Assessing latest Asheville Police Department scandal


As the search for the mysterious Dianty, continues, let’s see where we stand with the latest Asheville Police Department scandal. Why is this important? Simply put, this case calls into question the level of trust the public should have in Chief William Anderson:

-The Apology: Last week, Asheville Police Chief William Anderson apologized for how he handled the initial investigation into a single-car crash on Montford Avenue from a couple of weeks ago. Anderson was the registered owner of the car, and his son, Chad Anderson, was in the car. The events of the rest of the night are unclear. Chad Anderson told police he was a passenger in the car and that a person he only knew was “Dianty” was the driver. Chad Anderson left the scene of the wreck, and he says Dianty did too. In the press conference, the chief appeared in wrinkled civilian clothes and apologized for not calling in an outside agency to investigate, an action that Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore took by calling in the SBI.

-The DA: Ron Moore started the investigation, and he really hasn’t held back in talking about how ridiculous it was to have the police department investigating itself in this matter. In a telling comment to the newspaper, Moore said it wasn’t the first time for Anderson. Noting another case of a now-former police department officer being charged with child abuse, Moore said that Anderson told him an agency that can’t investigate itself is no police agency at all.

-The Gun: A gun was found in the wrecked car, a fact that nobody said a word about until the Asheville Citizen-Times obtained a search warrant that showed a handgun was found. So far, there’s no further information about who owns the gun, and Chief Anderson declined to comment when asked about it.

-The Black Box: The car involved in the wreck – it was driven over a median and into a road sign – has a “black box” that will give investigators critical information. Namely, seat sensors should be able to tell investigators how many people were seated in the vehicle.

-The Administrative Investigation: The city of Asheville first said it was launching its own investigation into Anderson’s handling of the situation, then said it would be holding off until the criminal investigation was complete. Then last week, Assistant City Manager Jeff Richardson said the administrative investigation would continue. Word around City Hall is that there is no love lost between the city manager’s office and the office of the chief.

-The Reporter: On the day of last week’s press conference, WLOSer Mario Boone, who I already consider a loose cannon, tweeted that a high-ranking lieutenant had resigned in the wake of the car crash investigation. WLOS went so far as to post to its website a news story naming the officer, Lt. Bill Wilkie. The station later took the story down and backed away from the original report on Twitter. But several folks are urging Wilkie to consider suing the station. Meantime, I’ve heard other folks question the unusually warm relationship between Boone and Anderson. I’ve heard that Boone has some sort of law enforcement background, which could be grounds for a closer relationship, and that Anderson and Boone generally appear more than cordial in person.


New wrinkle in Chadgate: Asheville Police officer says chief, fellow officer tried to coerce him June 25, 2013 - 1:06 pm

[…] Background here and here. […]

Murphy March 27, 2013 - 5:08 pm

WLOS reports that they have basketball players at UNCA who were “partying” with Chad Anderson that night who say that there is no such person as “Dianty” and that Chad had been driving alone that night … (“partying” – no tests were administered that night because Anderson stated he wasn’t driving, after showing up over an hour later at the scene) ..

they also have learned that Chad Anderson has retained Asheville Attorney Sean Devereaux (who represented Eric Rudolph) …

a pretty expensive retainer for “failure to report an accident in a timely manner” ….
which is the only charge he currently faces.

Murphy March 27, 2013 - 1:30 pm

WLOS (Mario Boone) is reporting today (2-27-13) that “multiple sources” have “confirmed” that “Dianty” (the individual Chad Anderson says was driving that night) does not exist … details on WLOS tonight …

Angie March 24, 2013 - 11:34 am

Edward, haven’t you heard of Bobby Medford? The “good ‘ol boy” network is alive and kickin’ in WNC.

Yeppers March 21, 2013 - 8:32 pm

I heard city council will pay $50,000 for an outside agency to do a full audit of the car. It will only take a year and a half and then we’ll know *for sure* what we’re looking at.

Scooter March 22, 2013 - 9:31 pm

We still won’t know. The DA’s office will refuse to release the report.

Hal March 21, 2013 - 3:17 am

Dude, Jason, now you’ll have APD banging down your door at 3am, getting the ol’ shakedown from the Law, cause your pokin’ your nose in deep, dark places! Next you’ll find a boot on your car wheel. Maybe get profiled. Maybe mysteriously have a warrant put out for your arrest.

Edward March 21, 2013 - 12:00 am

I never realized we had corruption in this town on such a regular basis in the police department…

Abraham Lincoln March 20, 2013 - 6:55 pm

The only thing good about The Police, is the music

Murphy March 20, 2013 - 4:06 pm

Is there some sort of understanding or unwritten rule that prevents the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department from investigationg the APD (and vice versa) ?

Xina March 21, 2013 - 2:12 pm

BCSD doesn’t usually investigate traffic accidents in any case. If you have a car accident outside of the city limits the NC State Troopers are the ones who show up to investigate.

Sean March 20, 2013 - 2:44 pm

I don’t recall Jason saying anything to that effect, Nate. I think we would all agree that when it is an immediate family member to the agency head, an outside agency should have been called in.

As for the “crazy and obsessive” comment, I wholeheartedly disagree. It seems that you take issue with Jason whenever he posts something ON HIS BLOG that you find to be sensational. Perhaps he should merely focus on warm and fuzzy “Beer City” stories from now on?

Nate March 20, 2013 - 2:32 pm

So does every incident involving a family member of a polic officer need to be investigated by an outside agency? This one seems obvious because it’s the chief’s son, but where exactly does the conflict-of-interest line get drawn?

And just FYI, no matter how important the issue, it looks a little crazy and obsessive when you put up three long, detailed posts on the exact same issue back-to-back . . .

Jason Sandford March 20, 2013 - 2:37 pm

Nate, I don’t care how it looks. I’ve been writing all three for the past couple of weeks, and just now had time to get ’em down. Spaced out or all together – I don’t care. It’s a hugely important issue, imho.

Jason Sandford March 20, 2013 - 2:38 pm

As to your question about where to draw the line, I don’t know the answer to that. I’d look at what other departments around the state/U.S. do and go from there. Are there police accreditation agency guidelines on this issue? I’ll look around.

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