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