OK, y'all remember a little while back, maybe a month or so ago, I posted about a Ga. Nat'l Guard soldier who had been fired from his job as Chief of Police for "excessive absence" or some such drivel? (It's drivel because the 'absence' they referred to was his deployment.... dont' get me started again! grr!). Anyway, found the below article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today, and saw on the news that the council is STILL going after him, this time with complaints over his handling of accounts or some such thing. I'm not buying that for a minute...if it was true, it would have/should have been the reason for the firing the FIRST time around. Not the drivel about "he was away too much" or what have you. It ticks me off to no end to see the wolves go after him like this. I'm not very political at all...but you KNOW that Momma Kat doesn't like ANYONE dissin' her Soldiers or her Veterans! *bares claws, growls*
By HELENA OLIVIERO
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/20/07
Doraville City Council members said they will issue a statement Monday explaining why they fired Chief John King, even as more details about their conflict with the chief emerged in official records.
Lt. John "Eddie" Lowe, the son of council member Ed Lowe, told King he was "ashamed" by the council's actions in firing the chief, Lowe's boss, according to an e-mail obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Georgia Open records Act.
Lowe's e-mail implied that his father — one of three council members who voted to fire Iraq war veteran King — may have pressured the chief to promote him.
"Do you remember how well it was going until you mentioned my father was continually asking you why I had not been promoted?" Lowe, supervisor of the code enforcement division, wrote in an Aug. 7 e-mail sent hours after King was ousted. "It upset me terribly because I had tried so hard to be my own man and not rely on him."
Lowe went on to say, "You have taken this department from the brink of being a laughingstock and being known as a corrupt place to a department I am proud to serve."
Ed Lowe denied ever pressuring King to promote his son.
"Of course not," he said. "I would never do that. [My son's] got to make it on his own."
Later, John Lowe clarified his e-mail, telling the Journal-Constitution last week that his father's comments were made before King was chief.
He said he believes his father only made a passing remark about promoting him when King was a captain about 10 years ago.
"I think it was one of those 'dad being a dad' things where he made a comment to King," John Lowe said.
King said Ed Lowe did pressure him to promote his son. He said that shortly after he became police chief in 2002, Councilman Lowe urged him to promote his son. "He said, 'My son should be a captain or a major by now,' " King said last week.
King also said he knows John Lowe is in a tough spot, and he praised his job performance. "It's always been a sensitive issue," said King. "The sad part about it is no matter how good or bad the employee is, he will be judged by who he is related to."
King, commander of the Georgia Army National Guard's 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment, was fired in a 3-2 vote this month. (Kat's Side Note: HOLY COW! Y'all who have been reading this blog for a while (all 2 of you) might remember when I adopted a 48th platoon... it was a 1-108th AR platoon! It wasn't this guy's platoon, of course...but STILL! OK, now I know why I've been following this story so closely ~ the Momma Kat instinct is working overtime, haha - must've known subconsiously that this guy was one of "mine" (hey, I adopt
one, I adopt all, in prayer if nothing else!)
He was reinstated by Mayor Ray Jenkins, who called the firing "illegal."
King's firing drew national attention after Councilman Tom Hart criticized him for being out of the loop during the 18 months he served in Iraq. Hart later said the firing had "nothing to do with the military stuff." (Kat's note: riiiiiiiiggggghhhhhttttt......)
Hart, who voted to fire King, said the forthcoming statement will reveal more details about the reasons.
"Did he go out and shoot the queen's dog in the middle of broad daylight? No," Hart said last week. "Will he not provide information? Yes. Has he been involved in the political manipulations of the city? Yes."
King, though, said Hart is angry over a code enforcement citation he received last month. Hart's yard was cited for rocks, bricks in the driveway and a carport that needed "cleanliness," according to a copy of the citation obtained by the Journal-Constitution.
Hart said the police have been "badgering" him and his neighbors. They unnecessarily ticketed volunteers building sidewalks on his street after they parked in front of "No Parking" signs, he said.
A code enforcement officer recently warned an ailing neighbor about an out-of-code fence, Hart said, even as the city suffered two homicides. "He wants a guy with a heart problem to go out in 101 degrees and paint a fence in his backyard," Hart said. "Meanwhile we've got dead bodies laying in the streets around here."
But Hart said those code enforcement issues have nothing to do with his vote to replace King. He said his greatest concerns revolve around what he calls the chief's lack of responsiveness since returning from Iraq, high turnover in the force, lack of neighborhood policing and excessive speed traps.
Staff writer Brian Feagans contributed to this article.
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