immigration

Weeks ago, government watchdog Judicial Watch quoted sources in a detailed report about how officials in Fort Collins, Colorado, eliminated a top law enforcement officer as a candidate for police chief because he believes immigration laws should be enforced.

Now the organization that routinely holds government accountable for its actions is considering another trip to court to uncover city records regarding the decision.

Judicial Watch noted Wednesday the background of the hiring controversy: “A highly qualified and respected veteran law enforcement official with impressive credentials was precipitously eliminated as a finalist after Fort Collins officials discovered he endorsed immigration enforcement.

The candidate, Steve Henry, is a former chief deputy for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office in central Arizona “with 23 years of continuous and stellar law enforcement service,” Judicial Watch said.

“Henry spent nearly two decades at PCSO, an agency with a $39 million budget that patrols a county the size of Connecticut and he’s a U.S. Army veteran with degrees from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and the Harvard JFK School of Government.”

America is headed down a suicidal path and not many Americans understand the full extent of the problem. Get all the details in Leo Hohmann’s “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad,” available now in hard copy or e-book at the WND Superstore.

However, after Henry was named a finalist for the Fort Collins job as police chief, the offer “was abruptly rescinded … because he publicly supported an Arizona Law (SB1070) that makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. without proper documentation and bans ‘sanctuary city’ policies.”

Judicial Watch said its information came from a source.

And it immediately started investigating the city’s decision-making process.

When Judicial Watch published its report regarding the city’s removal of Henry as a finalist, the city insisted it was inaccurate.

“Fort Collins officials mounted a campaign to discredit Judicial Watch by claiming there were numerous inaccuracies without offering specifics. In over 126 documents provided to Judicial Watch by Fort Collins, not one identified a single inaccuracy in Judicial Watch’s reporting,” the watchdog group said.

But in response to requests for additional documentation regarding its decisions, the city claimed to Judicial Watch “that the records involving the alleged inaccuracies surrounding the police chief selection process cannot be provided because, the ‘material is so candid or personal that public disclosure is likely to stifle honest and frank discussion with the government.'”

Judicial Watch said the records that were withheld were electronic mail exchanges between city staff, two draft versions of the city’s response to Judicial Watch’s story and exchanges between city staff members with draft public statements.

Fort Collins officials contacted Wednesday by WND declined to respond to a request for comment.

Judicial Watch said the city used the excuse of “intra-city communication” to withhold details because they contain “candid dialogue regarding updating the city council about the Judicial Watch post and the police chief recruitment and a candidate name is included.”

The watchdog explained: “The city also uses the same ‘intra-city communication’ excuse to deny the other records, including exchanges among officials regarding their response to ‘numerous emails sent by third parties’ in the aftermath of Judicial Watch’s story and ‘candid dialogue regarding preparation of city press release.’ The broad exemption appears to be a ticket to avoid accountability. We can only guess what the withheld exchanges contain. Could the material include lewd photographs, racially derogatory comments, criminal intent, rule violations or offensive language?”

Judicial Watch said it was considering litigation to let a court determine if the information gets disclosed to the public.

“In the meantime, here’s a thought; disclosing material based upon discussions and decisions that are courteous, professional and relevant rarely, if ever, have a ‘stifling’ effect,” Judicial Watch said.

The organization said it was a “laughable excuse” for preventing the release of records “in an apparent effort to cover up embarrassing and perhaps unprofessional behavior by public officials on taxpayer equipment and time.”

The earlier report, including details from the Judicial Watch source, said Henry was among applicants to replace a former chief who quit following a “series of scandals, including the use of excessive force in several instances and a $425,000 settlement to two officers who claimed the department discriminated against them based on their race.”

But the report said Henry’s offer to visit for an interview, along with other finalists, with rescinded after it was revealed in Fort Collins that Henry supported the Arizona statute that makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally.

The Fort Collins newspaper reported last month that city officials approved a resolution to address the fear some immigrants feel when dealing with police.

“The resolution is meant to clarify that police and other city employees may not ask residents about their immigration status unless that information is required by state or federal law. Receipt of some public services is limited to citizens and other legal residents,” the report said.

While it stops short of declaring the city a “sanctuary” for illegals, it also directed City Manager Darin Atteberry to reach out to the “immigrant community” with communications efforts.

Mayor Wade Troxell emphasized that the city wants to be “inclusive.”

The resolution, the report said, also rescinded a 2006 resolution requiring police officers to “report the immigration status of an arrestee to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement if probable cause exists that the person is illegally in the country.”

America is headed down a suicidal path and not many Americans understand the full extent of the problem. Get all the details in Leo Hohmann’s “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad,” available now in hard copy or e-book at the WND Superstore.

 

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