Thankfully CP is on a boat and when the view out of the office is of South Carolina's Barrier Islands and the air is still cool it is easy to forget that our Commander in Chief is caught in a trifecta of lies as is our police chief and apparently the majority of GovCo staffers.
|Who are these people and who put them in charge?|
WAFE's Julie Rose:
At first blush, there’s a lot about the power struggle over Charlotte’s airport that makes no sense. After all, both sides in the debate agree the airport has done extraordinarily well under the city’s control. So what’s happened?
A mysterious death, for one.
And WFAE has reviewed internal airport documents that cast doubt over much of what we thought we knew about that incident.
A lot about Delvonte Tisdale's death remains a mystery.
The Charlotte teenager's badly-damaged body was found in a Boston suburb in late 2010. Massachusetts police theorized he had stowed away in the wheel well of a plane in Charlotte and fell as it descended into Logan International Airport. They declared it a homeland security breach.
The ensuing investigation of Charlotte Douglas International sparked tension between airport managers and city leaders that is still playing out in the current airport authority debate.
While Massachusetts police found evidence on Tisdale's body to support their stowaway theory, it remains unknown how Tisdale got into that plane in the first place.
And yet, CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe did claim to know in an exchange with reporters in February 2011.
"Chief, correct me if I'm wrong," asked a reporter. "Kind of what I'm getting from the airport is you know how he likely got into the airport but for security reasons you can't say. Is that fair to say?"
"That's fair to say – yes," replied Monroe.
Now according to emails and documents related to that investigation, CMPD's findings – which implicated the Charlotte airport for lax security along its perimeter - were anything but certain.
First, some background about the report itself: Charlotte Aviation Director Jerry Orr asked CMPD to investigate how Tisdale got into the wheel well of a plane in Charlotte, because he says TSA refused to do it.
So, in December 2010 – a month after Tisdale's mangled body was found in Massachusetts - CMPD convened an investigation task force that included TSA, the FBI, the FAA and one of Orr's top deputies at the airport, Herbert Judon.
The notes Judon compiled from those meetings say that by late January 2011, the investigation "was literally at a dead end."
He continues: "The entire investigation team seemed frustrated and CMPD closed the investigation."
But, you wouldn't know that from CMPD's final report or from Chief Monroe's comments to the press.
"We conducted a very extensive investigation along several different lines," said Monroe in that February 2011 conversation with Charlotte reporters. "(We had) great cooperation from a number of our federal partners and, with that, we've come to some reasonable conclusions. But more importantly, we've come up with some very sound and focused recommendations that take us light years into the future as it relates to airport security."
Those recommendations are "what we're most pleased about," added Monroe.
WFAE asked Chief Monroe why he said he knew how Tisdale accessed the airport when CMPD's investigation was unable to determine that. He did not reply directly, but sent a statement saying he had reviewed the documents WFAE obtained and found "no additional information that would change our findings or assessment of the Tisdale investigation."
Monroe continues, "CMPD's focus now is to continue working with Airport Operations in addressing all security related matters."
The complete WFAE story is here as well as links and audio of the on air broadcast.
Harry Jones - There is no doubt that Harry Jones was going to get the hook. In fact CP spent more than an hour talking to Harry Jones the week before his firing and while we talked about everything under the sun, he was already on a new mission. That mission and the story behind it for another day.
CP has along with the Charlotte Observer and other called for County Manager Jones' firing. CP must admit that I was wrong.
Harry is articulate, smart, funny and sincere. He is a dedicated public servant.
The business of running Mecklenburg County has been is sad shape for a number of years and while the reasons are far from simple when the nuclear fallout from a BOCC in transition settled it was Jones who took the fall. But I doubt that firing Jones will fix the problem.
The bottom line is Mecklenburg County Government is so over run with compliancy and status quo staffers that we may never see our way out of this mess.
Nevertheless the conduct of the Mecklenburg BOCC is far from honorable. The actions of the board chair, in forbidding Harry from addressing the board and his staff as well as removing his personal items from his office and delivering them to his home is simple beyond comprehension.
No employee, much less a life long civil servant should be treated in that manner.
The present Board of County Commissioners with few exceptions are a text book case of the "Lunatics Running the Asylum" and if you doubt me just watch the tape of this week's meeting which is here.