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« Playing against type | Main | Wasted space »

Oct 07, 2007

Comments

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Bubba

"Not speculative explanations from outsiders, not oblique justifications via the Rhino, but simple statements from Wray himself?"

At this point, there is no legal or ethical obligation that requires Wray to say or do anything else that explain his part of the story. There is a HUGE ethical obligation (and a probable legal obligation forthcoming) to the accusers to establish the basis for their actions. So far, they have failed miserably in that task.

It's up to Johnson, Miles, the Mayor, and the City Council to release any and ALL information and documentation they have that supports their not-so subtle agenda here. The suspicion is that there is nothing else that supports their case, and indeed, the rest of the information is unfavorable to their position.

I suspect they can do so now, voluntarily, before the primary/election, or do so under subpoena at some further time.

I further suspect they will not do so voluntarily, believing that their orchestrated plan of pushback, aided and abetted by our media and some in the blogosphere, will continue to muddy the issue in hopes that everyone will just forget about this tawdry episode in our city's history, and just move on.

Unfortunately for them, that will not happen.

Don Moore

I was looking for the "PAID ADVERTISEMENT" in the article. It was a well written PR piece, suitable for use in getting additional work.

Bubba

Plus, the notion that Johnson "has been willing to address the situation front and center....." is about as absurd a statement that I have yet heard on this case.

The CA

Wray has talked to everyone mentioned above except the N&R. They are the ones who helped screw him in the first place, so he has no desire to help them sell newspapers by giving them an interview that they will almost certainly distort or editorialize with straw men when it goes to print.

Looks like Allen is doing JR's bidding, complaining essentially that Wray isn't going to get fair treatment until he allows an interview with the N&R. JR has all but said that he will never quote or report on anything that appears in the Rhino. So if Wray confessed to being an axe murderer, but only did so in the Rhino, the N&R would ignore the story. Wray could give a full page statement and have it notarized and printed in the Rhino, and JR would not allow it to be reported in his paper. This whole notion that Wray hasn't answered the allegations or given his side of the story is preposterous. What the real complaint is that he hasn't given it to the whiny and increasingly less influential News and Record.

The CA

P.S. Give me a press pass, and let Johnson answer some of my questions "front and center" the next time he is being so open with the press.

Ben Holder

"Say what you will about Johnson (and who doesn't?), at least he has been willing to address the situation front and center. With the press. The public. Bloggers. Even Bledsoe. Wray -- for whatever reason -- hasn't."

Bloggers? You mean when he lied about 10 times at that Mitch meeting w bloggers? What was good about that? Mitch is willing to lie? I have known that for years.

http://thetroublemaker.blogspot.com/2007/02/mitch-meet-up.html

There are very direct questions about that too, Ed. However, you refuse to see them. I thought you couldn't lie to your boss? You are satisfied w willow oaks because? Mitch said everythign was great? Sounded good to you? Mitch is a liar.

Ben Holder

and Linda? There are very direct questions that Ed has not asked. Because? What?

http://thetroublemaker.blogspot.com/2007/03/real-reason-carr-is-leaving.html

Roch101

Oh, man. Allen's take is just laughable, for a number of reasons, a few of which CA hits upon.

Watch and learn, N&R. Watch and learn.

Billy The Blogging Poet

Funny, as we live in a "right to work" state the City never needed to make a big deal of Wray's leaving but they did anyway. Resigned, fired, whatever the City of Greensboro committed a mistake for which I have successfully sued former employeers-- raking my name through the coals after the fact.

Why is the City so quick to risk what could well become a muiti-million dollar EEOC lawsuit? Anyone working in the GSO HR department can surely tell you how they would have never allowed this to happen had it been left up to the HR Department. Why did Johnson, Miles and others attempt a public lynching of David Wray's reputation?

Smoke and mirrors... smoke and mirrors. It's not about David Wray it's about dirty little secrets Miles, Johnson and others hope to hide.

Beau D. Jackson

If the people of Greensboro are looking at Mitch Johnson as the Anti-Christ then he has lost all respect, effective leadership, and confidence of the people therefore he needs to do the "right thing" and resign. As far as the RMA report, I read the report in its entirety and for the life of me I couldn't find anything incriminating enough to force a Chief of Police to resign, maybe a slap on the wrist should have been sufficient. There's just way to much smoke here and like they say "if there's smoke there's some fire there too." I don't believe there was a conspiracy planned but I do believe that one did evolve and take a life of its own with a whole host of biased players whose intent was to get some one else "more friendly to thier causes" as GDP police chief.

