Saturday, June 10, 2017

CITY MANAGER BRUCE MOORE REFUSES TO APOLOGIZE FOR DEFAMING EMAIL AND REMARKS ABOUT WELL-KNOWN MINISTER AND ACTIVIST

On March 17th, City Manager Bruce Moore sent out an email that was damaging to the reputation of the Rev. Benny Johnson, founder and director of Arkansas Stop the Violence.



 


Rev. Johnson had addressed the Little Rock Board of Directors during the May 16th meeting. a meeting from which Moore was absent, and introduced an anonymous letter that listed several concerns about LRPD and Chief Kenton Buckner.


Here is the video we posted in our May 22nd post:
 


Moore had received the erroneous and defaming information from City Attorney Tom Carpenter.

We posted about this and included a video of Rev. Johnson's remarks in this post:

http://badlittlerock.blogspot.com/2017/05/city-manager-and-city-attorney-defame.html 

Then Moore spoke to the Little Rock Black Police Officers Association ("LRBPA") and made the same defaming statement that Rev. Johnson had made a false statement. 

Basically, Moore called Rev. Johnson a liar. And his actions of spreading false and defaming information expose him and possibly the city attorney to another settlement. 



WILL THE CITY HAVE TO WRITE A CHECK TO REV. JOHNSON?





It turns out that the LRBPA had received the same anonymous letter that Rev. Johnson had and they had given a copy to Chief Buckner and to Moore at least a month before Rev. Johnson provided it to board members on May 16th.

Rev. Johnson had a single copy of the letter and the city clerk took it, made copies and gave one to each board member at the May 16th meeting. Was Moore provided a copy of the letter already in his possession?

In fact, this anonymous letter had been making the rounds as far back as March.

It was posted on the blog, Corruption Sucks.

THE POSTMARK ON THE ENVELOPE IS DATED MARCH 2, 2017 - FROM CORRUPTION SUCKS BLOG

City Attorney Tom Carpenter admitted that he passed erroneous information to Moore regarding what Rev. Johnson had said at the Mary 16th board meeting.




At the June 6th board meeting, the publisher of this blog addressed the board during the Citizens Communication segment. He spoke about the illegal practice of the Little Rock Police Department not issuing tickets to police officers and especially to Chief Buckner in two recent incidents. He also stated that the city attorney and city manager owed a public apology to Rev. Johnson for their false and defaming statements about him. 

Neither the city attorney or city manager made any comments.

Buckner was involved in two traffic accidents, both his fault, and he did not receive a ticket for either accident.

CLICK TO VIEW LRPD INCIDENT REPORTS ON BUCKNER ACCIDENTS

LRPD FOI Officer Jonathan Prater stated that LRPD does not issue tickets to any law enforcement officer as a result of an accident.  



Then Rev. Johnson addressed the board about the defaming email and remarks City Manager Bruce Moore had made at a March meeting of the LRBPA.





City Manger Moore sat glaring at Rev. Johnson with his arms crossed. When Rev. Johnson's time slot ended, he went back to his seat.  Moore can been seen in the video turning toward Rev. Johnson and making comments.  Moore can be seen in the video getting up and heading towards Rev. Johnson.  All the time Rev. Johnson can be heard saying "he is harassing me".

Tom Carpenter, the city attorney stated that he had issued an apology to Rev. Johnson and did so again.  City Manager Bruce Moore said nothing.

We have been trying to get answers from Mayor Stodola, City Manager Bruce Moore, City Attorney Tom Carpenter and Chief Buckner since March about Chief Bucker and the accidents and they have yet to provide any documents that provide exemptions for officers to not issue tickets in accident to law enforcement officers or a response about the illegal practice.


Arkansas Code Annotated § 27-51-305 is clear about following a vehicle too closely.





Little Rock Municipal Ordinance 32-36 states that LRPD officers are to enforce municipal and state laws.

 
Back in 2014, several months after Buckner was hired as Chief of Police, LRPD
cracked down on individuals following too close behind another vehicle citing that was a particular cause of accidents:



Things at City Hall and the Police Department stink of corruption and mismanagement.



