Fired Baton Rouge Police Chief Responds to Mayor Kip Holden Monday, Feb 18 2013 

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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

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Dangerous Liasons Thwart Reform Saturday, Sep 19 2009 

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No doubt that Louisiana politics has a dominant place in the archives of U.S. history, and some have reveled in that fact.  Perhaps it is the age of information or the downfall of American family values that has caused the average voter to long for political reform in our good state.  Reform should always start in our own backyards.

The reform movement will come at a great price.  That price includes putting a stop to dangerous liaisons that thwart true reform.

For me, political corruption in Louisiana began with the labor unions.  I remember succinctly as a child the effects of the AFLCIO on our personal lives.  My father refused to be a member of the union, and the price we paid was both physical and emotional as mentioned in a previous post.  

Mayor Kip Holden and Sheriff Sid Gautreaux are supported, funded and often work in collusion with the AFLCIO and other local labor unions.  These are truly dangerous liaisons for the Red Stick.

What is most troubling is how real corruption is camaflouged and overlooked by the media, community and business leaders.  Political corruption still abounds on a local and state level.  This must stop.

It was Senator Robert Kostelka that forced the Louisiana Board of Education and media to publicly announce that contracts were not being publicly bid.  I believe that Chas Roemer erred in saying that no-bid contracts are justified if there is only one provider. 

How do we truly know other providers do not exist without the bid process?  This type of mentality opens the door to facilitating more dangerous liaisons, especially given this particular contract totaled $625,000.

Closed meetings, no bids, private conversations among community leaders, business owners and politicians makes for more dangerous liasons.  Why do we allow these practices to continue?  Only The Advocate would allow our mayor to get away with this incident without forcing the hand of community leaders.    Interesting.

Just this past week Baton Rouge Area Chamber officials asked the media to leave the room so they could ask private questions to Mayor Kip Holden about his bond proposal.  Adam Knapp and his ‘leaders’ should have realized this would leave a negative impression in our community.  Where are real leaders when you need them?

Mayor Kip Holden gives $500,000 of YOUR tax dollars to the Baton Rouge Area Chamber annually.  Everything BRAC does is funded by local monies whether through memberships, sponsorships or municipalities.  What kind of questions could they ask that we shouldn’t know about?  I see more dangerous liaisons on the horizon.

No matter how you slice it, dangerous liaisons in political matters still abound in Louisiana.  On a local level, even more so.  What I am still amazed at the ability of the media to overlook just about everything that Mayor Kip Holden does while criticizing Governor Bobby Jindal for the same issues. 

Mayor-President Kip Holden is the king of private liasions personally and professionally.  The proposed $900 million bond issue is immersed in potential corruption and secrecy.  Will voters endorse the continued practice of dangerous liaisons in city-parish government or put them to a stop by saying no this fall?

Until next time,

Red Stick Republican