Wednesday, February 21, 2018

LITTLE ROCK BOARD OF DIRECTORS DOLES OUT ANOTHER $300K TO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE WITH NO REQUIRMENTS FOR TRANSPARENCY


WHERE DOES OUR MONEY GO? DON'T EXPECT AN HONEST ANSWER FROM THESE TWO.


Last night the Little Rock Board of Directors voted to hand out another $300,000 to the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce for "economic development" and "other purposes".


After the resolution was read, Jay Chesshir (pictured on the right in photo posted above and below),  was permitted to address the board. He yammered on for over 30 minutes touting all the alleged good things his organization did for the city and what a great success the embarrassing exorbitantly expensive  "Dear John" letter public relations campaign had been in turning around the bad reputation the city had (never mind the record homicide rate we had last year, a lot of money thrown around will make it fake news).



The publisher of this blog was the lone voice at the meeting expressing reservations and demanding a full accounting and transparency of how public funds were spent.

 


Chesshir was permitted to provide additional comment by his buddy last term mayor Mark, and he claimed his organization was transparent regarding funds

Directors Lance Hines, Joan Adcock, and Doris Wright voted "yes". Director and Vice Mayor Kathy Webb was the lone "no" vote. Director Erma Hendricks and Ken Richardson voted "present". Last term mayor Mark Stodola's "yes" vote made it go through. A review of their campaign contribution disclosure forms will provide a reason for the "yes" votes from these scoundrels.

According to a knowledgeable source at city hall, Hendricks and Richardson should not have been able to vote "present" as that is only allowed if there is a conflict of interest.

In regard to the Chamber being transparent about the previous $300k the city doled out last April and what we can expect to learn about the $300k handed over last night, we don't have to believe the lie Chesshir told at the board meeting.

Back in December 2017, attorney and publisher of the Blue Hog Report, Matt Campbell, sent a FOI request to the Chamber of Commerce seeking :

-Any contract, memorandum of understanding, agreement, or similar document(s) between the city of Little Rock and the Chamber of Commerce regarding Amazon’s HQ2;
-Any invoice or other evidence of expenditure from the Chamber of Commerce regarding (or in reference to) the city of Little Rock’s plans to bid or compete for Amazon’s HQ2;
-Any invoice or other evidence of expenditure from the Chamber of Commerce regarding the city of Little Rock’s withdrawal from consideration for Amazon’s HQ2. (This includes, but is not limited to, payments for the full-page ad, the plane and banner, etc.)

 And one to the city of Little Rock.






The Chamber basically told Campbell to piss off - we won't say how we spent those public funds -  citing exemptions from FOI requests. Here's what Campbell has to say about the response he received from the Chamber.


Campbell posted a piece about his FOI requests and the shenanigans city leaders and the Chamber concocted to keep how the funds were spent a secret.

You can read that post by clicking here

Here are the scant amount of documents the city provided in response to Campbell's FOI request. Mot much to see and no information from the Chamber to the city on how that $300k was used. 


We also made a request for documents that the Chamber has sent the city and board members as well as a handout given to the board members at last nights meeting. That request has not yet been honored. We will post an update when they are received. *SEE UPDATE BELOW

The Arkansas Times also ran a story about this poor use of public funds and has long expressed concerns about the legality and propriety of using public funds in this manner.

The citizens of this city are entitle to know how their tax dollars are put to use.  

Those board members that voted to hand over public funds without requiring a full accounting of how those funds are used must be replaced next November.

There are and will be individuals running for board seats that will not permit use of public funds without a full and open accounting. The current board knows that and are running scared. And they should be as the wind of change is blowing at hurricane force here in the city.

#TimeForChange  #CleanOutLRCityHall 

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***UPDATE 02/22/18** 

After yet another argument with a city employee about receiving a FOI response in electronic format and having it emailed to us, we were able to win out and obtain those documents that Jay Chesshir with the Chamber of Commerce claimed detailed you that $300k from last year was spent.  

