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« Miller endorsed by Red State cofounder | Main | PTI blues »

Oct 15, 2006

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Dr. Mary Johnson

Mitch told Roch why, Ed. He referred to "Gardner-Garrity". I stayed home and Googled.

By my reading Gardner v Broderick and Garrity v. New Jersey are a pair of decisions by the US Supremes that address the rights of police officers during internal investigations.

It is a process that is protected by law . . . a process that was clearly trampled on by someone in City Government or City employ. The process is supposed to afford openess and honesty by veiling everything in secrecy . . . "confidentiality" . . . so people will "talk". The noble notion is that the system will be able to "police" itself, and that this serves the greater public good. In theory, the process also protects individuals from self-incrimination/criminal prosecution and civil retribution.

By my reading, it's complicated and cannot be summarized in a thirty-second sound bite or trite comment. And it is much like the medical peer reveiw process . . . where I got mired in a medicolegal quagmire after reporting badness eight years ago.

Noble ideas often fail miserably if people do not play by the rules - and if the rules/laws are not enforced.

But hey, the mighty News & Records has decided my situation is "not relevant" to anything going on today.

David Hoggard

Exactly, Ed.

Bledsoe's facts don't deviate much from RMA's facts. Facts is facts, after all. The difference in the stories is in the telling.

After all is said and done it comes down to a matter of trust just, like Hammer said. Johnson felt he could no longer trust Wray and gave him the opportunity to set the record straight.

Everyone can parse the details to suit their point of view and until the cows come home, but in the end, Wray resigned after getting caught lying to his superiors - namely Johnson.

The rest of it is almost immaterial.

Jeffrey Sykes

I, too, have read the RMA report. What I can say about it is that it appears that David Wray inherited a police department with several strong factions vying for dominance.

One faction had a race card up its sleeve, like many of the cabals that run one side of the city of Greensboro's power politics. They hadn't been able to play the ace because the leadership of the department was black. So they had just gone along with the tide.

When Wray got the job, this internal faction of the department, joined by part of the larger cabal in city politics, was upset that they didn't retain possession of the bone.

So they began to nit pick the decisions of the new chief.

Not that it matters that that chief had a history of fair and balanced decision making. Not that it matters that he stood by his comrades and direct reports in a 20-plus year career as an officer and commander. And not that it mattered that he promoted blacks to the highest ranks in the department and put much energy into minority recruiting efforts during his first months as chief.

No. He is a racist bigot at heart, who used racial profiling to single out one innocent member of the faction, James Hinson, who is a stainless example for all officers to follow, one our children should look to for inspiration. Since we know that three IA reports cleared him of wrongdoing, much like Barry Bonds has never failed a steroids test, the chief should have ignored any further complaints against Hinson forever.

When the faction and the cabal aligned against him, Wray made a series of poor decisions that cost him the trust of the elected leaders and the city manager. Knowing the line-up book would play strong in the churning waters, the faction leaked its existence, the cabal came looking for it, Wray panicked and hid it in a trunk. Career erased.

Greensboro is much better to be rid of Wray, his experience and his leadership. If I was the city manager, I would promote Hinson to chief so he can work with Mazzie Ferguson to correct the city's ills. I mean, now that Michael King is dead and Project Homestead isn't doling out property to elected officials on the city's dime, somebody has to step up and get the cabal its due.

I’ll post more as it comes to me.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Sarcasm becomes you, Jeff. Excellent post.

Ed Cone

Actually, the sarcasm is wasted on a strawman.

As my post says, the department Wray inherited had some serious problems, and Hinson was no angel.

Those facts may provide context for Wray's alledged actions, but not justification.

Mary, some of the facts in the report appear to be public record, even if they figure in an ongoing investigation.

Jeffrey Sykes

Ed:

I'm not straw-manning your position. I think you've been about as objective as any in this Wray Fray.

I just read Bledsoe's part 10 and can't believe people are still so focused on RMA, which GNR told us about months ago, and not Anthony Scales' prophetic words to Wray upon becoming chief.

If anything, what Scales told Wray is the ultimate factor that must be overcome to make the department whole again.

I still remain miffed that GNR ran with the poor Hinson tracking device story in the beginning without any context. Since the beginning, they have intoned that Wray was a racist and Hinson a victim. I'm saying that as a newspaper reader. That's what I got from their coverage in the beginning. Nothing else really matters now does it?

Ed Cone

As I've said, Jerry has added much to the story, and there are many issues in play here.

However, the City of Greensboro has yet to make a detailed case for squeezing out Wray, and the public deserves to know why it happened.

Again, the fact that Wray found himself in a political minefield does not mean he should not be held to account for his own actions.

David Hoggard

Jeffrey, If you've actually read the report, you know that Wray continuously lied to his boss.

That matters.

