Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Wrap Up - Lunatics Running the Asylum Edition

News on all fronts this past week is disturbing and troubling. National news has President Obama's administration being compared to the Nixon White House and Watergate. Local news has the dysfunctional Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners throwing "Robert's Rules of Order" out the window.

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?
Rodney Monroe - WAFE calls out Chief Monroe with a in his face "you lie" but with little fanfare from the mainstream media.

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.


Anonymous said...

Cedar, you must have never been fired from a job before. I doubt 99% of fired employees get a chance to address their fellow workers after the ax has fallen.
Regardless of Jone's "personality", he should have been canned years ago when he went after a taxpaying, private sector employee because he disagreed with him. A big punch in the mouth shoulod have been in order.

Anonymous said...

Harry Jones could take home Miss Congeniality of MC AND thar would not change the fact that he is an incompetent, arrogant, unqualified, lying, elitist who has covered up some pretty nasty things.
You are pretty easily schmoozed, Cedar.

Anonymous said...

I worked directly with Harry Jones before he became county manager and after. He is smart and was a pleasure to work with and to work for.

I never once saw him make a racist or sexist remark or even a joke.

But something happened within the last five years. I think he was just burned out.

Anonymous said...

Rodney lies...why is anyone shocked?

He has built his career on lies.

He has fine tuned it into a chosen career path, "How to Lie Your Way to the Top".

Anonymous said...

So Monroe used the request to investigate the Tisdale death to further his own goals of having CMPD take over the airport police?

If that is true, and the true findings were twisted, how do we know that evidence was not blocked so that CMPD could come to the conclusions Monroe wanted for a CMPD airport police takeover?

This is why the lawsuit should not have been dismissed. That way, real evidence could come out in the case.

Sounds like we need the airport authority. If CMPD and the city will twist facts for their own gain, they should not have any control of anything.

HDLadee said...

I disagree, this new broad is a breath of fresh air! I have NO problem with this new board! Clean up was and is much needed! Glad Harry got canned myself...BTW, WHY would Jones be allowed to speak? Never known any employee who was fired being allowed to get in the last word!

Eric said...


Do you have photos or other evidence to support your assertion in the comment left at WFAE's website linked to this story? You seem to have done some independent research and are fairly confident about the facts leading up to Tisdale's entering the plane. On what do you base this assertion?


Cedar Posts said...

Here is the comment I put up on the WFAE story:

Tisdale walked to CDIA via the CSX railroad tracks, made his way up the hill across Minuteman Way to the former Aviation Museum. There he was able to squeeze his small frame through the gate which was secured by only a chain and lock if at all.

At this point Tisdale was only one fence and 100 feet away from the runway. In simply an impulsive moment he used a maintenance stand to reach the top of the fence and clear the loose barbed wire.

It wouldn't have taken him more than 30 seconds to enter the wheel well of the aircraft.

I have personally seen an aircraft maintenance stand chained to the fence in question.

It is amazing that CMPD has not been able to connect the dots.

The short version is I walked the property two days after Tisdale's Death.

The property has changed a lot since that time, as the Aviation Museum has now fully re-located.

But on the night of Tisdale's death the property was void of traffic on the dead end Minuteman Lane.

The gate was pad locked securely the date of my visit but I have seen it in the past haphazardly locked with enough room that someone of Tisdale's build would easily slip through.

Eric said...

Fair enough. But walking the property and claiming to know how Tisdale actually entered the property and boarded the plane are two different things. Other than your familiarity with the property, do you have additional evidence to support your assertions? Is it fact or opinion that Tisdale walked the CSX tracks to arrive at said gate? Why would a maintenance stand be chained to a perimeter fence? For what purpose did you previously have occasion to view haphazardly locked gates? And do you have any photos to back up these assertions?

I'm not disputing your statement, but asking for additional clarification. I'm not overly familiar with the Tisdale case, but I do have to question why you seem to have more knowledge on the matter than all of the investigative agencies that have been involved thus far.

Cedar Posts said...

All good questions.

It is known the Tisdale often walked along the tracks that were nearby his home. One could take an easy walk and cover the distance in less than two/three hours.

The museum volunteer staff would use the stands to work on aircraft, then when not in use chain them to the fence to keep them from being blown about by jet blast.

They were concerned with anything but someone going over the fence.

Tisdale's prints were found in the port/left side wheel well. This is consistent with the thinking that Tisdale entered the aircraft unseen just before it started its takeoff roll. Being that the left side of the aircraft would be closest.

On a Sunday several months prior to Tisdale's death I saw a man "squeeze" through the gates after the museum had closed. His reason was to photograph one of the static display aircraft on site.

It seemed harmless at the time.

Two years working nights out of CDIA and being a pilot who often requested 18L due to it being closest to then Thurston Aviation gives me a pretty complete picture of what happened.

Eric said...

Thanks for the additional reply. Final question. My only experience with airports/planes is as a passenger. But every flight I've been on there seem to be multiple airport/airline employees with vests and wands and radios directing the plane away from the departure gate. How could someone climb into the wheel well of a departing plane with so many employees present? Or would that not have been the case with this particular flight?

Cedar Posts said...

That's the Million Dollar Question.

How could Tisdale breech security where hundreds of TSA, Police, Airport and Airline staff are present?

The answer is he couldn't.

The gate area is bright, fully lighted and bustling of activity with cameras watching everyone.

Not that they are on the lookout for wayward teenagers, or even terrorists but someone would have noticed.

Had his prints shown up in the starboard/right wheel well you could argue against a last minute entry to the aircraft on the taxiway or runway.

But given the "known facts" plus the facts that the powers that be don't what to known, mainly that the airport fence is not monitored or patrolled.

It is the only logical conclusion.

The best politically correct answer is to say we don't know or as Chief Monroe said we do know but not say how.

The location, the aircraft departure point, the wind direction, the time of night, the number of departures/arrivals and the lack of a secure perimeter all created an opportunity that converged on US Airways Flight 1176.

Yet CDIA and CMPD as well as TSA/FBI/HLS won't say because they know this is a weak point at dozens of airports in the US.

Gordon Freeman said...

I love this photo. It reminds me of when I did fencing in Calgary for my neighbors sheep.

Anonymous said...

Well, Rodney is at it again.

Seems he has CREATED yet another position for one of his cronies from Richmond.
Wonder if he is paying for her move? Maybe from his personal slush fund... Asset Forfiture?
From what I am told, she is an arrogant piece of work...under the protection of Rodney.
Seems there were NO qualified people from Charlotte to fill this created position.
Are you there new City Manager? Are you going to turn a blind eye to Rodney and the corruption he has brought to CMPD?
CMPD has become DC and Detroit....rodney is the warlord.

Anonymous said...

Cedar, Heard there was yet another lawsuit filed in Federal court against CMPD. Was told Brass was overheard talking about it.

Heard anything about this from sources?

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