RMA report alleges elaborate deception by Wray

by Jordan Green

RMA report alleges elaborate deception by Wray office have stated that Lt. Hinson was not then and has never been the target of any criminal investigation conducted by their office. The tracking device was placed on Hinson’s vehicle based on rumor, innuendo, and the frustrations expressed when Gerringer could not maintain surveillance on Hinson.”

Efforts to reach Wray through his lawyer, Locke Clifford, proved fruitless. With the exception of a lengthy public statement released on Jan. 18, 2005, Wray has chosen to give his side of the story exclusively through a series of articles written by true crime writer Jerry Bledsoe in the unabashedly conservative weekly newspaper, The Rhinoceros Times.

In his last communiqué more than nine months ago, the former chief continued to draw a connection between Hinson and a federal investigation.

“Lt. James Hinson’s name had arisen in the course of a federal criminal investigation as early as October of 2002, while Robert C. White was chief of police,” the first part of the statement reads. “I have been advised that this federal investigation is still open and continuing in some aspects.”

As the State Bureau of Investigation pursues a criminal investigation Wray appears to have few backers left in city government. The city council, which has found itself split over how to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s investigation into a tragic incident involving the police 27 years ago, has maintained remarkable unity in the Wray affair. Only on the matter of the widespread leaking of the Risk Management Associates report have they staked differing positions.

“I maintain and have maintained from the beginning that any personnel information related to an investigation is protected by personnel privacy laws,” Councilwoman Florence Gatten said. “My concern is that the disclosure of the report will have a chilling effect on others who may want to come forward and provide additional information for this and future investigations.”

Councilman Mike Barber, in contrast, has called for even more transparency.

“I must say that both the mayor and the city manager must have a higher level of availability,” he said. “The law limits what can be said, but there remains a lot that can be said, and the city should take a position where it can.”

Both support City Manager Mitchell Johnson’s administrative actions with regard to Wray.

“The citizens of Greensboro can be confident that the city council and the city manager are thoughtfully making decisions based on the information we have available and as we continue to get more information,” Barber said.

Gatten echoed: “I can only say that I am solidly behind the actions taken by our city manager.”

Asked if the city council was unanimous in its support of Johnson, Councilwoman Sandy Carmany – whose husband is a retired Greensboro police officer – had a simple answer.

“One hundred percent.”

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