Jul
12

After Examining the Facts

By

I took it very seriously when allegations were made regarding the conduct of our public safety leadership, and I want to thank the citizens of Asheville for your patience through this process. The events and allegations that came forward since March have demanded a patient, deliberate examination of the facts. City Council, rather than getting swept up in assumptions and preconceived judgments, took its time and learned all of the facts available to us. I want to thank everyone who conducted and cooperated with the investigations. City Council has been attentive and engaged, and we reviewed the facts thoroughly as part of our oversight duty.

I was relieved when District Attorney Ron Moore determined that no criminal laws were violated in the course of APD’s investigation of the accident. The D.A., through his work with the State Bureau of Investigation, did not find Chief Anderson, Captain Gonce, Lieutenant Wilke, or anyone else to have done anything criminal in the handling of this situation. The criminal side of the investigation was in the D.A.’s hands.

Once the criminal investigation concluded, and upon receipt of Lt. Wilke’s formal complaint, City Staff undertook an administrative investigation. By waiting until the SBI concluded their efforts, Staff made sure that they would in no way interfere with the criminal investigation. Special thanks to Deputy City Manager Jeff Richardson, Human Resources Manager Derrick Swing, Human Resources Director Kelley Dickens, and Interim City Attorney Martha McGlohon for their hard work in gathering all of the facts as expeditiously as possible. Allegations that City Staff members were unresponsive at any point in this series of events are not borne out by the facts.

The facts are that Asheville City Staff applied administrative policies and procedures in an even-handed, professional, and timely manner. Based on the findings, steps were taken to address individual actions and APD organizational issues. I’m confident that the investigations were undertaken appropriately, well within the defined policies and procedures for such complaints. The organizational efforts are targeted to resolve long-standing issues within the department, and the individual actions will improve the department’s overall dynamic.

While many of the findings of this administrative process are confidential as indicated by NC General Statutes, I’m committed to as much transparency as possible, and this is why I supported the resolution allowing the City Manager to release as many details as legally allowed. I wish I could say more, but NCGS 160A-168 lets me know that it would be a misdemeanor to do so. Frustrating as that is, I’m grateful to those of you who understand the limitations of the law and who understand that City Council has made its decisions based on a comprehensive set of facts.

Click here to read the City Manager’s report, the resolution, and/or video of yesterday’s special meeting of City Council.

AC-T coverage here. Mtn. X coverage here.


Comments

  1. Jim Shura says:

    “I’m confident that the investigations were undertaken appropriately”

    Many of us feel differently about this “investigation.”

    “I was relieved when District Attorney Ron Moore determined that no criminal laws were violated”

    Hmm…

    Bunch of newspeak. Read that post 3 times, and then listen as the silly words start repeating themselves in your head. Endless chain of gutlessness. The procedure is flawed.

    Wilke stuck his neck out because…

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  2. Big Ivy says:

    So, if a patrolman had pulled this stunt he would still be employed and considered leadership material?

    I was not surprised by the decision that was the culmination of the city’s floorshow and found Bellamy somewhere between disgusting and pitiful. I must assume that Anderson was shrewd enough to make firing him expensive -or, in accordance with current American business practices, one just never admits mistakes no matter how glaring and destructive.

    A poor show all around.

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  3. lastavlnativeleft says:

    The biggest problem with Chief Anderson is that he came to Asheville. He should have researched this city and the police department and it’s troubling record on race and community relations. I told him the first time I saw him to get as far away from this City as possible and he responded that he knew what he was up against, I wish he would have taken my advice. The APD has been corrupt since its inception and has never had a good record in regards to the promotion and retention of women and minorities . The department has always been run by the good ole’ boys and staffed by locals who have deep seated racial and gender prejudice and it shows. The APD does not and has never employed the best and brightest in law enforcement, (did anyone see Annarino and Aardema’s letters? my 3 yr old Sunday school class could do better). So when Chief Anderson arrived he had a target on his back because he was an outsider who had a reputation of being no-nonsense and confrontational and black and many of the rank and file and many in our City did not like that. Chief Anderson should have known every step he took was going to be scrutinized and every “mistake” was going to be blown out of proportion and dragged before the public . Where was the press and other all these years when APD engaged in some of the worst race based excessive force and profiling activities ?and not to mention the evidence room, criminals went free and Hogan retired, but he was white and that is what truly mattered. Chief Anderson’s second mistake is that he did not bring his own people with him, he should have began replacing officers and managers immediately. Additionally, we should be trying to find out who is putting all these officers up. They are being giving assurances that they will be protected and my problem with that if the investigations do not go their way and the Chief remains, they have no future at APD( fine with me)and they had labeled themselves as snitches, which renders them useless to any Chief anywhere. All of this is based purely on race, because contrary to popular belief Asheville is not the diverse and open community it claims to be, the only diversity is white diversity and white people always take up for their own, especially when dealing with a black man in leadership. Whites are ok with blacks as long as we stay in our place and do their bidding ( plenty of house negroes in avl around that do that) but the minute we began to flex our authority, then we need transparency, accountability, etc, but would never said a mumbling word when it was a white man.

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  4. I’m willing to stand on my record as an investigative reporter. My investigation and reporting on Sheriff Bobby Medford is quite correctly credited with substantially contributing to his conviction.

    The investigation surrounding allegations made about Chief Andersen was complete. We are constrained by state and federal law from revealing more details than have been publicized. But the Chief has been cleared of all but some mild procedural matters.

    I am totally committed to transparency and accountability, and if I could say more publicly, I would. But I am satisfied with the proof. If you trusted my reporting on Medford and many other matters when I was a reporter and managing editor, I’d urge you to trust me now. I have no stake in this, financial or otherwise, except to restore trust in a wrongly accused Chief and the ongoing efficacy of our APD.

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  5. Jason Bugg says:

    I wonder if Anderson would’ve been fired in a non-election year.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  6. I wonder if this situation would have come up at all in a non-election year.

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  7. And this topic is going to get even more interesting – Chad Anderson’s lawyer has subpoenaed Lt. Wilke and all his notes regarding the accident and his subsequent allegations about coercion.

    “The defendant further requests any information suggesting any bias or hostility on the part of Lt. Wilke toward the defendant or his father, Chief Anderson; toward the Asheville Police Department; or, more generally, the City of Asheville. The defendant requests any information on any other factor bearing on the credibility of Lt. Wilke.”

    “In addition, the motion seeks a copy of the formal complaint Wilke filed with City Manager Gary Jackson, the SBI report on the car crash and the identity of officers that Wilke said “are prepared to provide sworn statements and documented evidence” about accountability and morale problems in the department.”

    Sean Devereaux is a pretty sharp lawyer. He wouldn’t do this if he didn’t know in advance that it would be good for his client, and good for the Chief.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  8. And… uh-oh. Here’s a headline guaranteed to grab some eyes:

    Republican Wilke blasts Dems for Haywood Sheriff process

    Fair to the Lieutenant or not, this is called “context”. A month after this angry denunciation of Democratic politicians, he was the lead officer on the scene of Chad Anderson’s accident.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  9. I’d further note that “politics” exist both inside and outside any organization, and that the opera isn’t over until the fat lady sings.

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