Jeffrey Sykes

I haven't read the report. I was being facetious, because that is the title of like 6 posts in the last 16 hours on greensboro101

If Wray lied, it does matter. But stopping there is a mistake.

Too often we address fruits (Wray's reactions) instead of roots (what he acted upon) in our society.

I'd like to see more examination of roots by you fellas, especially John Robinson and the GNR team, instead of Wray lied, case closed.

Somebody needs to post the RMA on greensboro101 so we can all see it.

I'll scan it and post it if someone mails me a copy. Email me for my street addy.

Dr. Mary Johnson

Ed, I know alot about minefields . . . and I know that often those who should be held accountable for their actions are not.

I am well aware that some of the facts are "public record". But the point of law that ties Mitch Johnson's hands "IS" that some facts are NOT . . . and as, the Mayor said, "should not have seen the light of day". Nobody is really pinning down which is which. At this point it's all just spewing out.

Not that there's anything wrong with that at this point. As I've said the law as it is (selectively) practiced does not always serve the public good. Jerry's series is blowing the barn doors open on stuff that is just disgusting. But in your original post, you asked a question about the City's "reticence" that Mitch Johnson has already been answered. You just had to look beyond the sound bite.

Over on Guarino, Hoggard says that "Wray (continuously) lied to Johnson and got called on it". Eliminate Wray, insert Morrison, and you have the very situation that I have brought to law enforcement in Asheboro . . . one of a "non-profit" executive continuously lying to save his tail. Wray lost his job. Bob Morrison still has his (and is getting paid very handsomely for it), and NOBODY is calling him on it. Why is the GNR (that's supposed to police ALL of this stuff), so outraged by one and not the other? If lying matters, why is that so? Could it be the "Cone connection" (meaning the hospital system, not you) and who's got the money . . . a point that several people have raised to me since I last engaged John Robinson.

Jeffrey's point about "the cabals" that run Greensboro (and spill over into other communities) is well taken. And (as he alluded) the biggest "clique" of all appears to be the Greensboro blogosphere one day after Converge South . . . now dancing furiously to the tune of someone in City government or City employ who circumvented the law to serve their own purposes.

Wray can spew all he wants to Bledsoe (it's his right to speak - understanding that at some point he may be held accountable). I don't have the report. I don't want the report. Having it and reading it and publishing anything about it at this point in time (while investigations are on-going) is a cross purposes with the INTENT of law . . . not that anybody gives a rat's tail about that.

meblogin

What makes the RMA report gospel or the whole truth? I don't know.

Wray has a tremendous work record that David and others seem to be ignoring completly. Did he simply wake up one morning a screaming racist? I don't think so.

What makes Bledsoe's account full or errors? I don't know.

Will Wray be found guilty? I don't think so.

Why did the city keep it quiet? They had/have a different agenda.

thanks

Ed Cone

Meb, your comments have pretty much no connection to the substance of the story.

You use non sequiturs (Wray's fine work record, which has nothing to do with the facts at hand) and straw men (nobody is saying this is all about race).

You ask questions that are easy to answer (the credibility of the RMA report -- which nobody is proclaiming as gospel, by the way -- comes from its production by professional investigators with extensive access to people and records).

And you throw out vague challenges (everyone seems to see some value in Bledsoe's work; at the same time, he's already been forced to admit that he used sloppy methods in one key instance where he got something wrong).

And you know what? It's not really your fault. This is the situation created by the info-vacuum around this case.

David Hoggard

"What makes Bledsoe's account full or errors?", meblogin asks.

Actually, Bledsoe's reporting to date is corroberated by the RMA account of events.

meblogin

Most people with a sterling past history continue to be sterling in the present. Not always but most times. If someone accuses you of a wrong and your history is full of honor and ethicical behavior then I believe the accused has credibility until a court proves otherwise. You don't really believe you have "facts in hand" do you? You have paid research in hand at best. (There were WMD in Iraq based on credible research....)

Has anyone put the authors of the RMA report under oath? Have the people interviewed by RMA been put under oath?

Why...why...has there been such an "info-vacuum" around this case? Figure this out and you may just find an innocent man. If he is found innocent I certainly hope that many will blog for days.

Why have Bledsoe and RMA come to such different conclusions? I assume that many see both as credible. I know very little about either.

So, "Troublemaker" http://thetroublemaker.blogspot.com/ has it all wrong?
He seems to very well informed most of the time... Without Troublemaker's opinions I believe this one has more hidden agendas.

When is the court date or will there be one?

thanks

Ed Cone

Meb, you're doing it again.

Nobody is saying Troublemaker "has it all wrong."

And Hoggard points out, the accounts by RMA and Bledsoe have much in common.

You hope Wray is exonerated. Fine. But your hopes are not facts, and you are at this point adding nothing to the conversation.

Bubba

"Why...why...has there been such an 'info-vacuum' around this case? Figure this out and you may just find an innocent man. If he is found innocent I certainly hope that many will blog for days."