You will not find many details in this pile of public relations bullshit.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

LRPD RELUCTANTLY RELEASES DATA REGARDING VEHICLE USE AND COSTS OF FUEL FOR TAKE-HOME VEHICLES


LRPD HAS 136 "TAKE HOME" VEHICLES THAT GO TO HOMES OUTSIDE LITTLE ROCK

The city of Little Rock Little Rock Police Department waged a loosing battle to try and keep information about LRPD take-home vehicles and associated costs from the public.

First they violated the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act ("AFOIA") and proclaimed that the only way they would provide a response to a FOI request was by placing the the information sought on a CD or DVD at the cost of $3.00 per disc.  The AFOIA permits citizens to inspect and copy public documents or to request that  copies of the documents sought be provided in any form that the agency can readily convertible with the agencies existing software.

Matt Campbell, an attorney and publisher of Blue Hog Report, found through a FOI request that LRPD's cost per disc was actually 24 cents for a CD and 32 cent for a DVD revealing that the $3.00 fee was another violation of the AFOIA.

Once their sketchy scheme was  exposed. LRPD decided to make the disc's available at no charge. After all of tax dollars were used to buy them in the first place.

Then once their plan to make cash from FOI requests was thwarted,  they tried another failed scheme to hide information claiming the information was not releasable as it would identify undercover officers. Officers like the ones that go to public hearings and openly identify themselves as undercover officers.

LRPD UNDERCOVER OFFICER RAYMOND KOONCE AT AN ABC PUBLIC HEARING ON 02/14/2018


But with our persistent prodding, we forced LRPD and the city to provide the public information.

Here's what we found.


There are currently 590 police officers in Little Rock. 363 are White; 168 are Black; 21 are Hispanic; 4 are Asian; 4 are Other. 366 of these officers choose to live somewhere other than Little Rock while 194 choose to live in the city that they protect and serve.  
 
DATA PROVIDED BY HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR STACY WITHERELL

We asked for further details about residency and race (i.e, how many white officers live in/out of LR, etc.) and Witherell promptly provided it. 


Of the 560 officers that LRPD employs, 366 (65%) choose not to live in Little Rock and be part of the community that pays their salary, while 194 (35%) do choose to live in Little Rock and be fully connected to the community that they serve.

Here is the same information in graphic form:






According to additional data we pried from LRPD, they have 220 vehicles of which there are 136 of them that are driven back and forth to work ("take-home vehicles") from residences outside the city limits of Little Rock. There are 78  that remain in Little Rock and  back and forth each day to officer's residences outside of  Little Rock.  7 automobiles are designated "pool vehicles" and remain at a particular police substation.

Here is the same information in graphic form:


 
We also obtained fuel cost for LRPD vehicles.

 
Missing from the fuel cost list are the figures from the 36 vehicles assigned to undercover officers and 4 other vehicles.  We have also requested that LRPD provide the cost for all LRPD vehicles and will post that information in an update when it is received.

The city also balked at responding to a question we posed regarding tax and ethical consideration about LRPD officers using these vehicles to commute to work and when working off-duty for extra income.
 
Current policy allows officers to take vehicles home no matter where they live; the new policy restricts take-home vehicles to officers who live within 25 miles of the city center, with some exceptions.

The new policy, outlined in a May 2017 memo from troubled City Manager Bruce Moore, will allow only officers who live within 25 miles of the geographic center of the city to drive their take-home vehicles home. If they live outside the 25-mile radius, officers assigned a take-home vehicle will be required to park the vehicle in a "secure location" overnight inside the radius, according to the memo.

Yet, more than half of the department's take-home vehicles would not be subject to the 25-mile requirement because of exceptions under the new policy, according to police documents.

Current department policy allows employees to drive assigned take-home vehicles to and from work, regardless of location. One such vehicle is assigned to LRPD Officer Edwin Mark Hollingsworth who lives in Malvern.

BEFOULED LRPD CHIEF KENTON TREMAR BUCKNER AND OFFICER HOLLINGSWORTH

There will be a three-year period to phase in the new policy, according to the memo. But Moore said the phase-in period will not begin until the department has addressed an uptick in violent crime and officer vacancies within the Police Department.

"I think it's a good policy going forward, I just need to delay implementation," Moore said in an interview with Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Ryan Tarinelli in an article published on May 15, 2017.

