The chairman of the committee asked to review the Yates Motor police raid says some members are “curious” after a majority of Town Council members indicated Monday night they will likely oppose the committee’s request for an outside investigator.
In an interview today, Ron Bogle, a retired Superior Court judge, said he disagrees that there are no new facts to be learned from the police raid that removed squatters from a West Franklin Street building Nov. 13.
“Here is what is confusing to me,” he said. “I assume the council is asking us to do more than accept or check off on the internal review. With that comes the assumption that we have to ask questions, and if we don’t get answers, then find a way to get those answers.”
“If the town doesn’t want us to make that inquiry then they should just say, ‘We don’t want you to do that.’”
Town Manager Roger Stancil’s internal review said the raid was “appropriate” based on what police knew at the time. The council sent the report to the Community Policing Advisory Committee.
The committee asked the Town Council on Monday to authorize an outside investigator to help it review the raid and make policy recommendations. Council members referred the request to staff for a recommendation, which is customary, but only after at least five of the nine council members rejected or expressed concern about an investigator.
Such an investigator could not compel witnesses to testify and there would be no sanctions for anyone who testified falsely. Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos also said the town could not protect anyone who spoke with the investigator from civil or criminal liability.
The council discussed the police raid in closed session for nearly two hours before Monday’s regular meeting. Council members contacted Tuesday said the sessions centered on personnel issues that the state open meetings law permits being discussed in private.
Several council members said Monday night it’s time to move on (see story here), but Bogle says he is concerned by new information such as one speaker’s remark Monday night that those at the building Nov. 13 were never asked to leave before police moved in to remove them.
“That seems to be an important fact that is never addressed in the (manager’s) report,” he said. “I think there are still facts to be learned about the incident.”