Since the “crackdown” on illegal immigration began a year ago, our respected and beloved Chief Charlie Deane has been placed on the frontline of an ugly political battle. He is a good soldier and has tried to carry out this ill-conceived order with as much integrity and intelligence as possible. Without Chief Deane at the helm of the police department, I’m certain that the morale of the department would have slumped during the turmoil and the county would have experienced real disorder. I have been very grateful to him for not quitting the job even when he was attacked by Chairman Corey Stewart and nativist blogger Greg Letiecq for the stupid charge of committing “treason” for attending an information session about the immigration policy organized by the Mexican consulate. He tried his best to warn the Board just before the first vote on the Immigration Resolution on July 10th that the Resolution would lead to “unintended consequences.” In his brief speech, he pretty much predicted what’s happened to our county in the past year since Corey Stewart and John Stirrup decided to use illegal immigration to get themselves reelected.
Kristen Mack has written an extensive profile of Chief Deane published on the front page of the Washington Post Metro section today. It’s full of good personal details about the Chief, but there are enormous holes in the story. It fails to address the crux of the matter. Chief Deane is in the “uneasy position” that he is in because of Stewart’s leadership tactics: grandstanding, lying, and bullying. The Chairman, bless his heart, has no real regard for the wisdom and expertise of professional public servants in the government such as Chief Deane or County Executive Craig Gerhart. As long as Stewart engages in governing according to the Rovean principle of a “permanent campaign,” many good people in our government will be in “uneasy positions” and will consider leaving. We must find a way of containing the damage done by Stewart’s failure in leadership so that great public servants like Chief Deane can thrive in his job instead of being stymied by having to spend their time ducking and dodging Corey’s crap and Greg’s army.