Take-home vehicles are an incentive, Moore said, and he decided to delay implementation after considering the morale of the department. He also said he did not want to lose long-term officers.
However, the police department's General Order 302, Section V, Take-Home Vehicle Assignment and Guidelines, Item D, Eligibility, No. 2 states:

Another sign that its past time for troubled City Manager Bruce Moore to be replaced.

Back in 2016 meeting, Little Rock Board of Director Ken Richardson said, "We end up subsidizing the public safety needs in these outlining communities as well because you end up having the police cars parked in their driveways."

Richardson said he asked for take-home cars for officers living in the city for years as an incentive and to promote safety throughout neighborhoods.

"During the meeting, Moore gave me a cost associated with that and he said it was five million dollars during the agenda meeting and then the next week during the board meeting that figure rolls to 7.5 million," Richardson said.

Moore said in to response to questioned asked about Richardson statement said, "There is an overall fleet cost that is budgeted per department, but it is not broken out by take-home cars. I am initiating a review with Chief Buckner regarding the take-home car assignments." 

That information was never made public if a review was even made.

Commuter cars are a sign of a deeper problem: That is, most Little Rock police officers don't want to live in the city they are paid to protect, particularly white officers.

Take-home cars would be a welcome sight in the city as a crime deterrent, but fewer than 80 are carried by officers to Little Rock homes. Changes in policy are needed now.

#CleanOutLRCityHall #TimeForChange #ByeByeBuckner






Thursday, February 8, 2018

LRPD BACKS OFF CHARGING FOR FOI RESPONSE - CHANGE IN STATED POLICY OR FEAR OF LAWSUIT?

OUTGOING LRPD CHIEF KENTON TREMAR BUCKNER HAD NO RESPECT FOR THE AFOIA

Last week LRPD made a bonehead move by proclaiming that they would only provide responses made under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act ("AFOIA"), by placing the requested public record on a CD or DVD and charge $3.00  for each disc.


As usual, LRPD leadership - specifically, Kenton Tremar Buckner - failed to run this plan by city attorney Tom Carpenter.

Carpenter, who is quick to point out that he is an expert concerning the AFOIA and cites a listing in the acknowledgment of the well-know treatise concerning the AFOIA to back up his claim.






Anyone that regularly makes use of the AFOIA and all public employees should know (Ignorantia juris non excusat) that Section 25-19-105(d)(2)(B) of the AFOIA states a "citizen may request a copy of a public record in any medium in which the record is readily available or in any format to which it is readily convertible with the custodian's existing software."

This provision refers to electronic records and "format" refers to "the organization, arrangement, and form of electronic information for use, viewing, or storage.

The AFOIA requires that "[a]ny computer hardware or software acquired by an [agency]...shall not impede public access to records in electronic form.

So of any citizen or resident makes an AFOIA request to LRPD and states that they want information sent to them in electronic form (pdf is usual form for documents and can be easily emailed at no cost to agency or requester) LRPD should not have any difficulty in doing so.

Likewise, if any citizen or resident makes an AFOIA request to LRPD and states that they want a copy of a video or audio recording, that citizen or resident is permitted to go to LRPD and make a copy of that recording using their own equipment or provide LRPD with a CD or DVD to place the requested recording onto. 

The video software that LRPD uses can export a self-executing file that can be easily copied or transferred onto a thumb or external hard drive at no cost to LRPD or the requester.

It has been a constant struggle to get LRPD to comply with our AFOIA requests and some of the excuses they and the city have given use are ridiculous and unbelievable. Click here, here, here, here  and here for some examples.

As the Arkansas Times stated, LRPD proclaimed  they would charge $3.00 for all FOI responses.

After looking into the matter city attorney Tom Carpenter stated that LRPD would only be permitted to charge 58 cents per disc, not the $3.00 per disc.

Matt Campbell, attorney and publisher of Blue Hog Report wrote about how LRPD ill-advised plan would subject them to a lawsuit and he sent a FOI request for information concerning LRPD's cost of discs.


Campbell found that the actual cost per disc was actually 24 cents for a CD and 32 cent for a DVD. 


You can read all Campbell's posts about the LRPD's FOI Fiasco by clicking here, here and here.

