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Amid turmoil, police chief opts to retire
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 16:09

Fire chief to help in APD reset

From Staff Reports

With the Asheville Police Department mired in turmoil, Chief William Anderson unveiled plans Nov. 14 to retire, making Dec. 31 his last day.

The city has agreed to pay him $35,000 and, in turn, Anderson has agreed not to sue under labor laws. City officials praised some aspects of Anderson’s performance and noted that they will appoint an interim chief and conduct a nationwide search for a replacement.

Anderson’s decision came about a month after nearly one-fourth of the APD’s officers signed a petition, saying they had no confidence in the department’s leaders.

The retirement announcement was made just days before a city Civil Service Board hearing for a lieutenant claiming he was transferred to an administrative job after raising concerns internally about downtown staffing. (The Civil Service Board dismissed his case on Nov. 19 on the basis that he did not file on time.)

Various local news media probes into the APD found allegations of on-the-job retaliation, an increase in officer resignations and administrative errors that led to officers using expired radar guns. As a result of the latter mistake, hundreds of traffic cases have been dismissed.

Amid the problems, City Manager Gary Jackson in late October took the unprecedented step of putting city Fire Chief Scott Burnette in charge of overhauling the APD.

What’s going on? Insider shares insights
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 16:05
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An insider’s view of the global and national political scenes was provided by Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times and best-selling author, during Warren Wilson College’s Global Impact Forum on Nov. 17 in downtown Asheville.

During the lengthy program, the only prediction by Baker that generated some murmers among the decidedly liberal audience was that he thinks, ultimately, President Barack Obama will go along with passage of the Keystone Pipeline in exchange for other environmental concessions from its proponents. Baker added that the thinking in the White House — as he perceives it through his contacts — is that the purported damage from the pipeline will not be as significant as presented by its opponents and that much more important concessions could be extracted in exchange for Obama’s support.

Also, Baker raised some eyebrows in the crowd when he said that “one Russian official said recently that we are as close to war with the U.S. as ever.... during the Cold War.”

He asked, hypothetically, if the U.S. and its allies really would be willing “to go to war with the Russians over the Baltics” — or Ukraine?

A standing-room-only turnout of 258 people, according to the official count, amazed the organizers, who noted that it was impressive, especially on a cold November night. 


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