Changes are needed in the city government and they start at the top with the Mayor, City Manager, City Attorney and Chief of Police.


*****
Watch a video of a 2015 Board of Director's meeting in which Buckner claims no other police chief has done more than he has during his first year.

City Director Bruce Moore has to step in an rein Buckner back in before board members verbally tear him apart.


 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

CITY LOSES APPEAL TO ARKANSAS SUPREME COURT - CITY ATTORNEY MADE SERIOUS MISTAKES THAT COST THE CITY $10,000

 
LR CITY ATTORNEY TOM CARPENTER RACKS UP ANOTHER LOSS

The Arkansas Supreme Court today affirmed a Pulaski County Circuit Courts finding that the city of Little Rock was in contempt of court for failing to timely pay a $10,000 penalty for its delays in defending a gender discrimination case.


We previously discussed this case in these posts: 



http://badlittlerock.blogspot.com/2016/11/little-rock-city-attorney-tom-carpenter.html

Circuit Judge Tim Fox had held that the city should pay $10,000 for inexcusable delays in responding to Tiffany Malone's gender discrimination complaint against the police department. Fox ordered the penalty paid in 10 days, which the city didn't do. The city was trying to appeal the penalty. Fox found the city in contempt for failure to pay, but said it could be cured by City Attorney Tom Carpenter attending education courses on law office management. The city appealed both the penalty and the contempt finding.

PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE TIM FOX

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal on the penalty as moot because the city ultimately paid it voluntarily. 

 

It also said as to the remaining issue that it was indisputable that the city didn't pay on time. It lost any attempt to justify that by challenging the legality of the penalty order when it voluntarily paid the fine. That precludes a review of the order, the court said.



The City of Little Rock is in crisis, failed public school system under state control; crime so bad that more than half of the city's police officers refuse to live in the city; a racially divided Board of Directors that can't get anything done other that take trips on the tax payers dime and issue proclamations; a Mayor, City Manager and city attorney that have stayed in those positions way too long and need to be replaced.

This case and the false and defaming information city attorney Tom Carpenter passed on to Bruce Moore (and the rest of the world) about the Reverend Benny Johnson is proof enough that Carpenter needs to be fired before he does more damage.





The citizens of Little Rock are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.




Monday, May 22, 2017

CITY MANAGER AND CITY ATTORNEY DEFAME LOCAL MINISTER IN EMAIL TO BOARD MEMBERS


City Manager Bruce Moore was not at the Little Rock Board of Directors meeting on May 16, 2017.

He was not present to listen to the Reverend Benny Johnson, founder and director of Arkansas Stop the Violence speak to Mayor Stodola and board members about his and the community's growing concerns about LRPD Chief Kenton Buckner.

Take a second and watch Rev. Johnson's remarks to the LRBOD.






************
This is the letter that was sent to Rev. Johnson and many other individuals in Little Rock.





This is the mailer that was sent to every household in Little Rock that features a uniformed Chief Buckner endorsing the failed funding measure of the state controlled Little Rock Public School district.




The group that paid for this mailer was headed by Gary Smith, who is a Little Rock businessman (Glass Erectors, Inc.), a former president of Bank of America, Inc. operations in Arkansas and a Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce executive.


Smith is often the frontman for Chamber backed initiatives.




Smith said the campaign for the millage extension had been funded with $1,000 contributions from himself and retired Central Arkansas Library System Director Bobby Roberts (he is featured in the mailer). 

No doubt a little of the $300,000 the Little Rock Board of Directors approved in April to subsidize Chamber operations, mostly political activities, trickled down to help support the sham committee Smith formed for the school funding issue.

Rev. Johnson also made reference to a little tiff Chief Buckner had with the city's Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission.  Buckner wanted them to give him a letter grade for his performance - he got an "F". We had a post that detailed that in April.  You can read it by clicking here.

************

The day after Rev. Johnson spoke about the concerns with LRPD and Chief Buckner, City Manager Bruce Moore sent out this email.  Remember, Moore was absent for the board meeting the evening before.