Roch101

I've now read the Wireback article and it is condemnable too. In typical Wireback fasion (he did the same thing with his FedEx reporting) it's heavy on "he says, she says" and short on facts.

The issues surrounding the Wray affair can be shown to be true or false, but only if the secret vault of "confidential" public information can be pried open. The N&R is not a catylist for that to happen and, sadly, it considers its role as stenographer of varying opinions a satisfactory substitute for digging up the facts.

Ben Holder

http://thetroublemaker.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-on-johnson.html

Roch,

Wireback's story also pushes fiction to make it appear that Wray's assistants resigned. That is false. But it does sound better for Mitch if they resigned without a fight. Hardly the case.

Ben Holder

ps
I didnt see any mention of the Walt Jones letter either.

Beau D. Jackson

Longmire counters "It wasn't RMA'S job to track down such minutiae." "Its job was to FOCUS on Wray." And that's exactly what the people from RMS did. They indeed did question other officers trying to gain evidence on a wrong doing by Wray and little about what the whole matter was really about, that being, "dirty cops" in the GPD! Seems like a one directional investigation to me.

Bubba

"I didnt see any mention of the Walt Jones letter either."

Imagine that!

The Jones letter doesn't exist if the N&R and the Mitch/Linda/City Council cabal and their Peanut Gallery don't talk about it, right?

Ben Holder

Mitch on Wray:"The guy has never stood the test of fire in front of the press except from a guy who's telling the story the way he wants it to be told," Johnson said."

That was hillarious. Mitch has had the N&R push the racist story. He had the majority of the other media doing the same. He had the support of the council. Mitch knows nothing about fire. But it does appear he is finally feeling the heat.

BrendaBowers

When I read the two Wray articles in the N&R this morning I didn't know whether to laugh, cry or throw up. It seems most of you, with the exception of Ed, felt the same way and decided to "blow" up. I just went in and calmly made breakfast for my husband. BB

You know, if the city had put out the information it is now leaking out in drips and drabs much earlier, like 16 or 14 months ago, the Wray case would have been long gone and off the public's radar. David Wray would have been roasted by public opinion supplied by the N&R and no amount of reporting otherwise would have helped him. But now the public has had too much information from Bledsoe with no rebuttals forthcoming from those "exposed" for the public to accept these half baked innuendoes as fact.

I'll bet these guys would probably mess up the timing on telling a Duck Joke too. BB

Jim Rosenberg

Is Walt Jones saying he may not legally or ethically comment on the letter given his new role? If so, I get it. If not, I don't get it at all. Why wouldn't that make him a a total joke for writing this tough-talking letter asking everyone to take notice of these events, and now when everyone is asking him about it -- he won't say anything at all. How is that not totally insane?

Ben Holder

Is Walt Jones saying he may not legally or ethically comment on the letter given his new role?

yes Mr. Sun..that is correct..

Jim Rosenberg

Ben - What prevents him from commenting? What is the conflict of interest?

The CA

From the Wireback story:

"Today, after the RMA report and a subsequent SBI investigation, two of the unit's officers face criminal charges that include obstruction of justice and felonious conspiracy."

This might as well have read: "Today, after the RMA report, the Kennedy assassination, the Challenger disaster, the last episode of Seinfeld and a subsequent SBI investigation, two of the unit's officers face criminal charges that include obstruction of justice and felonious conspiracy."

That's because the RMA had no role in the SBI indictments even though the N&R tries to make it appear so. Also, Wireback does another bit of cheerleading of City Hall and Mitch Johnson when he writes:

"Supporters of the ex-chief say RMA was heavy-handed, insensitive and careless in investigating claims of mismanagement involving Wray, despite the recent criminal indictment of two Greensboro police officers in a related state-government investigation that would seem to bolster RMA's credibility."

Really? The indictments bolster the RMA's credibility? How so? Since you are clearly editorializing here Mr. Wireback, why don't you tell us?

JR complains about the Rhino being a mouthpiece for Wray, but his paper is the mouthpiece for the City and Mitch Johnson and anyone who wants to accuse someone of racism. He's either become the deaf dumb and blind kid or he thinks his readers have.

On a side note, there was an anti-abortion protest the entire length of Battleground Avenue today. I'll bet the N&R doesn't put it on the front page with a photo because it's the wrong side of the issue. Now let 10 hippies gather downtown with signs protesting George Bush, and that's worthy of a story.

