MAYOR FOXX CHINA TRIP EXPENSES EXPOSED
City of Charlotte officials ended 2011 by fast-tracking the declaration there was no illegal behavior about trying to extort money for Mayor Foxx’s business-class fare to China and also fast-tracking the recommendation to terminate CMPD Officer David E. Jones III.
The entire issue of Mayor Foxx’s aide demanding on no less than four occasions that the Charlotte International Cabinet non-profit should pay for Foxx’s upgrade was only uncovered when WSOC’s Jason Stoogenke asked for and received emails from Foxx’s aide Tracy Montross. The CIC had refused several times. Of course, just after Foxx found out this would be exposed on television, Foxx issued a shocked and surprised letter of apology to the CIC, saying he knew nothing about the final time, which had produced a 5-1 board vote from the CIC approving an increased reimbursement.
ACTION WHEN THE PRESS GETS INVOLVED
Similarly, when pictures of an extremely bruised face of Rick McVicker showed up on television, it became very hard for CMPD to ignore a history of disciplinary issues and suspensions of Officer Jones. However, the girlfriend of McVicker has been in the press to say he has a medical issue with bruising, and it is worth noting that he was arrested for DWI in the same incident. No major injuries were reported as a result of the car collision, thank goodness, and both Officer Jones and Mr. McVicker are presumed innocent of charges, which were filed in neighboring Matthews.
Even though Officer David E. Jones III is presumed innocent in this incident, his history of suspensions is troubling.
More troubling, another citizen has come forward to say he was "taken down" in what he alleges was unnecessary force by Officer Jones and Officer Jason Guy. Tom Huminik says he determined he was not under arrest, but was slammed to the ground by the officers when he wanted to leave rather than stay and talk to them. CMPD does not dispute that the man in question was not under arrest, which would mean that he was free to leave and calls into question why officers on video tape followed him outside… the facts will come out, but for now Chief Rodney Monroe says the officers were in fear of Mr. Huminik and so took him to the ground. Hmm.
See details and bank video in this WBTV report. Mr. Huminik says he only knew to come forward after seeing Jones in the other Matthews case. Huminik’s charges made that day from bank transactions with Jones and Guy have been dropped, but he still has a mug shot on the MCSO web site and an arrest record, unlike some CMPD officers who have been charged with crimes.
This earlier Jones incident combined with other prior disciplinary actions may explain the somewhat panicked look on CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano’s face as he explained before the end of the year (and before the bank incident became public knowledge) that CMPD would be fast-tracking the review of Jones’ actions in Matthews.
See WSOC’s interview with Tufano here: “Absolutely, his job status is being looked at,” said police spokesman Rob Tufano. But Tufano said while he can't legally say why Jones has been suspended, many officers suspensions are for minor issues. “Showing up late for court, showing up late for roll calls, violations of your uniform -- those are suspendable kinds of situations for us,” Tufano said.
However, this is the same line Tufano used when explaining that now-convicted, now-former-CMPD Officer Marcus Jackson had prior known discipline actions on his record. He also had prior domestic issues, including a one protection order that stated he was not allowed to carry a gun. Chief Monroe has acknowledged mistakes. Lawsuits have been settled for millions of dollars. The department has refused multiple times to comment on the status of one case which may still be outstanding.
Marcus Jackson now sits in jail after being convicted for numerous charges stemming from using his police car and badge to pull over six women—one with her boyfriend—and a teenage girl, sexually assaulting them, and other related charges. He is scheduled to get out of jail soon.
FAR FROM THE ONLY OFFICER WITH MULTIPLE DISCIPLINE ISSUES
A large issue here is that CMPD, the press and general public seemed shocked and dismayed that an officer with multiple incidents of suspension and disciplinary action on their record would be an active officer in our City’s department, which isn’t the case. It seems CMPD may have only acted at this time because of the media exposure and a freakishly bruised face. The Civil Service Board will make a termination decision, as is Officer Jones’ right in due process, but there are far more officers who have numerous and high numbers of disciplinary hours on record—and those are just the ones that made it that far without interference or suppression.
INTERNAL AFFAIRS DIVISION INQUIRIES
City Councilman Patrick Cannon called for an inquiry in to Jones’ case, but should be making an investigation into more than this one officer. He should call for an outside, independent agency to investigate his close friend Rodney Monroe’s handling of the police department’s disciplinary process and all Internal Affairs matters.
