No exaggeration: This is most unbelievably awful thing I’ve heard involving local government since I returned to Charlotte in 2003.

Word is now out that City Manager Curt Walton intends to bury the personnel file of Marcus Jackson behind a wall of self-serving mumbo jumbo. Check out what WFAE got out of city attorney Mac McCarley:

If Council wants to authorize the release of file material after reviewing it, the Manager would have to reach the same conclusion before the issue could move forward. The statute requires the Manager to make a written finding that public confidence in the service requires releasing otherwise confidential material, and then the Council must concur. I don’t know Curt’s current thinking on this issue, but up until early this week, he was still of the opinion that release was not warranted.

If both the Manager and Council agreed to a release, it could probably happen sometime in the business day following Council action.

In addition, WBT has sound today with Walton declaring that he does not think it is in the “community’s interest” to release the file. In other words, the fix is in. Left unanswered will be these very basic questions:

  • Was Ofc. Jackson still in his probationary period at the time of a suspension?
  • How many times was Jackson suspended and for what?
  • Was there any reduction ordered in the length or severity of any suspension(s) and if so, by whom? On what grounds?
  • At any time prior to Jackson’s arrest did any member of CMPD supervisory and/or command staff recommend or suggest, in writing or any other form of communication, that Jackson be terminated from CMPD?
  • If termination was discussed or suggested, why was that suggestion not acted upon? Who made any final decision to retain Jackson?

As of this time Curt Walton and a majority of sadly misguided Charlotte city council members do not believe the tax-paying public, the public in whose name and authority city government and CMPD have been called into being to serve and protect, deserve any answers to those very basic questions.

Should this go down tonight at the GovCenter it will be a perversion and corruption of government in plain sight.