Opinion: An Asheville Police Department officer stands for integrity; why don’t others in City Hall?

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asheville_city_hall_smallAsheville Police Department Lt. Bill Wilke stood up for integrity on Tuesday. It’s a strikingly bold move in the face of so much inaction from so many city officials – Asheville City Council members and the city manager – who claim they want to uphold such integrity.

It’s been three months since Chad Anderson was involved in an early morning, one-car wreck in the Montford neighborhood. Since that incident, the truth of what happened that nightly has slowly dribbled out. Anderson is the son of police Chief William Anderson. It took District Attorney Ron Moore’s intervention (he asked the SBI to investigate) to stop the chief from having his department investigate the wreck involving his son. And Assistant City Manager Jeff Richardson said following the incident that the city manager’s officer would investigate the chief’s actions.

Meanwhile, Asheville City Council members have sat on the sidelines, either mostly silent or supportive of the chief.

But today, Wilke came forward to say that there’s more work to be done here. Wilke said the police chief tried to coerce him to lie about events of the night of the wreck. Wilke said he refused, and took his concerns to the city manager. There has apparently been no action from that office.

Wilke said the whole mess has hurt morale with the police department. He says two other officers are willing to add more detail to his claims. Wilke clearly wants integrity restored to his department. After all, isn’t that why we have a relatively new police chief? Does anyone remember the previous Asheville Police Department scandal¬†from a scant two years ago?

Chad Anderson is facing four felony counts for his actions on that March night, but there are others who should be called to account. It’s time for someone with a seat in City Hall to step up for integrity.

About the Author

Jason Sandford
Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

3 Comments on "Opinion: An Asheville Police Department officer stands for integrity; why don’t others in City Hall?"

  1. How many major employee mishaps now is this on the Gary Jackson’s watch?
    He & the police chief need to go.
    I’ve lived in plenty of other well-to-do cities and Jackson as City Manager would have been dismissed back during the HR scandal, or the evidence room scandal, and yet here he still is – it’s ridiculous.
    What’s wrong with council that they don’t take this man to task?
    What’s he doing for whom that they still think he walks on water?

  2. The decision to hire this chief was risky to begin with. Seems like the guy has had a black cloud of controversy surrounding him wherever he’s been.

  3. Before anybody jumps on the “police department rife with corruption” bandwagon, let’s observe that the corruption we see so far is at the VERY TOP of the food chain. I have met several patrolmen of APD and have been impressed with their integrity and professionalism. They want to be led by a chief and offciers of the same, but THIS chief is clearly lacking in both. The rank-and-file did not choose him, the city council did, and as with so many other issues in this city, their judgement has proven severely flawed. The best thing they can do for their city is dump him ASAP.

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