This independent review should include any files that may have been opened on Rodney Monroe regarding his handling of the Marcus Jackson case or others. Even though the Internal Affairs Department reports to the Office of the Chief of Police, they are both permitted and required to investigate every sworn officer up through the Chief if necessary.
This obvious reporting conflict should be changed and/or a completely outside agency should be contacted for reporting certain levels of CMPD complaints or potential crimes.
WHEN POLICE PERSONNEL RECORDS DISAPPEAR UNDER CHIEF’S SUPERVISION
There should be a review of police records (many of which are now gone under Monroe’s management—hundreds discovered missing from the Police Academy). With many outstanding and upcoming lawsuits, the disappearance of these records which could have contained important background information is unacceptable. So far, CMPD still can’t or won’t even say the last time records were secure, even though they crowed about receiving a CALEA certification we paid for earlier this year.
We found out in the Jackson case that Monroe first said there was only one minor instance of discipline that he found about after the fact. He made that statement after he knew about (according to documentation) two documented circumstances of discipline and there had been two different incidents prior to hiring that should have The excuses and misinformation put out about what has happened to the missing records, and claims that CMPD has passed certifications that included handling of records, are not acceptable. Any attorney with interest in the records of police officers has a basis for concern.
Officers that depend on their records for certification for their jobs have a basis for concern.
District Attorneys that depend on Certified Law Enforcement Officers to testify on their cases have a basis for concern.
With DNC2012 coming up later this year, and $50 million in security funds assigned to us, why can’t the man put in charge of it find his own police cars or police records?
PROMOTIONS AND OTHER PERSONNEL ISSUES
Another issue this outside group should investigate is handling of all personnel matters. Sergeant Tammy Hatley has won her lawsuit proving lack of Due Process, and is currently in settlement talks with the Department. Other personnel irregularities have been reported. Any settlement talks in Sgt. Hatley’s case will likely benefit and/or directly include a group of other now-former RAC Sergeants who were waiting to see how Sergeant Hatley fared in a hard-fought process.
The problem with that is that settlements with other RAC Sergeants demoted to Sergeant in a recent personnel shuffle will possibly create a de facto two-tiered Sergeant position, which may be just as legally risky as the current situation, even leaving morale out of the equation. The whole mess was created in the first place in large part because Monroe didn’t follow rules and fund Lieutenant positions with budget money, but instead created a Response Area Command Sergeant position that was not part of the CMPD Directives.
Lieutenants were promoted recently and officially. New uniforms for all the new RACs-to-Lieutenants and the RACs-to-Sergeants were a large expense.
BACK TO THE BEGINNING: CITED/TERMINATED OFFICERS 2011
Official public record releases from CMPD indicate eight officers have been cited for termination this year. Another has been terminated. This list doesn’t include Officer Karen Dula, though,who was arrested for DUI earlier this year and is no longer with the department. The fact that her name is not on the “official CMPD list” causes one to wonder AGAIN about the accuracy of information given out by CMPD. On February 11, 2009, Dula had been suspended for 40 active hours and another 40 inactive hours, with no reason given. Her arrest record has disappeared from the MCSO public system as well. She’s not the only CMPD Officer who has magic disappearing mug shot. Officer Beatrice Andres has also been arrested for DUI, but her arrest record is missing. There’s no notation of any investigation ongoing internally regarding that matter.
Each of these officers are presumed innocent of any open charges… but citynewswatch is wondering if charges have been erased as some sort of special police arrangement and it seems that officers should not be above the law.
The following officers have been terminated or cited for termination during the past year or so, as acknowledged by CMPD:
Officer David E. Jones Cited for Termination 12/21/2011
Officer Dan Tran Cited for Termination on 12/22/2011
Officer Jonathan C Cambell Cited for Termination on 3/10/2011
Officer Keith V Swaney Cited for Termination on 3/30/2011 Swaney had previously been discliplined with 240 active hours of discipline just a couple months earlier on January 7th, 2011.
Officer Brannon E Turner Cited for Termination on 4/13/2011
Officer Anthony E Lee Cited for Termination on 6/17/2011 (still shown as employed)
Officer Carmen L Bell Cited for Termination on 8/17/2011
Officer Gina C Cook Cited for Termination on 8/26/2011
Officer Kevin L Hullet Terminated on 3/10/2011
Officer Arvin Fant Terminated 12/8/10.
