Can speaking the truth get you fired? Just ask Donald Trump, or Mayor Kip Holden for that matter, and you will hear a resounding yes! That is what happened to Police Chief Dwayne White due to his inability to comply with a request for secretiveness, micromanagement and discrimination in the Baton Rouge Police Department — as allegedly ordered by Mayor Kip Holden and his Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel.
Truth is supposed to set you free. In the Chief of Police’s case, it set him free from his job — he was fired!
Anyone who does not see the obvious controversy between Mayor Kip Holden and ANYONE who questions his authority or that refuses to ‘crouch down’ to his political bullying needs to see a psychiatrist to discuss their diagnosis — the ticket will say “denial personality disorder”. Denial is not just a river in Egypt!
Mayor Kip Holden has been a long time antagonist of anyone who disagrees with him. Dare to question Kip, and you will find yourself hung out to dry, publicly shamed, sued, or just simply fired! Holden is a politician in the rarest form in that he has the keen ability to manage by intimidation, threaten behind closed doors, and still survive by re-election by the people. As one of his Campaign Advisers once said “voters are like sheep; you simply lead them into the slaughter (voting booth) and tell them what lever to pull — it’s like magic because they do exactly what you tell them to do!” And that my friends, Holden’s entourage is extremely successful at accomplishing. How does it feel to be a sheep led to slaughter?
Should you ever dare to disagree with Holden, you are basically signing your resignation. It appears, from the facts presented thus far, that is exactly what happened to Police Chief Dwayne White.
Do not misunderstand. We are living in a right to work state that allows employers to fire you for any reason they choose. On the other hand, it can get more complicated. Unions — not something I am personally a fan of due to childhood incidents when the Teamsters were much more powerful than they are today — change the entire complexion of what an employer can and cannot do.
The Union of Police, currently represented by Chris Stewart, has proved that fact over and over with EVERY Chief of Police our city has ever enjoyed. They have blocked, opposed, undermined and literally stopped any decisions they felt were against the stand the Union should have taken. In reading the cases presented in The Advocate archives, it seems many times those decisions were sometimes on shaky ground. That is my opinion; everyone has one. No police chief escaped the wrath of the Union.
The absolute, most disturbing fact of the firing of Chief of Police Dwayne White are the lies that were told by the Mayor’s Office. You cannot tout to others, at least not in this day and age of high-tech communication, that you plan to fire someone and then claim you had no intention to do so.
It was the fall of last year when I was having dinner with a friend who turned to me and said “Kip Holden plans to fire Dwayne White as soon as the election is over.” Then, they asked “do you know why?” I said no, tell me. She said he had gone against the Mayor on numerous occasions and refused to comply with his political requests and basically signed his death warrant with the BRPD. I said “time will tell if that is fact” — it proved to be factual.
Holden was smart enough to not reveal to his supporters and well wishers during a campaign that he had full intention of firing the Police Chief. This would not have gone over well with individuals who were large contributors and supporters of the Mayor. Politics. Politics in its rarest form. Holden has the art of war down to a science.
I can’t help but wonder how community leader and business owner Lane Grigsby feels now? Did you really think you would ever control or influence Kip Holden for the long haul?
What about all of the community leaders who should be coming forth and speaking out during this controversial time?
Don’t look for any of them to come forward.
Once you put your money on a candidate, shortly after they win an election is not the time to disagree with them. It makes you look bad as their supporter — after all, you are the one who told us all he was the right man, correct? Isn’t your image more important than speaking the truth? Defending the truth?
To add insult to injury, hundreds of other individuals seemed to have full knowledge of the impending firing of Police Chief Dwayne White prior to him knowing his own fate. Once White learned, or heard the rumors, he contacted Jill Craft and asked to retain her to work out an amicable departure for all concerned.
Uh oh. That was a huge mistake on White’s part. Holden does not like for his office to get a call from an attorney. No, no, no!
When Craft contacted the Mayor’s office, she was told that was a falsehood and no intention to fire the Police Chief was in the works. Of course, according to White, just minutes after Craft’s call, White received a call from the Mayor’s office informing him that this was a mistake.
Furthermore, reporters contacted the Mayor’s Office and were given that same line — there is no intention to fire Chief White! Articles were printed, quotes were made…..time went by….White was fired anyway.
Lines were drawn in the sand. It was too late to turn back now. Holden was elected. Did it matter who he upsets? Nah! He won the election! He is home free! He is term limited and this is his last hurrah! He can do as he pleases!
Let’s call in the troops, tell them what we need to do! We can do as we want! It doesn’t really matter! All the contributions to the campaign are paid, the voters have spoken, and we can now do as we wish! ”Go and set forth a plan, William Daniel, and be my hatchet man and fire that SOB who dared to question me and in fact called an attorney.” We’ll show him, won’t we? I am the all-powerful OZ!
Again, to beat a dead horse: the voters got it wrong again. Three terms (something Holden specifically said during McHugh’s tenure that he would NEVER serve as a 3 term mayor) and the voters were, once again, “Kipnotized” as his opponent said in the last election.
Clever, but they underestimated Holden and his cronies’ ability to win elections. A lot of politics, money and power were behind Holden, and they would be damned if they would allow anyone to take away their power. The plan was to win, and indeed they did — a third term in office — full of tyranny and decisions that no one in the Red Stick could override — even the Police Chief.
So, here we are.
The Union of Police has 30 days to answer Police Chief Dwayne White. We, of course, already know what their decision will be at the end of that 30 days.
Surely, you do not underestimate the power of the Union, do you? This is simply a formality.
The only real concern here should be on behalf of Holden and his cronies. After all, a lot of damage can happen in 30 days.
Look what happened in one day….one press conference…one opportunity for a man to save his reputation and speak the truth. All those papers in that binder that Police Chief Dwayne White presented. The look on Mayor Kip Holden’s face when he realized he had finally met his match in the Police Chief. It was a priceless to watch the dumbfounded look on Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel’s face as the Police Chief outlined item by item his defense of all the charges they laid upon him in their attempt to discredit him. Attorney Murphy Foster came across angry, frustrated, flustered at best when he floundered around demanding White answer additional questions.
There were no additional questions to answer at that time.
Mayor Kip Holden had his day when he publicly released a letter (with Chief White’s home address I might add) to the public charging him with what appeared to be reasons why he was fired.
This day was the opportunity for White to publicly answer each of those charges. His statements were thorough. He accomplished what he came for — to answer the charges, to set the record straight, and to save a lifelong reputation in his commitment to serving the people of our parish and state as a law enforcement officer. He was credible, succinct, and took no prisoners. I remain impressed.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican