Citynewswatch decided to publish a response from City of Charlotte Attorney Robert Hagemann received after asking City Manager Ron Carlee to give correct information about arrests of CMPD officers and Internal Affairs complaints about CMPD officers.
While Citynewswatch sent a request for comment and additional information only earlier today to Carlee, Hagemann answered in his stead and made it clear he had no intention of providing the public records or requisite legal reasons for denial. He simply expressed a personal “satisfaction” that others have been “appropriately responsive” to requests.
The only appropriate response to a Public Records request is to provide the records or a correct reason to deny or provide redacted records.
Redacted Internal Affairs complaints have been denied completely without explanation.
After plenty of time to respond, the list of police officers who have been arrested was stated as complete by CMPD Public Information Officer, but proven incorrect. This causes concern over how many other arrests may be yet undiscovered, as well as how much of the disciplinary action list provided may be true or may be missing. Hagemann has ignored requests for policies and other regular records. He wants an attorney to call and have a chat with our city's attorney. A conversation isn't documentation. It doesn't meet the public record requirement, either. The request submitted does not need clarification. It needs to be met.
How much longer will the City Council allow the City Manager to run the staff in this manner over issues as serious as crimes alleged or committed by police officers? Please see the full list of information requested, including policies designed to promote transparency and fairness within the ranks of the police department.
Citynewswatch will post responses – or lack of responses – as they develop.
citynewswatch charlotte <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: City of Charlotte Manager Ron Carlee
Date: November 10, 2014
CMPD Arrests and Discipline Public Records Request
Dear City Manager Carlee,
Our Editorial Staff has received information that CMPD Information Officer Brian Cunningham gave information responsive to a Public Records Request which was either intentionally false, missing obvious information, or which may contain numerous false or missing pieces of information about criminal charges against Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Officers during 2013 and 2014 and disciplinary action taken related to those arrests and other disciplinary action. Specifically, multiple arrests of officers are known to be missing from the list provided as "complete" so all the information provided is suspect.
Also, requests for redacted copies of Internal Affairs complaints and redacted copies of disposition of those complaints have been denied by Brian Cunningham and CMPD Attorney Judy Emken. City of Charlotte Attorney Robert Hagemann was contacted October 23, 2014 on these issues and it appears you have been copied prior to this as well, but records have not been forthcoming.
1. Initially, please provide immediate comment on:
a. Why Senior Attorney Robert Hagemann has not even responded to requests for Public Records, and
b. Why the Public Information Officer for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is giving out incorrect information about which police officers have been arrested, and
c. Whether all CMPD officers arrested are processed in the same manner as other citizens, with fingerprinting and photographing, posted to the Sheriff’s public web site, and
d. Whether the list of disciplinary action provided is accurate and truthful, or also must be corrected.
2. Following soon, please give a projected completion date and provide these PUBLIC RECORD ITEMS:
a. Provide a complete and accurate list of all CMPD officers arrested during 2012, 2013 and 2014.
b. Provide a copy of disposition of those criminal charges
c. Provide a complete and accurate copy of all termination letters for each CMPD officer terminated/separated during 2012, 2013 and 2014.
d. Provide an appropriately redacted copy of all CMPD Internal Affairs complaints submitted and their associated dispositions for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
e. Provide a copy of any and all policies relating to criminal charges against a City of Charlotte employee (CMPD or otherwise), including but not limited to CMPD employees and especially concerning:
i. Criteria and who makes the determination for paid or unpaid leave or suspension,
ii. Criteria and who makes the determination whether City of Charlotte will pay for a criminal defense if necessary,
iii. Criteria and who makes the determination whether City of Charlotte will pay for a civil attorney if necessary,
iv. Criteria and who makes the determination of when and what to notify the DA’s office of cases involving an arrested officer,
v. What criteria and timing determine if an officer is relieved of their gun when arrested and when they may be reissued their service gun or permitted to have other weapons,
vi. Whether any convicted criminals are permitted to be CMPD officers,
vii. Any policies related to hiring of officers with arrest records (ie, may an officer with record of arrest be hired? And if so, under what circumstances?),
viii. Any other policies related to arrested officers
Please explain why no action is being taken to provide these records and give any comment you wish.
Citynewswatch Editorial Staff
to Ron, Daniel, me, Judy, Brian, Rodney, sharrison, Rick
To Whom it May Concern:
Following is the substance of an email that I just sent <name withheld>, the “individual” who I am confident made the requests you are referring to. I refer you to that by way of explanation.
I have discussed this matter with Ms. Emken and Cpt. Cunningham and am satisfied that they have been appropriately responsive to your public records requests. Cpt. Cunningham will supplement the documents previously provided for 2013 and 2014 to include 2012 now that you have made that request.
Cpt. Cunningham has asked me to pass along his phone # so you can speak directly with him regarding this matter - 704-336-4098. Should you or your attorney wish to speak with an attorney for the City, Ms. Emken is your point of contact - 704-353-1062.
Robert E. Hagemann
OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY
From: citynewswatch charlotte [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, November 10, 2014 1:47 PM
To: Carlee, Ron
Cc: Clodfelter, Daniel; Hagemann, Robert; Emken, Judy; Cunningham, Brian; Monroe, Rodney; firstname.lastname@example.org; Rick Thames
Subject: CMPD Arrests and Discipline Public Records Request
citynewswatch charlotte <email@example.com>
to barnesforcharl., cfallon, info, vlyles, pkinsey, aaustin, lmayfield, gaphipps, jautry, krsmith, ed, Robert, Ron, Daniel, Judy, Brian, Rodney, sharrison, Rick
Mr. Carlee, Mr. Mayor and City Council Members,
Mr. Hagemann has sent an email which does not address the fact that multiple arrests were not documented by Brian Cunningham on what was presented as complete and truthful, how that was allowed to happen, or whether there are similar inaccuracies in the disciplinary statements provided. Also not addressed is whether CMPD officers are given special treatment when arrested.
These questions were addressed to you, Manager Carlee, as were the questions in section 2 which requires PUBLIC RECORDS of INTERNAL AFFAIRS COMPLAINTS and DISPOSITIONS, redacted as appropriate, POLICIES, and the other items listed, along with a projected time these items will be provided. Mr. Hagemann has again ignored the PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST for these items. Please provide a correct legal response to each item rather than his general thoughts or perception that he thinks what seems to be avoidance of the law will be proper by the City Attorney on behalf of the City of Charlotte, the City Manager or its representatives.
Please reply to each issue addressed.
Editorial Staff Citynewswatch