The publisher of this blog and the publisher of Corruption Sucks blog were not charged anything for FOI requests LRPD fulfilled after they made their ill-advised proclamation about FOI response charges.




Were we not charged because they know we would contest the charge and file legal action if necessary? You bet your ass that is the reason.

Will they charge others. You bet your ass they will.

If anyone makes a FOI request to LRPD and is charged, get in contact with you and let us know.

We are in the process of publishing a simple guide entitled How to Make Successful  Freedom of Information Act Requests in Arkansas and Not Spend Any Funds  and will make it available for downloading once it is all put together.

Until then, this is the template we use for all out AFOIA requests. Feel free to use it.
 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KENTON TREMAR BUCKNER - FOR OUR FRIENDS IN CHARLESTON. SOUTH CAROLINA

KENTON TREMAR BUCKNER - LITTLE ROCK POLICE CHIEF (2014-2018*)
* If Buckner does not get the job in Charleston, word is his days are numbered here. 

As a public service to the citizens of Charleston, we offer 10 things you need to know about the individual the citizens of Little Rock hopes and prays is your next police chief.

1. Kenton Tremar Buckner believes that the majority of crime is caused by people of color in Little Rock. He said the same thing when in Louisville, KY.


Buckner's comment drew the ire of the Racial Diversity & Cultural Commission. Buckner had a contention meeting with them and demanded a letter grade.  They gave him a 'F". Click here and here for details.


2. Kenton Tremar Buckner believes that his decisions are not to be questioned by anyone, including city leadership and if they do so it is "dangerous".



3. Kenton Tremar Buckner believes that laws do not apply to himself or police officers.




Buckner does not believe in giving any law enforcement officer a ticket for speeding or causing an accident while on or off duty.  Click here for details.

When an LRPD officer was captured by a security camera urinating in the open street, Buckner thought it was acceptable.  Click here for details.

 

4. Kenton Tremar Buckner is not a safe driver.




Buckner has wrecked his city issued ride at least twice. Both accidents were his  fault. Click here for details.

 

5. Kenton Tremar Buckner does not believe in open records or transparency.



LRPD routinely refuses to provide documents or video recordings when requested pursuant to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. It is only after threatening to take legal action (there is a section of the AFOIA that permits the filing of legal action for denial of rights under the AFOIA) that they relent and provide the documents. Click here and here for details


6. Kenton Tremar Buckner is a hypocrite.


(a) Buckner has questioned the need for black officers in Little Rock to have and belong to the Black Police Officers Association. The BPOA is highly critical of Buckner and did not want him hired as police chief.  Yet he uses Little Rock tax dollars to maintain memberships and attend conferences for the  National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives ("NOBLE") and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators ("NFBPA"). Click here for details.



(b) Buckner suspended an officer that was seen talking with a former classmate.  Unknown to the officer her former classmate had a felony record - a fact she was not aware of.  LRPD has a police about hanging out with felons and sketchy characters. Yet Buckner is often seen with a convicted sex offender at many civic functions. Click here for details.

7. Kenton Tremar Buckner likes fancy cars.

BUCKNER'S PERSONAL PIMP RIDES

Buckner has two personal vehicles. A 2000 Mercedes-Benz and a 1966 Cadillac.  We question Buckner's use/misuse of his city provided ride when he has two pimp rides he could use to go to church, to go eat lunch on weekends and after work, and to go bar hopping to get shots of Bourbon or run personal errands.We suspect Buckner is too cheap to purchase his own gas. Certainly with the frequency he causes accidents it's nice to pass the cost of insurance claim payouts to the city's insurance carrier.  And with no citations issued his own insurance company has no idea that he had been the cause of accidents so they can raise his rates as he is a risk.

 

8. Kenton Tremar Buckner is a liar.  



(a) Buckner said that "disagreement is a sign of healthy communication", however he blocks individuals that have conflicting viewpoints from his own from posting on department social media sites. Click here for details.

In Q&A with Buckner from the summer of 2015 he said this about use of social media:

Reporter: Somebody told us that you've been big about getting Facebook likes on the LRPD Facebook page. Is social media a part of that puzzle of community policing?

