I would agree someone should be fired for incompetence.

Jeffrey Sykes

# That documents were altered by top management to support their desired outcomes (sometimes also involving the forging of officers’ names);

This is the one aspect of the accusations against Wray that I believe has been proven and troubles me very much.

The CA

The "black book" as a device to target black officers on the basis of race has been thoroughly discredited considering all of the information that has been produced on the subject, and the state and federal investigations that found no unfair treatment of black officers.

The black book was a sensationalized red herring that was adopted as truth by the N&R, who still haven't come clean on their role in this matter or gone out of their way to publicize the discrediting of the black book as a racist device.

How many of the original allegations against Wray still hold water? Pretty much none of them, and Mitch & Co. are trying to massage their original allegations against Wray into the Fox & Sanders indictments, hoping people will forget the original allegations made against Wray.

They really think we're stupid. A lot of us here don't agree on hardly anything, but on this one issue there seems to be a wide, bipartisan, non-ideological consensus that the City is dropping the ball and not making good on their original promises. When Ed, Roch, Sykes, Bubba, Ben, myself and others can essentially agree on the City's lackluster performance thus far and inexcusable neglect towards addressing the central allegations made against Wray, that should be a clue to Johnson, Miles & the City Council that they aren't fooling anyone and that this won't simply just go away.

Wendell Sawyer

It is interesting to note that the SBI investigation into the Wray/GPD matter lasted for almost 17 months. This investigation resulted in the indictments of one sergeant and one detective; no chief, no deputy chiefs, no captains. Mitch Johnson and the RMA investigators seemed to indicate that the allegations of misconduct involved David Wray and his command staff. I don’t think that a sergeant and a detective would be regarded as participants in “upper management.”

If the allegations of misconduct by Wray that are recorded in the RMA report are true (as Mitch Johnson believes), the SBI should have had sufficient evidence to charge David Wray with the misdemeanor offense of “misbehavior in office” by alleging that Wray “willfully and corruptly violated his oath of office according to the true intent and meaning thereof…” pursuant to NCGS 14-230.

Does the SBI have to provide evidence of Wray’s intentional involvement in the alleged police misconduct to substantiate a violation of this state law? In reference to this statute, the N. C. Supreme Court has said, “However honest the defendants may be (and their honesty is not called into question) the public have a right to be protected against the wrongful conduct of their servants, if there is carelessness amounting to a willful want of care in the discharge of their official duties, which injures the public.” The Court has also ruled that police chiefs and police officers are included within the meaning of the statute.

So, if the RMA allegations are true, it seems that the SBI would have had sufficient evidence to charge Wray and some of his command staff with violations of this state law. The statute of limitations for this misdemeanor offense is two years. It is now September, 2007. David Wray resigned in January of 2006. Since Wray was accused of being involved in such alleged police misconduct until his downfall, why did the SBI fail to accuse him of violating this statute? Could it be that the allegations of Mitch Johnson and the RMA report couldn’t be substantiated?

BrendaBowers

# That documents were altered by top management to support their desired outcomes (sometimes also involving the forging of officers’ names);

This is the one aspect of the accusations against Wray that I believe has been proven and troubles me very much.

Mr. Sykes, Where did you find evidence for this? I have carefully read every scrape of paper released and written and can only recall Wray saying that he marked thru recommendations that he did not agree with and wrote his own. This is not forging signatures. This is standard practice. One gets the opinions from underlings and if agreeable you sign them, if not you mark thru them and write in your own before submitting them to the next person on the totem pole. BB


David Hoggard

But Brenda, what about when a higher up asks an "underling" to alter their recommendations and then imply or threaten retaliation if that is not done?

Those were the actions that have been alleged on the part of some in the Wray administration.

You might want to read that part again.

Jim Rosenberg

I have no idea what's true, but I think the Chief got fired for what happened and didn't happen at three key moments: 6/17/05 (Response to breaking news), 10/24/05 (Results of internal investigation), and 1/9/06 (Response to notice of administrative leave).

On June 10, the Manager and Council woke up to Lorraine Ahearn's breathless pot-stirrer: "Secret police use black ops on black cop," putting the city in political turmoil and legal jeopardy. If ever there was a time when a city Manager and Chief needed to have open and honest communication, this was it. On June 17 -- just 7 days later -- the Chief held a public press conference clearing the investigative unit and, without mentioning him by name, suspending the subject of the investigation while making reference to ongoing criminal investigations [http://tinyurl.com/39by6w].

The thing boiled all summer, giving off all kinds of bad fumes for everyone involved. If ever there was a time when a Manager and Chief needed to shine a light in each dark hole and drag everything out in the open and deal with it, this was it. The Chief returns on 10/24/05 with a few paragraphs finding a grand total of zero issues worth mentioning [http://tinyurl.com/2nnujt]. The RMA report finds substantially more.

The Manager is ready to fire the Chief based on the gap between the serious issues raised in the RMA report and elsewhere and the Chief's blanket, almost disengaged denials at key moments for the City's leadership team. He tells him so, and gives him the weekend in case the Chief wants to return with a full-blown defense that engages on the details. The Chief doesn't, and instead submits his essentially forced resignation on 1/9/06.

