Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Questions That Need To Be Asked About the RMA/N&R/David Wray Debacle

I have been avoiding blogging about this issue here on Noteworthy, but it's obviously time to put all the questions that need to be asked in one place.

1. Why are some people accepting the RMA report as gospel, but give no credence to the Jerry Bledsoe information published in the Rhino Times, particulary in regard to the City Manager's motivation and handling of David Wray and the allegations against him?

2. Why is the N&R in denial about the highly unfavorable to David Wray coverage they gave us earlier this year, based on their leaked version of the RMA report?

3. What was the motivation for the original leak? The current series of leaks? Who stands to benefit from this whole mess?

4. Why are many on the City Council afraid to engage the public in discussions of the actual issues this situation engenders? Why do they continue to discuss only the issues that dance all around the edges of the actual issues?

5. How is this situation tied into other major issues, like the Truth and Reconciliation process, the Homestead failure, and the general discussion of a failure of partisan and non-partisan leadership in many areas of the community.

6. Why are so many people just flat out AFRAID of the events as they are currently unfolding, particularly in the blogosphere?


  1. The N&R is heavily invested in being anti-Wray, due largely to Lorraine Ahearn, a 60's kinda hippie chick with no love for the Po-lice.
    They pretty much let her have her head on Wray, and she spearheaded the coverage of this with her own agenda.
    So, the N&R ran with it, and now they can't admit to us (or themselves) that Ahearn/N&R was wrong.
    Damn the facts, they've got newspapers to sell!

  2. I'm not sure that I agree with the premises behind all your questions, but I think this is a good idea. The conversations so far have been so "all over the place" that a few concise, directed questions may be helpful in untangling things a bit.

  3. I think your timeline is valuable to the process, too. It puts things in perspective.

  4. Bubba, I have been trying to find a motive for this from the very beginning when Wray resigned and the racism accusation came out. I refused to believe anyone could hide their racist views from friends, colleages and public for 23 years, so concluded that Wray was, and is, no racist. Haven't yet heard or read another motive for his victimization however. Maybe Bledsoe will reveal something in future. BB

  5. BB, Wray may not have been the best Chief in the history of the police department, but he was NO racist. I've known him for almost 30 years, since his college days, and he's a pretty liberal and tolerant man.
    The N&R and Lorraine Ahearn had it out for Wray, and the race card was the easiest angle seeing as the City administrators had previously sided with black officers (who were also possibly involved in criminal activity) against Wray. That assured the N&R of the blessing and cooperation of the City leaders against Wray.

  6. jaycee, I only arrived in Greensboro in October 04 so didn't have that much time to study Wray's effectiveness. However from what I have been hearing and reading he could have been a very good Chief of Police. He had the integrity, 'spit and polish', leadership abilities as proven by past performances and certainly the public charm needed for the job. What he didn't have almost from the beginning ( if not from the beginning) was the support of his superior (note singular). And he was, and is, precisely what GPD needs! The department needs someone who knows where the dirty little secrets are buried and which ones to dig up and let disintegrate in the light of day. An outsider will just allow the status quo to continue while he finds his way and then it will be too late because the moment to act will have been and gone.
    Bubba, I am surprised that the blogosphere is afraid of these issues too; or rather a large segment of the old timers who are the ruling faction of G-boro blogland. Sue resigned from board of G-boro101 because she felt releasing the RMS report to the public was "bad for Greensboro"! Dear Lord, does that mean that corruption thru out the system, out right thievery from public coffers by elected officials for their own benefit and to curry favorite from the 'rich and beautiful', a totally out of control segment of our police force, elected officials paying a Black PAC to endorse them as the only way to get elected in this town/county and only Lord knows what else is "good for Greensboro"? Brenda Bowers (incase someone doesn't know who BB is).

  7. BB, Wray had his problems. His management style was not well liked. His troops questioned the motivation for some of his decisions. Sadly, he'd lost the confidence of many who worked for him.
    However, he is NOT a racist, which is the thrust of the N&R campaign against him. I guess the N&R needed something to throw against him, and with the Hinson problems it seemed the most likely to gain public support given the pervasive anti-white climate generated by the undue influence of black leaders such as Alston and Jones.

  8. A good part of the blame can be laid at the feet of our incompetent city manager, and his legal/bureaucratic cohorts.

    They acted, and continue to act from personal motivational forces and outside political influences. The N&R stepped right in with their aiding and abetting campaign.
    Wray was a problem for them, and powerful forces wanted Wray gone. The city obliged, thanks to the PR campaign the newspaper provided.

    It's a shameful and ultimately costly fiasco for the citizens and the taxpayers.

    All of them who bear responsibility for this mess need to go.

    ALL of them.

  9. Great questions and I hope we get great answers.

  10. David Wray inherited a broken organization that he was trying valiantly to put back together. Police officers like soldiers need certain emotional ties to become an effective unit. Standard uniforms is one “tie”. Spit and polish is another as it lends pride in self and pride in unit. There are others but you get what I am saying. Under the circumstances in which Wray took over effective management meaning satisfaction with most regulations and requirements simply was not possible to obtain overnight. Nor was it possible without the strong backing of the higher authorities which we now know he probably never had, or had only a short time. There was too much disgruntlement among the many factions and a history of bitching. And believe me there was a great deal of “bitching” under White because there simply had to be given the favoritism shown some, the departure from the unity set up by former chiefs and just human nature. The difference with White and Wray was that White had the backing of his superiors and the disgruntlement had no place to go.
    As for losing the confidence of those who worked for him he really didn’t. You can not lose what is not there. The police officers had already lost their cohesion and lost confidence in their colleagues and even lost confidence in themselves.
    I have gone back in N&R and Rhino archives and read much about his tenure and found nothing wrong with his management style. In fact, he was doing exactly what needed to be done. He was strong and decisive and allow as little dissention as possible or his officers would have rolled right over him. He also tried to surround himself with a staff of like minded policemen. Given just a bit more time, given the support he needed and getting rid of the biggest problem which seemed to be Hinson, and Wray would have succeeded. And Greensboro would have been an entirely different place today. So sad. BB

  11. "Given just a bit more time, given the support he needed and getting rid of the biggest problem which seemed to be Hinson, and Wray would have succeeded."

    Instead, he got railroaded, sacrificed to placate those special interest groups who always manage to get their way politically in this town.