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Thursday, August 18, 2011

City of Charlotte, CMPD Still Won’t Release Police Finance Records

To all citynewswatch readers who have been reading, checking, waiting for
CMPD financial information: 

Expectations were that Mayor Foxx and all City Council Members would be so concerned by news regarding the actions of the Police Department, the City Manager’s office, and Corporate Communications Office:
·       That anyone in any of these offices would do something less than full disclosure of financial dealings of the Police Department,
·       That the sequence of clear request with the appropriate CMPD finance personnel was apparently then urgently funneled to the Public Affairs Captain in the Office of the Chief
·       That the Office of the Chief then insisted on a personal meeting, made other demands for personal information, provided what seemed to be some incorrect information, then refused to provide any information on the basis of a demand for personal appearance at Police Headquarters
would have caused an immediate call for Finances to be open and available to post, but not so.

After initial attempts beginning August 9th asking for intervention of our City leadership to release public information and put an end to activity more fully described here which has been continuing since early July, City Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey kindly responded—copying the rest of Council, Mayor Foxx, and the entire list given below.    Ms. Kinsey said in part, the “City Attorney ... has informed me that Police Attorney, Mark Newbold, is looking into the situation and will notify those on the above e-mail list when his research is complete.” 

The email here sent to all of these personnel received no response, as of close of business today (August 18, 2011):

Dear Ms. Kinsey,
When, out of all the requests to each of the members on this list, you did respond that you had contacted the City Attorney, who informed a Police Attorney to “look into the situation,” I had high hopes that the Public Record Act would be followed, that the information would be released immediately.
However, several more days later after the initial many weeks of waiting, CMPD and the City have persisted in withholding that public information, and I wanted to be sure you were aware of that.
In addition, if there is research underway by Mr. Newbold regarding what happened to cause CMPD employees or other City employees to withhold, delay, or possibly try to intimidate anyone who asks questions about the financial processes conducted by the Police Department, I think that would be a good idea.  However, I do not agree that it would in any way be a reason to keep the public information secret.  As you know, N.C.G.S. 132 states that the public record is the “property of the people,” not to be kept hidden by a select few government employees.
1)      Please, will you release the requested information this afternoon?
2)      If any of you or Mr. Newbold would like to make any comments about what investigation you are conducting into the matter of the improper withholding of the information, then please do so as well.
Thank you very much.

Sent to:

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