consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

FERGUSON - BROOM TIME. "Since the report was released, the city manager, a judge, two police officers, and a court clerk have either resigned or been fired."

Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty
with Officer Darren Wilson.
Guardian published photo
The headline quote is from BBC, here. The shooter, the boss, the ticket fixing court clerk who sent racist emails. The three now, Kaput.

Broom time, indeed.

There is the doorknob saying, which mayor and town board likely thought but declined saying. And His Honor, the mayor, will he seek reelection? That is tomorrow's worry. First the broom, then the mop-up.

In hiring a new police chief, race might be a factor. If towns could have PTSD, Ferguson should.

Play Where's Waldo. Find the black guy.

UPDATE: The judge, who resigned. Written up in Boing Boing, Guardian, WaPo, DailyMail, and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

March 5, NY Times reported, in "Some in Ferguson Who Are Part of Problem Are Asked to Help Solve It":

While Ms. Twitty was terminated, her involvement in the emails and their wide distribution illustrate how difficult fixing the Ferguson Police Department and municipal court will be when many city officials led, participated in or tolerated the most controversial practices uncovered by the Justice Department. Those city employees include the police chief who authorized arrests without probable cause; the municipal judge who adds new charges when people contest their citations, yet quietly got his own traffic ticket wiped away; and the city manager who was the force behind the financially driven policies that led to widespread discrimination.

Many of those same officials will now be the ones attempting to carry out the reforms demanded by the Justice Department.

[...] In particular, the responsibility for making changes will fall to John Shaw, the 39-year-old city manager. He is the city’s chief executive, responsible for supervising the police department, nominating the municipal judge and running the city. And he is cited repeatedly in the Justice Department’s scathing report.

Well, not exactly.

In March 10 follow-up NYT reporting,

The city manager of Ferguson, whom a Department of Justice report blamed for overseeing the financially driven policies that led to widespread discrimination and questionable conduct by the police and the courts here, has agreed to resign. The announcement came during a City Council meeting on Tuesday, about a week after the scathing Justice Department report was released.

The manager, John Shaw, 39, had held the post since 2007. As Ferguson’s chief executive, he was the city’s most powerful official.

Mr. Shaw, who has not spoken publicly since the report was issued, offered a staunch defense in a page-long letter to the community that city officials distributed during the Council meeting.

“And while I certainly respect the work that the D.O.J. recently performed in their investigation and report on the City of Ferguson, I must state clearly that my office has never instructed the Police Department to target African-Americans, nor falsify charges to administer fines, nor heap abuses on the backs of the poor,” he wrote. “Any inferences of that kind from the report are simply false.”

Sure. And the Pope is Presbyterian. The report continues:

The resignation was announced about 30 minutes into the Council meeting, with members voting 7 to 0 to approve a “mutual separation agreement” with Mr. Shaw.

As people in the packed Council chamber began to understand what was happening, a buzz shot through the room as onlookers mumbled and a few let out quiet cheers.

BBC covered that resignation, as it did with the Police Chief.

Apart from that, I recall it was a Friday, Nov. 17, 2006, ABC Newspapers item by Sakry, "Norman tenders his resignation as top city administrator." That being for our town, Ramsey. To that point, I had dismissed the Sister City program with a town in China as of little consequence.

The BBC did not cover James Norman's resignation. Nor did HufPo, which did report of Shaw quitting his post in Ferguson:

Shaw is the fifth person named in the Justice Department report to lose his job.

Ferguson Municipal Judge Ronald Brockmeyer, who allegedly turned Ferguson's municipal court into a city cash cow, resigned Monday. Ferguson Municipal Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty was fired last week over racist emails. In addition, two police department officials resigned last week, including one who supervised Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown.

Michael Brown, shot through the top of his head months earlier, was not present at the reported council meeting. Not physically there, but in spirit, he cast the deciding vote accepting the resignations.

FURTHER UPDATE: Ramsey, after James Norman, got better. Ferguson is moving in a way that might get better.

Champlin still is using citations for income. Cozy about it. They need to get better. It's that simple. They can straighten up their act. They should. They need the will to straighten up their act.

Strib has posted the full JOD report online; here.

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