Buckner: Sure it is, because whoever told you that thought it was important enough for you to know that. It's certainly important to us. We feel like social media is a viable means for us to get out our message. We're no longer 100 percent dependent on the media to tell the story for the Little Rock Police Department. We want to connect with people via social media. Many people, particularly young folks, use social media as their communication avenue, and we want to make sure we're putting things out through those avenues so people can see what's going on in their community, people can see what's going on with their police department, people can see things that they can engage with, whether it's some kind of initiative [such as] when we did the [KTHV, Channel 11] cereal drive [for the Arkansas Foodbank]. We put things out there like that. When you can reach almost 15,000 people on Facebook, and they in turn turn around and send it to other folks they know, now we're beginning to spread the word other than, maybe, just seeing me in a news conference or something that's in the paper. We can do that at our leisure, rather than just waiting on someone to come here and do the story when they think it's good for them.


(b) When the city of Little Rock was experiencing record high numbers of homicides and violent crimes,  Buckner was asked by members of the city Board of Directors if he thought his department could benefit from assistance from the Arkansas State Police,  he vehemently pushed back.  Buckner did not tell the truth in that he had asked the Arkansas State just two days before his appearance before the board. Click here for details.

 

9.  Kenton Tremar Buckner is careless with weapons.

(a) Buckner lost a city issued handgun and cannot explain how it happened. It later was found in posses of a felon would would not provide information how it came into his possession.  Smells of shenanigans.



(b) Buckner left a handgun in his city issued SUV and it was discovered when employees of city fleet services picked it up from police HQ for servicing and cleaning (it was found under the drivers seat according to sources). Fleet services notified Buckner and he had them immediately bring it back to him and told them to not say anything about the gun being left in the SUV.


10. Kenton Tremar Buckner likes to travel using public funds.

BUCKNER LIKES TO SCARF DOWN ON SNACKS WHEN TRAVELING

While employed by the city of Little Rock, Buckner spent $10,865.35 per year traveling and attending seminars. Click here for details.

In 2017, as things were falling apart at the seams at LRPD, Buckner used $14,000.00 in public funds to attend a leadership school at Harvard to boost his resume to make him more attractive to a potential employer, like the city of Charleston.




We could have titled this post 100 things you need to know about Kenton Tremar Buckner, but you get the point with these 10.


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Things that Kenton Tremar Buckner does not want you to know.

Buckner has objections to Little Rock police officers having facial hair even though he sported a butt-hole tickler mustache when on the Louisville KY police force.


  
A persistent allegation from LRPD personnel is that Buckner once called for assistance from an officer, the son of an assistant police chief, to remove handcuffs from his arm at his residence.


Buckner has failed to address this allegation or respond to requests for a response.

Buckner used the LRPD Facebook page as his own personal page and posted comments about where he was attending church services or eating a meal.


Buckner would not issue tickets to a police Chaplin for having fictitious tags (the Texas plate) on his car and parking in a handicapped spot with no handicap license plate or hang tag near LA Fitness.


Buckner has a temper and frequently makes snippy comments about individuals that have upset him. Recently, an individual was in city manager Bruce Moore's office and Moore called Buckner to check on a matter.  The individual could hear Buckner screaming at his boss Moore through the telephone handset.  One wonders what Buckner has on Moore to not be reprimanded of fired for such a display of insubordination.  

#TimeForChange #CleanOutLRCityHall #ByeByeBuckner 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

TURMOIL AT LITTLE ROCK POLICE DEPARTMENT IS DUE TO FAILURE OF LEADERSHIP - BLAME RESTS WITH CITY MANAGER BRUCE MOORE AND LRPD CHIEF KENTON TREMAR BUCKNER

YOU CAN THANK THESE TWO FOR THE PROBLEMS AT THE LITTLE ROCK POLICE DEPARTMENT

The crisis that the city of Little Rock is experiencing has just expanded exponentially.

2017 was a year that the city saw unmatched violence and a homicide rate that matched the Banging in the Rock days. 


Troubled City Manager Bruce "Home Wrecker" Moore saw no problems tossing away $10,000 to two LRPD recruit that walked away with his no-stings-attached $5k bonus within six months on the job.

