Everything-Red Oak in this one...met up with an old friend, heard all sorts of good juicy Red Oak school district political rumors (the main one being: the $95 million high school projected to hold all sorts of students is met with the reality that ROHS lowered enrollment by 70 students this year), and just received this via e-mail:
Re: Red Oak PD/Open Records Run-Around/Etc
Errors in ROPD memo, April 12, 2010:
"During the last Council meeting on March 8, Steve Hedtke....made allegations against the ROPD stating the department had failed to act regarding a complaint filed by Chris Moses....."
Steve Hedtke's allegations covered a year and a half's worth of SEVERAL complaints made by Chris Moses. Steve Hedtke mentioned the Dustin Merimon incident as a RECENT RESULT of the PD's inaction the last year and a half.
"Moses told Lt Brock that prior to that council meeting Moses read the letter Hedtke planned to present to council and told Hedtke at that time that he didn't agree with the letter...."
an Open Records Request for this tape was responded to with a certified letter saying they refuse to release the allegedly recorded conversation. Not only does this call Mr. Moses a liar based on his public testimony before Council at the April meeting denying he made such a statement, it also begs the question of the PD's comprehension: if they got Steve's speech so wrong, I can only imagine how wrongly they interpreted Chris' statements. The fact that Chris Moses was recorded during what he thought to be an off-the-record conversation is another SNAFU with this Department's actions. Mr. Moses has my advice and support to file a slander suit against the City for calling his honesty into question in a public forum and refusing to back it up with evidence.
"Over the course of the past year and a half, Chris Moses has informally complained about a number of problems in his subdivision; however, he never wanted to formally file a complaint against anyone."
Chris has stated several times that he wanted to file, and in fact when this memo was read aloud at the Council meeting the wording in this part was changed to reflect that, but the error was printed anyway. A public apology is owed to Chris Moses for misrepresenting his stance here.
"During this time period, as a result of Moses' informal complaints, we met with individuals in the neighborhood to discuss the issues in an effort to try and resolve their differences."
This is exactly the type of problem Steve noted in his speech: the PD's inaction to DO THEIR JOB. And as Mayor Hugley made very clear at the May meeting :
"The police department is not in the business of mediating."
"At one point we had a summit at the police department with all the individuals involved. At this meeting all parties came to a consensus to try and get along"
Not only does an open records request show no evidence whatsoever about a "summit of all the individuals involved" but testimony from Chris shows that NOT all individuals were included in a meeting and that NO consensus was reached. I find it highly disturbing that the PD made it a point to record a citizen's comments about a speech but recorded NOTHING about a situation that was brewing with hostility.
"The department has gone out of its way to resolve these conflicts"
They should NOT have gone "out of their way" and should have stuck to their duty and not talked a citizen OUT of filing official charges. As he mentioned at the May meeting: Chris Moses' mistake in this was respecting the advice of our police department and other city officials. His example shows us that we should apparently NOT be doing that.
"On Feb 13 Moses filed a formal complaint of aggravated assault"
Chris Moses testified that the complaint was NOT "aggravated assault." My request for information regarding verification of this original complaint has been deflected . I am still waiting for a response to my request for just the compalint filed -- i have received two responses saying no document "is responsive", when this memo shows that one clearly had to exist. Which brings up another point: how much money is the City wasting trying to keep these documents from being released? How much in PR will this cost the city? Why have I received no answer for my request for help in how to phrase an open records request regarding Chris Moses' original complaint against Dustin Merimon?
"Although Hedtke stated he viewed the video evidence and saw a violation of the law, no one from the ROPD or EC & DA's office observed any violation of the law on this video."
Steve Hedtke never clarified WHICH video evidence he saw where a violation of the law was evidenced. He was mostly referring to the one linked below . The PD never once contacted Steve Hedtke to clarify what he saw.
It appears that several people consider this type of action blatant disorderly conduct where the person doing this should have been arrested.
I find it telling that Viki Spraybary's vocal antics on the ECO internet radio show reveal just how much she "doesn't care." She launches into hysterics that get her hung up, her son Dustin Merimon is fired for unprofessional conduct, her husband Dwayne Spraybary calls City Hall under a false name numerous times, and their neighbor Eston Masterson is videotaped displaying disorderly conduct . Yet it's CHRIS that is called to question over this incident?
"In closing I would like to say that a thorough investigation was conducted by the ROPD and the EC&DA's Office."
Steve Hedtke's speech detailed a year and a half's worth of evidence that was NOT acted upon in a professional manner by the ROPD. NONE of that other evidence is investigated at all in this memo. The memo itself wasn't even thorough in its response to Steve Hedtke's actual allegations.
"Hedtke's claim that the department took no action was outrageously false."
Hedtke's claim was that the PD took no appropriate action during the year and a half that this was allowed to escalate. Considering that we have no record of any summit of "all individuals involved," there was NEVER a summit of all individuals involved , and that even Mayor Hugley acknowledges the PD is not in the business of mediating, the conclusion reached in this memo is flat out WRONG and in fact the memo itself verifies the allegations in Steve's speech .
even Alex pointed many inaccuracies out at the meeting:
Regarding the Red Oak Police Memorandum dated 12Apr10
Ref: Moses v. Merimon Investigation.
Officer Rudolph makes several allegations in this memorandum about my dad's speech that are incorrect: I'd like to take a moment to set the record straight.
