Pete's Prep: Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The internal politics of the APD is seeping out

Ever since the release of the Johnnie Rush police beating video to the newspaper, there have been rumors and whispers about internal divisions inside the leadership of the Asheville Police Department. 

Yesterday's lawsuit against the City is likely to blow the lid off the story.

According to the Citizen-Times, Sgt. Lisa Taube says she will sue the city for libel and slander.

Sgt. Lisa Taube was disciplined for what top city officials said were failures as the supervising officer in the Aug. 24 arrest, which became national news, and in which excessive force was ruled to have been used by former officer Chris Hickman against pedestrian Johnnie Rush.

But Taube's attorney, John Hunter, is now saying the sergeant did nothing wrong in how she handled the beating aftermath. Public statements about her by Police Chief Tammy Hooper and ex-city manager Gary Jackson amounted to libel and slander, Hunter said.

He said the statements were an attempt to shift blame and retaliate for her involvement in grievances filed against the chief.

Since the release of the video, I've been told by different sources inside APD that the Chief has had complaints filed against her over her relationship with an APD employee.

And that's apparently what this is about.

He said the actions against her were actually retaliation for serving as a witness in grievances issued against the chief by members of “the department’s current senior command staff.”

Hunter did not give details about those grievances. APD staff said any such complaints would not be public record because they fall under personnel protections.

It appears "senior command staff" wants Chief Hooper gone... and have for a while.

Buncombe Sheriff investigated Wanda Greene in 2009

The investigation was launched during the former County Manager's divorce, but sounds an awful lot like what Greene is accused of doing in the federal indictment.

WLOS has the story:

News 13 has learned the federal investigation into former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene is not the first criminal investigation she's faced. The Buncombe County Sheriff's Office confirms it investigated Greene for credit card fraud in late 2009.

It started after a complaint made on December 8, 2009, from Greene's now ex-husband. Sheriff Van Duncan sat down with News 13's Aaron Adelson, off-camera, on Monday morning. The SBI cleared Duncan to discuss the facts of the case, which did not involve county funds.

WLOS points out that this occurred at the same time that Greene's son - also a County employee - was caught using his county-issued credit card for personal expenses. Shortly after, Greene turned in her own county credit card.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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