The source for Moore's "understanding" was none other than city attorney Tom Carpenter.

 
Moore's email was forwarded to Rev. Johnson and an unknown number of people. 

The allegation in Moore's email about Rev. Johnson were entirely false. 

The allegation is defamatory and places Rev, Johnson in a false light.

The allegation was made in an attempt to intimidate and silence Rev. Johnson and with its exposure to the public has placed Rev. Johnson in a false light and had caused member of the community to not know what to think and question Rev. Johnson's reputation.

The city better get it checkbook handy.

************

Changes are needed in leadership at City Hall and on the Little Rock Board of Directors.

This type of conduct cannot go unchallenged. Moore and Carpenter owe Rev. Johnson a written apology and they both need to issue an apology to Rev Johnson at a board meeting.


******

Take a look at another blog that deals with Chief Buckner's shenanigans.



Monday, May 1, 2017

LRPD CHIEF SAYS HIS DEPARTMENT CAN'T DO ANYTHING - PLACES BLAME ON LACK OF PARENTING

The Showdown at City Hall turned out to be an ass kissing session for the Little Rock Board of Directors.

A manic-sounding, fast-pace talking Buckner rattled  on for over an hour on what he had accomplished in his tenure as chief.

Bottom line from Buckner was that LRPD can't do anything about the crime that occurs in Little Rock, he placed all the blame on parents, citing a "lack of parenting."

Buckner always stresses that his officers are part of "our community", but that is hard to swallow when over half of the uniformed officers of his department choose to live outside of Little Rock.

We suggest that LRPD is a huge contributing factor to crime in the city. Officers that choose to live anywhere else but Little Rock have little connection to the community they get their paycheck from.  They are not neighbors, their children do not go to go to schools in the city.

If LRPD officer actually had a presence in Little Rock neighborhoods as residents, that presence would go a long way in creating an atmosphere of protection.

Why do you think Little Rock apartment complexes give sweet deals to officers to live in one of their complexes?  They like having a police car parked on  property and in exchange for reduced rent, the officer agrees to act as a security officer for the complex.  

One of the first statements that Buckner made was to urge citizens to follow LRPD on social media sites to be able to have instant communication with his department. 

Buckner said that disagreement is a sign of healthy communication.

We call bullshit on that, the publisher of this blog called out  LRPD on Facebook for posting false information and they blocked him from the site.

So much for Free Speech.

Buckner touted that his department was being proactive and had created a Violent Crime Apprehension Team three months ago.  That group has yet to be put into service due to scheduling conflicts of team members.  Buckner stated it would go into service the next weekend.

Buckner claimed that LPRD is the only city that provides accurate data about crime to the FBI and that is why the crime stats for Little Rock look so bad compared to other cities in the US.  Buckner offered no evidence to back up that claim. 

Director, "Where's Ken" Richardson arrived late and asked the most questions and took an inordinate amount of time making incoherent statements. Richardson questioned why the meeting had been called several times.


Director Doris Wright asked questions of the chief that residents of her ward had communicated concerns about to her.

Wright question the interview process for LRPD officer candidates.  Buckner stated that the interview was tough and several of his command staff could not pass it if they had to do it.  Maybe his command staff shouldn't be on the force if they can't pass the entrance requirements.  Don't lower the standards or rig the process to accommodate unqualified candidates.

Buckner admitted that changes to the hiring procedures have to go slow due to lawsuits unsuccessful candidates may file. Current procedures are expected to change in 2018, Buckner stated.

Director Joan Adcock  expressed concern that community oriented officers in her ward were once again being removed and transferred to other units.  Adcock stated that those officers had helped lower the incidence of crime in her ward.

Director Lance Hines, who blasted the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police in a story that appeared earlier in the week in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, did not display the same intensity at the emergency meeting.  Perhaps the all the armed uniformed officers in the audience made him skittish.

The public was not allowed to make comments or ask questions.  Mayor Stodola stated that the meeting would be reconvened next week (regular scheduled board meeting) and that citizens could participate at that time.