Recruit Vincent J. Donatelli 6-Oct-10 Resigned in Lieu of Termination
Officer Rodd B. Pickler was Cited for Termination Dec 16th, 2010, but had been suspended previously for 40 active hours plus 40 inactive hours on Jan 26th, 2006.
Officer Derek J. Frazita was suspended more than once, receiving a whopping 240 hour suspension at one time. He is no longer with the department.
Officer Jeffrey L. Isenhour was suspended 240 hours Nov 4, 2009, and is no longer with the department.
Officer Suzanne E. Norris was suspended March 15th, 2011 for 80 active hours and is no longer listed as an employee with the department on the Charlotte Observer’s site, but not listed as terminated, cited for termination, or resigned.
Officer Timothy S Phillips was suspended Feb. 19th, 2009 for 720 hours, then another 8 hours on Sept.22, 2010 and is no longer shown as an employee, either. This really begs the question: what happens that an officer can receive 90 days off, come back and get another suspension before the eventual disposition?
Reviewing the way CMPD continues to handle all cases from Marcus Jackson to current cases cause strong concern about what more officer behavior is hidden away.
At the time of Jackson’s sentencing, Monroe spoke to theCharlotte Observer and stated, "Officers are given a great deal of discretion and along with that discretion comes integrity, honesty and ability to go out and do your job with the public's trust."
But he hasn’t taken actions to match his words, continuing to suppress information. The fact that bad behavior by some officers is only exposed when the press gets a story—which usually means ‘good’ video or pictures to go with it—then CMPD does things to suppress or alter the information. Only a covert tip to local blogs and the press exposed that CMPD had falsely stated the events surrounding an alleged multiple sexual assault on the same day. To public knowledge, the officers who made those false statements have not been disciplined yet. Neither they nor Chief Monroe have apologized for misleading the public, much less to the young woman assaulted after CMPD released the alleged attacker.
This would be a start in “rebuilding trust” Monroe talks about.
ACKNOWLEDGED DISCIPLINARY PROBLEMS
Major Timothy Danchess, the former head of the Internal Affairs department, was disciplined for 24 active hours of suspension April 29, 2010 for unknown reasons. He was transferred out of Internal Affairs. If the Major over Internal Affairs can’t be counted on to keep all the rules, then should he still be serving in the force? Or, should we be gratified that even the head of Internal Affairs can be disciplined when necessary? As a matter of public trust, should information regarding his infraction be released? Citynewswatch would argue “yes.” If it was a minor issue, it will be easy to move on.
Major Earnest C “Chuck” Johnson also served in Internal Affairs until after his arrest related to domestic abuse, but had two prior known incidents of suspsensions: 8 active hours plus 32 inactive hours August 13th, 2010 and 240 active hours on June 25th, 2008, reportedly in connection with an excessive force incident. It’s hard to understand how someone with that record becomes a Major in the Internal Affairs Department particularly. Johnson is no longer with the department.
Mr. Tufano, Chief Monroe, please tell the public how many suspensions on the list of nearly 500 are due to problems with uniforms or being late to court. A good guess is that number is extremely low.
This outlandish tardiness/sloppiness explanation strains credibility, especially considering the forty hour suspension assigned to the officer that ended the life of a young man with a TASER.
There is documented proof that command level officers, including now-Major Vicki Foster used her position to haul in an officer or officers to question in conjunction with statements about her issued on a blog site she felt were unflattering, but not untrue. Repercussions on the job went beyond this extremely tense meeting. More people were involved. Officers were threatened with a lawsuit by letter from Ms.Foster’s attorney until they were forced to withdraw with proof of the truth of the statements. Ms. Foster was since promoted.
Officer Rosalyn D Harrington has been suspended twice. Officer Robert Fey has been suspended once. All were for a relatively small number of hours, but since they represent the first line of communication for the CMPD in their positions as PIO’s, Public Information Officers, it seemed important to point out.