In my Dad's speech, he said:
"It has come to my attention that an upstanding citizen of Red Oak named Chris Moses as well as his family have been the recipient of despicable and illegal attacks by Dwayne Spraybary and Eston Masterson also of Red Oak."
Please notice that neither of these guys were included in the PD's $2500 investigation.
My Dad also said:
"I later learned that Mr. Moses diligently reported these attacks, along with video taped evidence that I have seen, to the police department in Red Oak."
Please note that my Dad never clarified exactly what he saw on the video taped evidence, and the PD never contacted him for clarification: They Assumed.
My Dad also said:
"The Red Oak police dept has ignored a year and a half’s worth of complaints and evidence showing a pattern of stalking, harassment, dangerous behavior, verbal threats, disorderly conduct and outright attempts at defamation and have refused to do their job which is to protect Mr. Moses’ life, liberty and property.
Not only was "assault" never listed in my Dad's speech, but he clarified that "their job" is to protect Mr. Moses' life, liberty, and property, which they admit they have been unable to do.
My Dad also said:
"In a recent incident disgraced former Hutchins police officer Dustin Merriman relative of Dwayne Spraybary, while in full uniform trespassed on Mr. Moses property, made verbal threats against Mr. Moses that were brought to fruition when the entire Stainback community was targeted in an intentional, misleading and cowardly attack on Mr. Moses character."
Note -- again-- that my Dad specified verbal threats --not assault-- and the Police Memorandum never investigated the malicious letter that was mailed to our neighborhood: something Merimon said he would do.
My Dad also said:
"The actions of these “bullies” have gone unresolved for way too long and needed to be addressed long ago. There are laws on the books against such deeds, but it seems that the police don’t want to act because of the appearance of favoritism to Mr. Moses."
My Dad's speech encompasses several events, not just one incident.
written shortly after the April City Council meeting:
Steve Hedtke's speech describes a year and a half's worth of evidence, not one video. Officer Rudolph's "thorough investigation" looks at one video and dismisses "Mr. Hedtke's allegations" as "outrageously false!"
This speech was written before Steve Hedtke's decision to run for City Council and given knowing that many would unfortunately and erroneously see it as some sort of campaign tactic and would likely cost him many political points. However, the events described in this speech are not about "Mr. Hedtke's Allegations" but a family living in fear because of the illegal actions of their neighbors.
Steve has repeatedly clarified that he hopes the handling of the Moses-Masterson-Spraybary-Merimon incidents are some sort of anomaly based on Red Oak's excellent track record of serving the public, but based on Officer Rudolph's unprofessional and inaccurate portrayal of Mr. Hedtke's speech, it is difficult to continue assuming that to be the case.
Officer Rudolph clarified that they have the conversation w/ Mr. Moses about Steve's speech recorded: I'd like to see how thoroughly they documented the consensus that they claim to have established, especially considering that Mr. Moses reports never having been part of a conversation or meeting where "all parties" met: We call on the Police Department to produce evidence of this "summit" and are filing an official Open Records request for any documentation, as well as the conversation they recorded with Mr. Moses and Lt. Brock as described in the memorandum. We hope they documented their alleged summit as thoroughly as they tried to document statements made by Mr. Moses about a speech that paints the ROPD's handling of one case in a negative light.
Mr. Moses clarified at the Council meeting that every time he called the police he was advised to NOT file formal charges for one reason or another. Mr. Moses' respect for our local law enforcement led him to accept their advice against his better judgment. And now that action is being used against him to excuse the inaction of the Police Department.
Mr. Moses also clarified that he DID NOT file a formal complaint of aggravated assault against Dustin Merimon: he filed a complaint of terroristic threat.
The numerous errors of basic fact in this memorandum lead us to be very concerned with the professionalism of the Red Oak Police department: it documents $2500 to investigate "thoroughly" one piece of evidence instead of the pattern of behavior detailed in Steve's speech: that's akin to looking at a huge pizza with tons of ingredients, picking up one mushroom off the top, analyzing it thoroughly, and deciding that it has never been on a pizza because they found no evidence of pizza sauce. Casey Hargrove noted that Council does have a responsibility to step in if they see the PD crossing the line of acting in an unprofessional manner, but Councilman Hargrove did not address even once the factual errors in the Memorandum.
Mr. Tedesco was appalled at the language being used in the Council Chambers Monday evening: he should be. That language was and is used against the Moses family on a regular basis by Eston Masterson, and is continually dismissed. Mayor Hugley was spot on when he said "That's Enough."-- it should have been enough last May too. We would be concerned if that sort of language was NOT appalling. Mr. Tedesco also cautioned that we need level-headed councilmen to be elected to the City Council, but he did not detail exactly what about Steve Hedtke's comments or speech was not "level-headed."
City Council and Mayor Hugley cautioned Officer Rudolph that they need to be aware that the situation down on Stainback Court is NOT over, that this is a situation many in the City know is escalating, and that further action will need to be taken.
Apparently it doesn't take $2500 to realize that.
It would have been nice if during the "thorough investigation" the Red Oak Police Department conducted they could have picked up the phone and asked Mr. Hedtke to clarify his concerns.
That would have been a freebie that could have saved the ROPD a public memorandum full of unprofessional errors.
We look forward to seeing the situation on Stainback Court resolved so that the Moses family can return to their original role as confident, secure citizens of Red Oak, not having to rely on ever-vigilantly videotaping the actions taken against them by Eston Masterson, Dwayne and Vicki Spraybary, and Dustin Merimon.