Maybe Mayor Stodola can provide information about what the task force he created over two years ago to address crime has been doing at that meeting.







Saturday, April 29, 2017

EMERGENCY MEETING CALLED AT CITY HALL - LRPD CHIEF SUMMONED TO APPEAR AT A SPECIAL SUNDAY AFTERNOON BOARD MEETING TO ADDRESS SKYROCKETING VIOLENT CRIME



In an unprecedented move, Little Rock's elected officials have scheduled an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon with police chief Kenton Buckner to discuss the spike in gang violence. 

The meeting is set for tomorrow at 3:00 P.M. in the board room at city hall. The meeting is open to the public. 

According to a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, there have been 12 more homicides so far this year that in the same period last year, with 19 recorded as of Thursday.

The story also reported that there were 71 people who received nonfatal gunfire injuries  as of Thursday, a 92% increase compared with the 37 recorded in the same date last year.  Officials stated that at least 16 of those shootings involved a victim who was participating in gang activity, a drug deal or some kind of crime.  One in five victims refused to cooperate with police.

Both LRPD and Bruce Moore the City Manager have used the term "rival parties" instead of gangs in interviews.

As we reported last Tuesday, at the March 21st city board meeting, Director Dorris Wright asked City Manager Bruce Moore to have the Little Rock Police Department provide information about what was behind a rash of shootings in the city, especially in her ward which encompasses  parts of central and west Little Rock.

The report, which by the way took LRPD a month to create and forward to Moore, did not have much to offer.




Then to throw fuel on the fire, the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police posted this on their Facebook Page.


The LRFPO  blames Moore and the city board for not filling roughly 70 officer vacancies and not keeping officers equipment updated.

We guess that the approximately $400k that the city spent on riot gear for all uniformed officers doesn't count.

Or that huge, state of the art two-story police building building on 12th Street.

Or the $350K the city spent this year for emergency lights and equiptment for first responder units (includes police cars).

Or the nearly half a million dollars the city is spending to lease new police vehicles. Last year an audit found the city spends nearly three million dollars a year on patrol cars that are considered past their service life. The audit also showed the fleet department was overstaffed and inefficient. 
 
And we don't need to bring up the fact (but we will) that over half of all uniformed police officers are not resident's of Little Rock. What business do they have trying to hold the board of directors responsible for anything when they are not voters anyway?  




The department is authorized to fill those vacancies, but too few graduating recruits each year paired with retirements have kept the vacancies consistent.

Even a $5,000 signing bonus is not helping get recruits.
 
That FOP post lit a fire under Director Lance Hines.

Hines said the staffing shortage can't be used as an excuse.
 
"We're short-handed, I understand that. But we have the police force we have, and we're going to have to do the best with what we got," he said.

"I just think the community-policing effort, until we are fully staffed, needs to be put on the back burner. We need to go back to the old-school police tactics and do zero tolerance for any criminal activity, whether that's panhandling on the corner or littering or anything," he said.

"We should have a top 25 hit list of most wanted gang members, and if they spit on the sidewalk, litter, jaywalk, we ought to be running them in. We need to put the word out that we are not going to tolerate this kind of behavior on our streets."

"It's time to stop playing hug a cop and start being a cop,"  Hines said, referring to the department's community-policing initiative, which focuses partially on officers building relationships with community members.
 
Hines said it's common knowledge "on the street" that the slain toddler's father is a gang member.
 
"They know who the suspects [in the toddler's death] are, but won't cooperate with police. The rest of the shootings have been retaliations," Hines said.

HINES KNOWS A "G" WHEN HE SEE'S ONE

Stodola said Buckner will give city directors an update Sunday on what the department's Violence Reduction Unit is working on. He said the city also has been organizing a group of ex-felons who might have some "street credibility" and be able to reach youths potentially involved in crime.

No doubt one of those "former felons" will be Director "Where's Ken" Richardson.