The paper is garbage and it's a good thing it is dying.

Ben Holder

Mr. Sun: What prevented Allen Johnson from asking Mitch about it?

Dr. Mary Johnson

What goes around . . .

Jim Rosenberg

Ben - I don't know. Ask Allen Johnson. I know this: if Walt Jones isn't explicitly prohibited from talking about it, yet won't - I give it zero credibility.

Bubba

"Ben - I don't know. Ask Allen Johnson. I know this: if Walt Jones isn't explicitly prohibited from talking about it, yet won't - I give it zero credibility."

Isn't it amazing how some people can dismiss uncontested evidence by just pretending it doesn't matter?


BrendaBowers

One other thing, have you all noticed this article is not under Ahearn's by line? Now I feel pretty sure she wrote it or at the very least had a heavy hand in it, but is it possible that all our hitting on her as being bias has caused JR to change staff writers so he can pass off the fiction that Ahearn isn't at all bias because this new guy sees things this way too. Dear Lord, I thought the city fathers thought we were idiots out here, now old JR has joined the Mad Hatters Ball. Wonder if he is perceptive enough to see his newspaper sliding quietly off into the sunset? BB

Dr. Mary Johnson

Oh, I forgot, a link worth reading on this very subject (from Dale in Randolph County - not that we non-burg types matter matter):

http://desperling.blogspot.com/2007/10/whos-on-first.html

Joe Killian

Sam:

I went down the length of Battleground today twice. I saw the protest. It wasn't even kind of "the length of Battleground" either of the times I passed.

I don't know whether there will be a story -- but I've done protest stories at the N&R and I've never done one on "10 Hippies." Almost every anti-war protest I've covered had 100 or more participants. And most of them wrote me angry letters afterward saying I had obviously been against the war and made them look like idiots, concentrated too much on the cops or counter-protesters, etc.

You can't win with protest stories.

Fred Gregory

This has been the most withering fullsiade of comments I have ever seen on this or any other blog that have gone unanswered.

The N&R's coordinated pushback for Mitch is making people retch all over town.

Ben Holder

Mr. Sun: Ask Walt Jones what the conflict is.

Ed Cone

There is room for multiple conversations around this topic, including the culture at GPD, the possibility of wrongdoing on the part of others besides Wray, the actions of the Council and manager, and the coverage by the N&R.

But there are also several specific allegations that the City says led to Wray's downfall.

When pressed, many of Wray's advocates will say that the allegations, if true, would be troubling and perhaps even cause for Wray's removal. Yet there is no focus at all on those allegations.

Isn't anybody the least bit curious about them?

Ben Holder

No focus on the allegations? What did the SBI do?

Dr. Mary Johnson

Well, yes Ed, I AM curious. But (as Trouble points out) the SBI has looked into that. And what I really don't care for is a public lynching. The N&R certainly did not focus on much in the beginning except the back-handed accusation of racism. The city spoon-fed and leaked to the paper and the paper lapped it all up.

Also, I think the Rhino has focused plenty. They're just not towing the party line.

As I addressed in a post on my blog the other day, David Wray was NEVER given the opportunity to defend himself against "the allegations" against him BEFORE he was shown the door. That's when it should have happened. And that's the biggest issue for the city leaders who are now squirming.

There was no "due process" for a man (a "valued employee" - HAH!) sworn to uphold due process for everyone else.

The primary issue for me (and apparently a lot of people on this thread) is the issue of fairness.

Wray's good name and reputation were gleefully RAPED by the N&R. It kinda puts a crimp in his ability to "let go" and "move on" (something that, no doubt, the city would dearly love for him to do - even though they made that impossible).

The other thing that just kills me is that, in one post, you bemoan the N&R's use of consultants ("it does not smell good"), then in another (on the same day) you're waing poetic on another consultant's (i.e. RMA's) "impressive" record.

Which is it? My God. The fence is crumbling under you. It's a wonder you can walk at this point.

Ed Cone

The criminal indictments that followed the SBI investigation seem relevant to one area of the allegations, the misconduct/misuse of the SID. Wray's knowledge and representation of any such activities are one of the questions at hand.

Other allegations would not seem to be fodder for the SBI, e.g., What Wray said to his bosses about a supposed ongoing multi-jurisdictional investigation that justified the reinvestigation of Hinson.

The list is here.