 
IT APPEARS MOORE HAS A FETISH FOR MARRIED WOMEN

Moore also wasted over $14,000 sending befouled police chief Buckner to Harvard for a month long class on leadership.  Perhaps some civic minded individual will file an illegal exaction suit. 



LRPD showed a marked defiance for the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and transparency in their repeated lack of cooperation in complying with open records act requests.

LRPD targeted the homeless and set up 24/7 video surveillance of a religious organization that provides services the city refuses to provide our large homeless population. 

LRPD sees nothing wrong with not enforcing laws against LRPD officers that violate the law - no tickets for speeding or causing accidents while on or off duty and openly pissing in the street.

Buckner was dishonest and lied to the Little Rock Board of Directors in at the July 5, 2017 when Director Lance Hines asked Buckner about getting help from the ASP patrolling areas of the city. Buckner rejected that idea.



This lie was revealed when we obtained information from the Arkansas State Police that Buckner spoken with the ASP Director on July 1st about obtaining assistance from the state police.




LRPD recruits and veteran officers were called out for questionable posts on social media and LRPD administration royally screwed up their handing of that mucky mess.

After that firing, more recruits and officers were found to have questionable content on their social media accounts. We posted about that here and here.






The Arkansas Times, in a recent post on their Arkansas Blog

points out the bias that exists within LRPD.



The Arkansas Times is on the right track about Buckner, but we have gone a bit further to point out his hypocrisy. 


As soon as Buckner landed in Little Rock after Moore hired him, he was quoted in the media that he say no need for the Little Rock Black Police Officers Association.  He also managed to plant his own foot right in his ass when he stated that crime in Little Rock was caused by the black residents.




Yet he uses our tax dollars to maintain memberships and attend conferences for the  National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives ("NOBLE") and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators ("NFBPA"). 

What's wrong with the National Association of Chiefs of Police K.T.?  Do you believe that the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives can better represent you? 

The publisher of this blog and the publisher of Corruption Sucks blog warned Buckner and city leadership the slippery slope they were headed down by caving in and firing the black recruit that complained about the racist posts of the white recruit.


This warning was not heeded and now LRPD and city leadership is facing a shit storm and more bad publicity due to the mess they have gotten themselves into.

An additional problem for LRPD and the city was revealed this past week - a major investigation by the Department of Justice - one that has been going on since last summer.

It also came out last week that LRPD has fired a third recruit for the class that will graduate next month - Katina "Pug" Jones.

Turns out that after the Black Police Officers Association ("BPOA") complained about the white recruits racist social media post they directed all recruits (perhaps all other officers as well) to scrub their social media accounts.

Apparently Recruit Jones failed to remove some posts she made when she was 16 years old (see the images above) and that got her shit-canned.

Add into the mix the unreasonable 10 day suspicion of Sgt. Willie Davis, an officer that has a stellar record with the department, and is held in high regard by most all the citizens of Little Rock for his work with the O.K. program.

Davis and the BPOA has pissed off beleaguered Chief Buckner by making valid complaints about the way he runs the department, complaints that Buckner has admitted he dismissed as having no merit.

The day of reckoning for Moore and Buckner is fast approaching as concerned citizens are tired of their flapping tongues and insincere utterances.

Take a look at a recent public forum where Moore and Buckner came under fire.



At city board meetings last year when beleaguered Chief Buckner was there to address concerns with the sky-rocking murder rate and incessant almost daily shooting, Buckner told directors and the public that "we cannot police away crime in Little Rock", and saturation patrols in areas where violent crimes were occurring "would not work" and "might be a violation of individuals rights".  

Then a few months later that all changed. Buckner and city leadership claimed having more officers on the street was reducing crime and that "constructive contacts" a/k/a saturation patrols were also making a difference.

What really happened was that all the juveniles that were involved in violent crimes were back in school, hence the slacking off of incidents.



Both Moore and Buckner should be immediately removed from their positions for their malfeasance.  

They need to go for the good of the city.

We need changes in leadership to get the city on back track and solve the problems our current failed leadership has caused.

#TimeForChange #CleanOutLRCityHall

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