"The recent retaliatory shootings in Little Rock have justifiably upset our community," the mayor said. "We are committed to finding answers to bring a stop to this violence and we want to let the public know what the city is doing about it."


MAYOR STODOLA SAYS WHILE THE GROUPS COULD BE DESCRIBED AS GANGS, THEY DON"T NECESSARILY FIT THE USUAL CHARACTERIZATION OF A GANG

Stodola came under fire a while back for taking over a year to research what Little Rock could do about the ever rising crime rate, after the city was ranked number one for crime for a city of its size.

Stodala couldn't come up with anything and formed a task force to tackle the problem.

Nothing more has ever been said about that task force since then and we have not heard about any findings or recommendations they made.





Chief Buckner has had his own problems, missing handgun, failing marks from a city commission.

What?  You haven't heard about the failing marks?

Last year was rough for Kenton. The board on multiple occasions raised all kinds of a stink about his officers not wanting to live in Little Rock because of the crime and the schools. 

Various groups accused the chief of doing nothing to help the black community in their efforts to stop black-on-black crime.

The chief often posted where he had eaten lunch or went to church on the LRPD Facebook page. Not so much about what he was doing to fight crime.









Most of Buckner's posts have been deleted from the LRPD Facebook page after certain individuals brought him to task about those posts.

Those individuals were blocked from being able to post comments or even see the LRPD Facebook page.  So much for free speech.


LRPD FURNISHED A PARTIAL LISTING OF BLOCKED INDIVIDUALS


In March 2015, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran a story about claims LRPD made about a 4.9% drop in crime. 

 





Buckner's remarks in the article caused the Little Rock Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission to request a meeting with Chief Buckner. 

Buckner, who often losses his composure when challenged, demanded that the RCD evaluate his performance and give him a letter grade.

They honored his request and he got an "F".









One thing you can bet Chief Buckner will not discuss is the special treatment police officers receive from LRPD when involved in a traffic accident.

Back in March, Buckner was following a vehicle too close and rammed into it causing damage to his city owned vehicle and the vehicle he struck.

Buckner was not issued a citation even though it was obvious that he was in violation of the law. Not to mention the accident was his fault.

Then in April, he had another accident, again his fault.






Stay tuned for a post about these shenanigans.

If you are planning on attending the Emergency Meeting tomorrow afternoon you better get there early.  

The board room will be packed with news media and seating is extremely limited.





Tuesday, April 25, 2017

CITY BLAMES RECENT SPIKE IN SHOOTINGS ON "RIVAL PARTIES" - A CODE WORD FOR GANGS


"IT'S LIKE WE ARE UNDER SIEGE" - DIRECTOR DORIS WRIGHT


At a city board meeting back in March, Director Dorris Wright asked City Manager Bruce Moore to have the Little Rock Police Department provide information about what was behind a rash of shooting in the city, especially in her ward which encompasses  parts of central and west Little Rock.





It took LRPD an entire month to provide City Manager Moore a paragraphs worth of information.
 
 


The paragraph about crime statistics was the easy part and probably took a couple of minutes to look that information up.

Why the city is afraid to speak plainly and admit that the shootings were gang related and instead used a euphemism that appears less dangerous is just as alarming as the ever increasing crime.

Just yesterday there were four shooting in less that five hours.

Here are some crimes that have occurred, all over the city in the last few days:

- A man armed with a large pistol forced two Little Rock Waffle House employees inside the business, which he then robbed.
 

- A man was struck with a gun and robbed by two men who approached him in a vacant lot near a Little Rock club where he had parked his car.

- A 63-year-old Little Rock man who was chopping wood outside his home Saturday afternoon was robbed at gunpoint by two men

- After a robber made off with an 81-year-old woman's purse outside a west Little Rock store Monday afternoon.


- The only one of these four publicized that was solved so far is the last one. Not by LRPD, but by a man who witnessed the crime who then chased after the assailant and recovered her stolen property of the 81 year old victim.

A story about this memorandum, which appeared on the front page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today, relates that violent crime is on the rise in Little Rock and there has been a 16% increase in violent crime from January 1, 2017 through April 17, 2017 compared to the same time period last year. 