The carefully managed plan to keep Wray judged guilty as previously charged in the mind of the citizenry is responsible for that phenomenon, meb.

It's up to the skeptics to call attention to the circumstances that surround the campaign.

That's the only way to combat propaganda from powerful sources.

meblogin

Ed,

You are not making a lick of sense here.

Either Troublemaker is wrong or RMA is. One says guilty and the other says innocent. Is this not correct?

I am asking questions hence the little "?" (followed by I don't know....)

If you choose to see a challenge or express an opinion that I add nothing to the conversation then you are mistaken. Exactly what are you bringing to the table?
You want to bring something to the table....print the darn report!

Are you saying that you have not indicated your opinion that Bledsoe's work is poor by saying?......
"And you throw out vague challenges (everyone seems to see some value in Bledsoe's work; at the same time, he's already been forced to admit that he used sloppy methods in one key instance where he got something wrong)."

Assuming that you believe the sentence that you wrote and you believe the comment left by Hoggard then either RMA and Bledsoe have much in common or they don't. They are either both sloppy or they are not. Is this correct?

I hope Wray is exonerated if he is innocent. I hope Wray is given prison time if he is guilty. There are two hopes there Ed. I prefer for a court to assist. How about you?

thanks


David Hoggard

I'm with you, too, meb. Only a court of law will settle this whole thing to everyone's satisfaction. Until then we can only believe what we want to believe.

Bledsoe has not yet drawn any conclusions that are opposed by info found in the RMA report. He may soon, but hasn't as of his 10th installment from my read.

As for Ben's take: he is intimately involved with members of the GPD and has been invaluable in bringing us background from those he speaks to. Jerry is giving us a similar view. But what about the many people who aren't speaking to either of them but did open up to the RMA folks due to it's hoped-for anonymity?

If you get nothing else from reading the RMA, Ben, and Jerry (no pun, seriously), you will get a sense that divisiveness is running rampant throughout the GPD and it is not all about race. The department has, or at least had, problems that demanded action.

The RMA report may not be perfect... but neither is any other account of what's occuring in the department. The truth of all of this may be found in the middle and only be discovered during some future civil or criminal trial.

I, for one, will welcome such an examination.

meblogin

David,
Thanks. Very well put. I hope this subject gets to court.

meblogin

Ed,

Are you planning to comment?
thanks

Ed Cone

I don't have much to add to my previous comments, and to Hoggard's.

meblogin

Ed,

Sigh....I mean...do you intend to answer the questions that I asked you in my earlier post? Rather than cause you to look up a couple of posts...here are the questions without a complete copy/paste.

Either Troublemaker is wrong or RMA is. One says guilty and the other says innocent. Is this not correct?

If you choose to see a challenge or express an opinion that I add nothing to the conversation then you are mistaken. Exactly what are you bringing to the table?

They are either both sloppy or they are not. Is this correct?

I prefer for a court to assist. How about you?


Ed Cone

I addressed this in my first post on the subject: "Ben Holder says he has been told by people with inside information that certain specifics in the report are inaccurate. That may well be so. But it is hard to see how any such inaccuracies would outweigh the public statements and known facts that appear to be at the heart of the City's case against Wray, and that seem to validate Hammer's original analysis of the situation."

Read the report for yourself. Wray is said to have claimed that the monitoring of Hinson was related to a multi-agency investigation, and the report says there was no such investigation. If this is true -- and it would appear to be a simple enough matter to verify -- that alone would seem to be ample cause for Wray's bosses to lose confidence in him.

Bubba

"....that alone would seem to be ample cause for Wray's bosses to lose confidence in him."

And/or provide the excuse needed to get rid of him.

David Hoggard

Wray resigned.

meblogin

Did Wray resign or was he given the choice to resign with benefits or be terminated?

Ed, Never mind answering my questions. Do you believe that your FIRST POST answered my questions? Please show me the answers to "my" questions. I have found some of your comments rude and argumentative at best. You want to argue...go do it with someone else. If I care enough to respect you by asking questions...the least you can do is show a minimal amount back.

Of course you need examples of your style---sigh...so please read below.

Example---"But your hopes are not facts, and you are at this point adding nothing to the conversation."

Example----"your comments have pretty much no connection to the substance of the story."

...no need to reply

David Hoggard

"Did Wray resign or was he given the choice to resign with benefits or be terminated?"

After being presented with the info in the RMA report Wray was given the opportunity to answer to the allegations in advance of being placed on administrative leave.

There was never a "resign with benefits or retire" ultimatum given. The choice was this: "we are going to place you on administrative leave (w/full pay) while we sort this thing out". Part and parcel to being placed on "administrative leave" is for the employer to secure sensitive information while the sorting-out is undertaken.

Wray resigned instead of acquiesing to the city's administrative leave proceedures.

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