Beau D. Jackson

When pressed, many of Wray's advocates will say that the allegations, if true, would be troubling and perhaps even cause for Wray's removal. Yet there is no focus at all on those allegations.


allegations, if true, would be troubling, perhaps, even cause, etc, etc ,etc. Good grief Ed, how wishy washy, how about some absolute truths and facts! Ever consider those? Call the friends over at the Rhino and they might let you in on a few...........

Ed Cone

Nothing wishy-washy about it, BDJ. I've spoken via phone and online with some of the real fire-breathers in this thread, who say, yes, those allegations would be serious and bad for Wray if true.

My question is exactly the one you raise: what is the truth of the allegations?

Triad Conservative

Ed, unfortunately, the city has had every opportunity to demonstrate the truth of those allegations, but has failed miserably to do so. That is why so many of us have called for the release of records that have been withheld tightly.

Ben Holder

"Ed, unfortunately, the city has had every opportunity to demonstrate the truth of those allegations, but has failed miserably to do so. That is why so many of us have called for the release of records that have been withheld tightly."

Mitch is done releasing information.

http://thetroublemaker.blogspot.com/2007/10/johnson-claims-city-is-done-releasing.html

meblogin

If Wray reported to Johnson...then using similar logic...is Johnson not "more" responsible than Wray for having two indicted?

Ed, are you pleased with Johnson or do you think he should be replaced...same question regarding Miles?

jc

All we have from Johnson is that Wray misled him. Where is the proof that Wray did anything wrong? Why is he not releasing any more info? I think it's because he doesn't have anything solid on Wray to release. All we have is his word vs Wrays. We know MJ can't be trusted or believed. He needs to be replaced along with Miles.

Stormy

"It's a shame, however, that Johnson has been so thoroughly vilified based on shreds of truth liberally mixed with rumor and innuendo." This is what Allen Johnson wrote on October 3rd. Today's attempts by the News-Record to take the pressure off poor Mitch seems to be a continuation of what the city and the News-Record started some time ago.

It occurred to me that if Wray could be substituted for Johnson in his quote and it would be very true, because hadn't David Wray previously been thoroughly vilified based on shreds of truth liberally mixed with rumor and innuendo by teh city and the News-Record?

Ed Cone speaks liberally about allegations against David Wray that would be troubling if proven true. Well, guess what the definition of allegation might be. An allegation is an assertion that is made with little or no truth! So, an allegation is nothing more than an assertion with "shreds of truth liberally mixed with rumor and innuendo". If there were any proof of the allegations against David Wray, Mitch Johnson would have already released them, instead of this stupid media blitz that we are subjected to from the city and the News-Record. So, let's drop this stupid allegation crap.

Hey, News-Record, we aren't as stupid as you think we are, or at least as you would like for us to be.

Fred Gregory

Ed,
You are repeating, repeating , repeating, repeating yourself with the city manager/ N&R spin, spinnig, spun, DONE.

concerned citizen

I wonder if Mitch could pass a GED English exam.
http://thetroublemaker.blogspot.com/2007/10/mitch-gets-d.html

Bubba

"The criminal indictments that followed the SBI investigation seem relevant to one area of the allegations, the misconduct/misuse of the SID.

Wray's knowledge and representation of any such activities are one of the questions at hand."

In what way?

Based on what evidence?

The CA

Killian, not to change the subject, but I drove down Battleground Sunday and there were hundreds, probably several thousand protesters lining the street from Cornwallis to Westridge. That's a good three miles.

Tony Wilkins

Ed,
meblogin asked a legitimate question.
Are you content with Mitchell Johnson's management of the city of Greensboro?

Ed Cone

Tony, I'm no expert on the management of Greensboro, with its $400 million budget and thousands of employees, and I don't have a strong opinion on the subject. As a consumer of City services, I'm pretty satisfied with the way things are delivered.

I would like to see more cops on the street, and better communication about GPD, but it seems to me that our elected Council has some responsibility in those areas.

Bubba

Ok, Ed.

Let's refine Tony's question further.

Are you content with Mitch Johnson's handling of the separation of David Wray from the GPD?

Are you satisfied with the way Johnson, Miles, the City Council, and the Mayor handled the situation in the 21 month period since?

Ed Cone

Not especially.

I published this in the N&R in January 2006, and have repeated variations of it ever since:

One of the statutes covering this kind of thing says city officials can release such information if they deem that doing so is "essential to maintaining public confidence" in city services.

We've crossed that threshold of essentialness, and we need to know more facts. Soon.

At the least, the City has done a poor job of explaining its case to the satisfaction of the public.

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