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Monday, September 19, 2011

Chief Monroe Mixes Sports, “Charity,” and Public Funding Again

Here’s What is Known about Monroe’s Connections with CMPD, Sports, and Charities
We know Chief Rodney Monroe loves his golf, and now that baseball season is over, he can really focus on this year-round sport.  Read on for the golf news, but first a word to all who have been asking about the CMPD Charlotte Hornets baseball team funding:   The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department still refuses to release public information about the officer-owned “non-profit” association that has been processing public and other funds in the name of the CMPD Blue Hornets baseball team. (see earlier post)  Emails forwarded to citynewswatch confirm that Mayor Anthony Foxx and Charlotte’s City Council Members continue to support this practice and have not released the information to the person making requests, either.    Major Paul Zinkann, listed contact and Board Member, will not respond when contacted directly either (though it seems from the website he would take in your money).   Officer David Graham of the Foundation will not answer, either.

Public Records Request still denied without cause
The most recent known plea for honesty regarding the CMPD Blue Hornets baseball is shown below, with no known response (ongoing for months now):

"Cunningham, Brian" <>,
"Smithson, Rachel A." <>,
“Monroe, Rodney” <>,
“Zinkann, Paul” <>,
“Graham, David” <>,
“Tufano, Robert” <>,
“White, Anne” <>,
“Grystal, Greg” <>

DATE:  Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Captain Cunningham, and addressing all others for response as well,

When will the police department stop hiding this public information?  Was it enough to hide past the trip to New York?  Hidden sponsorships related to the police department are rich with possibility for corrupt behavior and the fact that the CMPD leadership, of which you are a part, is working so hard to keep them secret, is extremely disturbing and should not be allowed. 

The CMPD Blue Hornets has taken the time to update numerous game stats on their web site, but still no Board of Directors members, other than Paul Zinkann, who will not answer any questions, either.

What is the $2,000,000 in property that officer David Graham/President of Great Balls of Fire, who receives "donations" on behalf of the team has?  Answer this and all other included questions which have been asked from the beginning:  A FULL accounting of the team's financial status, with all monies involved. 

Release all information about the CMPD baseball team immediately and answer all other questions, both related to the baseball team and the others, as they are public information. 

Sworn officers are obligated to follow legal orders and obligated to report any that are not.

Please provide the information requested without any further delay.

Attorneys for the City know that the law requires them to give a valid legal reason for the denial—if that’s the claim they are making.  For example, if a criminal investigation were currently underway, that may be a valid reason not to release certain records.  No reason at all has been provided and CMPD has refused to respond.

Blue Hornets did update the web site:
If you check the team web site, you’ll see they have been busy adding lots of numbers to the site—but not financials or other Board Members or contacts.  They have included team stats and a Roster, along with scores for the trip they took to Philadelphia and New York.  No word on how it was all paid for….

Now There’s a Golf Tournament Planned
Or this should read another golf tournament.  Last year, CMPD Blue, another ‘non-profit’ set up under the CMPD name, and run by newly-promoted Major Vicki Foster, held a golf tournament.

Aside from CMPD Hope's huge party expenses, they have given out almost no money to anyone--only a couple thousand dollars, as compared to the nearly $30,000 golf tournament.    

From tax records, it appears they received $29,428 in golf tournament income in 2010, but spent $8,226 of that for the party.  There are a couple thousand dollars more for travel expenses and other.  By contrast, it appears that only $2,740 was used for “program expense.”   The stated program mission for the organization is to help officers and their families in emergency financial need.

Maybe no one has applied for these funds.  The application would go to a Board headed by Foster and several other members who then vote on whether to give the money or not.  If that is the case, maybe the Foundation should do a better job of telling officers of the “charity.”   Or perhaps if there is a different hesitation by officers to turn over so much personal information to your commanding officers to vote, the money from the foundation should be administered through an outside and impartial group.

It also makes one wonder if anyone has been turned down, and if so:  why?

Inaugural Chief’s Challenge Charity Golf Classic
This first annual Police Athletic League fundraising tournament is going to be extra-fancy.  If you are not familiar with the Palisades Golf & Country Club, you really must check out the facilities, grounds, & pricing at their website.

It includes:
22,000 sq ft New England Inspired Design
Indoor & Outdoor Dining
Beautiful Panoramic View of the Eighteenth Hole
Full Dining & Catering
Main Bar and Lounge in the Nicklaus Room
Full Service Men's & Ladies Lounge & Locker Rooms
PGA Professional Golf Shop

The Charlotte Weekly reported that this was the “Inaugural Chief’s Challenge Charity Golf Classic Sept. 26-27 in south Charlotte.  (See their article here.)
The event will begin with the Chief’s Challenge Kick-off and Pairings Reception on Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Marriott Executive Park Hotel in uptown Charlotte. Charlotte Mecklenburg Chief of Police Rodney Monroe is scheduled to speak at the event.”

The Charlotte Observer reports: (read full article here)
“Launching the event at 6 p.m. Sept. 26 will be a kick-off and pairings reception, featuring a number of current and former professional athletes, including NFL players Steve Smith, Thomas Davis, Hakeem Nicks and Mohamed Massaquoi and former athletes Cal Ripken Jr., Moses Malone, Ethan Horton and Al Wood.
Proceeds will benefit the various Police Athletic League activities.
Organizers are seeking individuals and companies interested in serving as sponsors. For details, contact Jeff Hood, at 704-400-6035 or

The Marriott Executive Park Hotel is a Sponsor of the Police Athletic League but said they had not worked out yet how much, if any, of the event might be donated to the CMPD.  The Palisades is not listed as a PAL sponsor, and could not be reached to see if they are donating any services, goods, or facilities.

Citynewswatch that the balance of charity to golf fun will be healthier for this event than for some others, and that all the funds will be presented in a completely transparent way—for the health of all organizations involved.

Citynewswatch still hopes to receive information regarding the CMPD Blue Hornets and other issues noted in this blog, and would be happy to receive it directly.

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