Here is a sampling of some of the highest hitters in terms of suspension hours known among the others released (from a variety of sources with documents confirmed; there may be additional hours for these officers. There are definitely other officers with smaller suspensions, as a total of nearly 500 suspensions have been meted out in the past 5 years. As mentioned, Officer Karen Dula is not on the list, Marcus Jackson is not listed as “cited for termination” on an official list, and others that should be included on CMPD’s list are not there, so consider this information limited. Also keep in mind the situation documented above where some officers have apparently been targeted and there were repercussions on the job.):
Sergeant S. Jeremiah Blow, Jan 24th, 2011, 64 hrs Active SuspensionOfficer Marvin B Bell, Sept 30th, 2010, 80 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Dean R. Lauber, Feb. 25th, 2011, 80 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Christo D. Fitzpatrick, March 4th, 2011 80 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Suzanne E Norris, March 15th, 2011, 80 active hours suspension
Officer Ricky R. Smith, August 17th, 2011, 80 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Gregory R. Williams July 19th, 2011 120 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Roger D Helms, May 4th, 2006 16 hrs Active/8 hrs Inactive Suspension
Officer Roger D Helms, May 4th, 2009 120 hrs Active/40 hrs Inactive Susp.
Sergeant Steven B Murphy Sept. 23rd, 2010 120 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Kenneth C. Ball, Dec 15th, 2010 120 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Darrel B. Soto, March 30th, 2011, 160 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Craig R. Wilkes, Jan. 14th, 2011, 160 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Paul Horner, Nov. 18th, 2011, 160 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Craig R. Wilkes, Jan. 14th, 2011, 160 hrs Active Suspension
Officer John D. Locklear, April 15th, 2011, 240 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Shawn T McMichael, Jan 23rd, 2007 16 hrs Inactive Suspension and
Officer Shawn T McMichael, Jul 18th, 2008 200 hrs Active Suspension
Officer John D Locklear April 15th, 2011, 240 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Jayvee A Deleon, May 23, 2011, 240 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Keith V Swaney, January 7, 2011 240 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Virginia Woodlief, August 26th, 2011, 240 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Kevin L Woolcock, Sept. 9th, 2011, 240 hrs Active Suspension
Officer William W. Eubank, Nov 30th, 2011, 240 hrs Active Suspension
Todd A Mozingo Officer 18-Nov-09 240 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Jonathan Wolfe, Nov. 13th, 2009, 240 Active hours AND previous
Officer Alan L West, 3/16/2011, 160 hrs Active Suspension, also prior 8 hr. susp.
Officer Benjamin E West, Jun 30th, 2010, 160 hrs Active Suspension
Officer Christopher R Tolley, June 15, 2010, 240 hrs Active Suspension
Brayton J. Roche suspended with minor hours, but 5 separate times.
Deborah B Holshouser suspended five times. Four were for minor hours, but the fifth on February 26th of 2010 was for 40 active hours suspension time.
Fredericke Brammer has been suspended for minor hours, but on four occasions.
Gilbert Allred has been suspended three times, but the most recent on Sept 1, 2010 was for 48 active hours.
Officer Yassir A. Basulto has been suspended twice, but both with a high number of hours: 40 active hours plus 8 inactive hours Jan 11, 2008 and again for 48 hours on April 20th, 2010.
Officer Yumika L. Smith has been suspended three times, with the third for 24 hours on April 14th, 2011.
Officer Pamela E. Farewell has been suspended five times, with increasing hours each time: Feb 17th, 2006: 8 hours, May 20th, 2009, 16 inactive hours, Aug 26th, 2009, 24 hours active, Sept 18th, 2009, 56 active hours, Feb, 10, 2010, 160 active hours.
Rodney Monroe and his spokesman Rob Tufano often say they are not allowed to disclose information about personnel matters, disciplinary issues, and other problems they have investigated, but that’s not completely true: Public Records Law allows the City to disclose the records when it becomes a matter of public trust. How many more arrests of officers will it take before there is an acknowledgment of a public trust issue? How many more issues of officers and use of force or negligence or other disciplinary issues?
Most importantly, how many more times will Rodney Monroe or his representatives stand in front of a camera or release a memo with false or misleading information before they begin to give the City the truth about the running of the department, especially in matters of personnel and crime?
Leadership comes from the top. Poor leadership and any dishonesty or appearance of dishonesty reflects on every person in the organization. It’s a terrible burden and stress for all the good, honest officers working hard to protect and serve. It’s an unfair burden. It needs to change.
Officers that put it all on the line for us deserve better.
Citizens of Charlotte deserve better.