No word from the task force that Mayor Stodola formed quite some time ago to take care of the crime problem in Little Rock after spending a year or so doing research on how to reduce it himself.

Changes are needed in Little Rock municipal government.  Just go to a Board of Director's meeting or watch videos of the meetings on the city's YouTube channel and it won't take you long to realize what those changes are.

Friday, March 17, 2017

WARD 2 DIRECTOR KEN RICHARDSON FINALLY SHOWS UP FOR A VOTING MEETING - BUT HE SNEAKS OUT EARLY PROVIDING A HUMOROUS ENDING TO THE BOARD MEETING

DIRECTOR RICHARDSON MAKES A RARE APPEARANCE AT A VOTING MEETING, WITH A HUGE BUMP IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS FOREHEAD



We previously posted that the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ran a story recently about Ken Richardson, the Ward 2 Board member, having missed almost half of the city board of director meetings since January 2016 where voting occurred.


This creates serious concerns about his ability to effectively represent his ward and impacts the ability of the board to take care of business for all citizens of the city.

Due to recent coverage of his many absences or to the fact that he had nothing better to do, Ken made a rare appearance this past Tuesday and actually showed up for a board meeting to vote on important issues - with a big bump and cut smack dab in the middle of his forehead.

Did Ken have a little too much to drink again and fall flat on his face?  Did someone give him a good smack with a frying pan?  Did flashing lights trigger a seizure and he fell? Your guess is as good as ours.

A few minutes before the meeting was was over, Richardson is sitting in his chair talking with Vice-Mayor Kathy Webb.


Then he quietly left the meeting during the Citizen Communication portion of the meeting.



At the end of Citizen Communication's,  Mayor Mark Stodola, unaware that Ken booked out early, stated, "Director Richardson, ahhh, do I hear a motion to adjourn from you?" Hearing no response, Mayor Stodola looks over to where Richardson had been seated and notices he is gone and then says, "Oh, he's not here anymore!" and loud laughter erupts. Then Mayor Stodola spreads out his arms and exclaims, "He vanished on me!" 


video

Who knew that a Little Rock Board of Director meeting could provide so much entertainment? 

Our previous post pointed out the fact that Richardson has a history of drinking and driving and he has admitted to having an issue with liquor. According to some accounts he also suffers from seizures for which he takes medication.

But his admission to being a dangerous drunk driver and driving when his license was suspended is just the tip of the iceberg.

Our research into Richardson's legal issues uncovered a little known matters.  

Back in 1986, Richardson was charged with burglary in San Jose, California.  Apparently he hotfooted it from the land of fruits and nuts and sought refuge from the law back in Little Rock.

According to the San Jose County Criminal Court Clerk, they issued a fugitive arrest warrant for Richardson, but he never stood trial for the criminal offense.

We found that he was actually arrested on the fugitive warrant once he returned to Little Rock, but due to the passage of time there are few records of what transpired once he was arrested here on the California fugitive warrant.




Richardson refused to answer questions we posed to him about the disposition of the criminal charges from California.

We found some information about Richardson's time in California in an article the Arkansas Times published about gang activity in Little Rock.





Apparently Richardson left California due to the burglary charges and came back to Little Rock and subsequently obtained a job with the city.  As previously stated, Richardson was never in court for the charges as California couldn't find him.

Richardson was a big player in getting that monstrosity of a building on 12th Street for LRPD and retail businesses.   





It opened in 2014 and the retail space on the ground floor still sits empty.


The city has paid a consultant a huge fee to help fill the empty space with tenants and as of this date none have been identified. 

There have also been questions about the non-profit agency he worked for, New Futures for Youth -  now defunct, that received thousands in tax dollars and  grants and any influence he might have exerted to receive funds for it from the City of Little Rock.From 2010 through 2016 the City paid $1,403,008.36 to New Futures for Youth.

Richardson needs to man up and answer questions we posed to him.  The citizens of Little Rock have the right to know the truth about city officials.