Under any other circumstances, what took place today would most likely have not happened. Unfortunately, Mayor Kip Holden and his Chief Administrative Officer, William Daniel, fired Police Chief Dwayne White last week. This came after both Holden and Daniel vehemently denied to the media (when rumors were swirling over this potential firing) that there was any truth to the rumors. Really? Is anyone surprised that Holden and his partner in crime, Daniel, lied to the media and public? Furthermore, the Mayor released a letter to the media last week charging the Chief of Police with a laundry list of allegations as to why he was fired. Today’s one hour hearing was an opportunity for the Police Chief to answer those allegations — and he chose to do so in front of the media and community.
My first response is kudos to ‘former’ Police Chief Dwayne White for answering each charge in great detail, by providing a binder with documentation to back up his ‘evidence’ against each charge made by the Mayor, and for allowing the community and media to hear his side of the story. I was intrigued and mesmerized that someone in our great city finally had the impetus to stand up to Holden. For that alone, I applaud White!
I am a lifelong resident of the Red Stick; raised in North Baton Rouge — and in particular grew up and lived in the 70805 zip code until I was in my 30′s. No one can tell me anything about ’70805′. It is one of our most drug-ridden, gang-infested, high crime areas in our city. Not the same neighborhood I grew up in; nevertheless, just two weeks ago, I drove back to my old homestead (as I do at least once annually) and stopped on my old street to speak with a gentleman that lives across the street from the home I grew up in. We talked about several murders that have taken place recently on my old street, as well as arrests of late for numerous violent offenders just a few houses down the street.
Let me be clear that I have never met, nor do I know Police Chief Dwayne White. What I did learn about him today, however, is that he is a man of faith, a man that believes in his principals, a man that chose to not play politics, but to openly answer each charge publicly in order to answer to the community whom he serves as to the charges lodged against him. He appeared to be full of conviction in his position that he had the best interest of the community in mind with all of his decisions as Police Chief, and that the charges made against him were full of misinformation and innuendo without substance. Frankly, I remain impressed with him.
White’s attorney, Jill Craft, understands the system well. She specializes in a very difficult area of the law — discrimination and labor law. It can be complicated, yet she has had great success in defending individuals who were dismissed from their employment due to unfair labor practices. Craft is no stranger to the Supreme Court either, which made bode well for White. No doubt, the fact that White answered the charges against him both publicly and in writing fulfill one of the requirements of the law in this, Craft’s specialized area.
To know Kip Holden in his full political regalia, is to understand that he is secretive, knows how to play the game, and is quick to accuse others without evidence. On the other hand, he has publicly denied allegations made against him and even gone so far as to file suit against anyone defaming him — later dropping the charges once time passed. With no public apology to those he easily despaired, I might add. It begs the question. Here is a public figure that refuses to be held accountable, overreacts without all of the facts, and simply does as he pleases. I am continuously shocked that he has been re-elected, and is serving his third term as Mayor.
The majority of the charges lodged against Chief of Police Dwayne White appear to be ridiculous. Likewise, because of the history of Mayor Kip Holden’s past actions, I tend to believe all of the comments White said Holden told him behind closed doors. Holden does not like for anyone to disagree with him. The Mayor is very close to Chris Stewart, head of the Union of Police. Stewart was transferred; White says Holden called him in — rumors floated that White would be fired; Holden denied the rumors — Holden fires White.
The case is pretty simple. Stay tuned.
Until next time,
Red Stick Republican