I haven't seen enough of the contemporaneous documentation to form an opinion of my own, but the City has so badly bungled communicating its basic position that I had to try and get in their head and write the above down just so I could could understand its point-of-view.

Ben Holder

The SBI didnt find much did they David? What did the FBI find? Do you trust Hinson and Fulmore? Linda Miles? The spare key thing about Bledsoe was dirty and stupid. lemme get this straight..after all that we have seen..you want bledsoe to go to jail?

The CA

David, maybe the RMA folks had no idea what was in Wray's locked file cabinet in the first place. Maybe those several but not all "file drawers" were empty all along. The RMA never states to my knowledge what they were expecting to find, but didn't. No investigation has concluded that Wray took anything inappropriate when he left.

David Hoggard

I wasn't referring to Jerry, Ben. If files were removed, it certainly wasn't Jerry that took them.

I was asking a serious question, but let me be more blunt. Did Wray remove sensitive files from his office that were City property?

I certainly understand WHY he might have done so, if it indeed occured... but would it be considered a crime under the statutes? I really don't know the asnwer to that question.

Sam, do you think that Wray is pulling all of that detail out of his ass and Jerry is just repeating it verbatim without substantiation? I doubt it. Jerry Bledsoe is a pro and would not let his butt just sway in the legal wind. He's got the goods. My question is: where did those good come from?

As for the rest... I agree with Rosenberg. The City has totally screwed this thing up beyond all recognition and the N&R helped them on their way down a dead-end, racially charged road in more ways than they will ever own up to.

But... behind all of that... Wray screwed up and Johnson had the authority and the backing of Council to do what he did. Witness the 9-0 solidarity that is ongoing on all things Wray related.

The whoe thing is completely and utterly f***ck*d up and I am pretty damn disgusted with all involved.

The CA

David, I think it was important enough for Wray to recall many of the details. Further, who says that Wray is Bledsoe's only source?

Finally, if Wray took government property, I think he would have been charged in light of the State and Federal investigations.

jc

Now the puppetmaster and all his puppets are saying that Wray cleaned out all the file cabinets. What a crock...

They have nothing solid on Wray and now they are trying to smear him even more. Disgusting.

The puppets ought to admit that Mitch and Holliday screwed up and move the city forward. Mitch went after the wrong man. There are still bad cops in uniform. Mitch should resign or be fired for incompetence. Hopefully, no puppet running for re-election will win. Talk about going down with a sinking ship, this takes the cake.

David Hoggard

jc,

If "puppet" is the term you want to use for those who are dancing to the strings under manipulation by spin machines, then there are puppets to be found on both sides of this issue.

I just don't choose to swallow everything that is coming either attempt at puppeteering.

I suppose you're right, Sam. If the SBI and the others did as thorough a job of investigating as two years' worth of effort would suggest, one would assume that they looked into that allegation and found nothing actionable.

On the same token... I'm guessing that the investigators took another look at the many allegations regarding Hinson and came up with nothing actionable either.

We have to assume that they are either inept investigators or there just wasn't anything there in both instances.

Ben Holder

Hogg: "I'm guessing that the investigators took another look at the many allegations regarding Hinson and came up with nothing actionable either."

That is total horse shit. A person interviewed by the SBi that does NOT like Wray told me that during his interview he told the SBI that the only people in this story that were guilty of crimes was Hinson. the SBI cut him off and said that they were told not to look into anything about James Hinson. So, Hogg your guessing is wrong.

David Hoggard

Who was it that told the SBI what not to investigate and why?

The CA

Maybe, just maybe, there are people other than police officers cavorting with prostitutes...

Fred Gregory

Saturday Sept. 22, 2007

No There There

Today's front page, above the fold story by MMB, with a large bold fonts headline, announcing a press conference by the Mitch and his goons from RMA does nothing to bolster the city's case against David Wray, in fact some of their statements contradict previous information supplied to the press.

This dog and pony show was reminiscent of the time in 1989 when Geraldo Riveria opened, with great fanfare, Al Capone's vault and found nada, zero, zilch except for debris.

EMPTY !

Mitch et al have no sense of shame or embarassment at their colossal failure to back up what they have been feeding the public for all these months.

Ben Holder

Hogg:

June 2007
Noell Talley
Public Relations Director
Attorney Generals Office

The request from the local District Attorney that initiated this investigation was very specific that the investigation should focus on allegations of possible criminal wrongdoing by members of the police administration and the special investigations unit.

Ben Holder

Hogg?

BrendaBowers

Mr. Sykes did not answer my question as to where he found evidence ( or even indications) that David Wray forged signatures. Hoggard of course supplied me with the “evidence” of the proven bogus RMA report which is still the premier evidential document in some people’s opinion. But Mr. Skyes made a statement and I have heretofore had considerable respect for his statements and opinions. I need now to know exactly why he claims forgery was one charge against Wray that has been substantiated. Forgery is a very serious crime and surely the statue of Limitations would not have run out on that so quickly.

Fec

Here's the RMA Doc.

BrendaBowers

Much is being made over the allegation that David Wray hauled "boxes full of files" out of his office after that fateful Friday interview with Johnson and after his office door locks were changed. He could only then get into his office when someone in authority opened the door for him. Now we are being told by the city officials and particularly Johnson that witnesses saw Wray carry out all these files and it was simply a "snafu" (Johnson's words at press conference) that allowed this to happen. Really folks, this is just entirely too much for any reasonably intelligent person to swallow. Johnson has the locks changed while Wray is safely kept in his office, then he is left to go back under guard into his office for his personal belongings and no one watches what he takes out? Is anyone out there interested in purchasing a bridge in a major city?

Patrick Eakes

Fred, Geraldo's escapade into Capone's vault was in 1986, not 1989.

I will save you the trouble and admit I am a puppet.

David Hoggard

Thanks, Ben.

David Hoggard

Brenda, "...the proven bogus RMA report"?!? Proven by who?

I know I am sounding like an old stick-in-the-mud. But c'mon. Nothing has been "proven" about any of this. We are all just speculating... on both sides. Proof is a very high standard which I really hope we will eventually get to. But we are not there yet.

Wendell Sawyer

In today’s N&R article about the ongoing Wray controversy, Mitch Johnson was asked if there might be more indictments as a result of the SBI investigation. Johnson responded with a self-serving, clouded answer. He said that someone in the AG’s office told him that the investigation was “fluid” and he failed to elaborate.

Folks, we have already been provided with a clear answer to that question by the SBI. On 9/18/07, the N&R reported: “…assistant SBI agent-in-charge Kanawha Perry said that the allegations are all that could be brought…”

Mitch paraded out one of his private eye boys from the RMA who implied that Wray or one of his associates surreptitiously carted off important files from Wray’s office. I guess this was an attempt by Johnson to show what a really bad apple Wray could be.

However, the SBI investigation into this matter lasted for 17 months and the SBI had access to the RMA report. The SBI would have been negligent if it had failed to research the allegations of police misconduct that were recorded in the RMA report and failed to interview the RMA private eyes who conducted the interviews with targeted police officers. I believe that any reasonable person could conclude that the SBI did, in fact, investigate those allegations and interviewed those private eyes.

I’m sure that the RMA boys were more than eager to accommodate the SBI investigators and I would be shocked if they failed to inform them of their suspicions about Wray (or one of his cohorts) stealing files out of a city office. Yet, “…assistant SBI agent-in-charge Kanawha Perry said that the allegations are all that could be brought…”

Despite Mitch Johnson’s wishful thinking, the SBI couldn’t make a case out against David Wray after 17 months of a thorough investigation. He needs to get over it and deal with the aftermath.

Bubba

"He needs to get over it and deal with the aftermath."

As do those who are still grasping at straws to support their thinly veiled "Wray as Villain" meme.

They know who they are.

More importantly, so do we.

Jeffrey Sykes

# That documents were altered by top management to support their desired outcomes (sometimes also involving the forging of officers’ names);

This is the one aspect of the accusations against Wray that I believe has been proven and troubles me very much.

Brenda: I wasn't ignoring your question. I've been working sound at a benefit fundraiser all day here in Reidsville.

My comment is unclear, and I apologize for its uncertainty.

I should have written "against Wray's administration". I am not an expert on this matter, although I have followed it closely like many others. I do believe that of all the allegations about mistakes made during Wray's days as chief, the above mentioned was well documented.

I can't recall where it was exactly, maybe the RMA report, or a GNR story, and I don't have time to research it all right now. I do have a strong memory that when I read that material it struck me that the proof was unavoidable, unlike the balance of the situation which is cock and bull racist politics.

Fred Gregory

Wow,Partick, you are one observant dude. Thanks for pointing out my typo. The correct date, of course, was in my link but don't let that fact dampen your glee on this " gotcha ". Woopee effing doo.

Bubba


"Wow,Partick, you are one observant dude. Thanks for pointing out my typo. The correct date, of course, was in my link but don't let that fact dampen your glee on this " gotcha ". Woopee effing doo."

Given that poster's history, I'm surprised he didn't call for banning you for such a heinous crime against blog decorum, Fred.

BrendaBowers

Mr. Sykes, If you are referring to the RMA report as validation for your belief then please refer to Mr. Wendall Sawyers statement above. Or, just read a page or two of the report again. If a student had turned that thing into me as a research paper I would have tossed it in the trash can and the student would have gotten an F for the semester. He/She would also have been strongly advised not to ever come near my classroom again.

A research or investigative report NEVER uses such terms as implied, he said/she said second hand, overheard, assumption, presumed, imagine and suggested. The entire report both the RMA and City Attorney’s reports are replete with these and like terminology. These reports at best would have be termed questionable. I certainly would never allow my name to be associated with anything so poorly researched and written.

I still respect your opinions and will allow that this was just a slip. We all make them from time to time. Lord knows I have made a number of real doossies that blogging friends have had to correct me on. Thank goodness they consider my advanced years and diminishing gray matter and so correct me gently.:-) BB

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