[I wonder how many other public employees are on “paid administrative leave” (seven months) for daring to talk to the press, on the record, about a disagreement with Bush Administration policies? Only in the Bush Administration would a law enforcement official be fired as a result of asking for more funding for his or her organization! Wouldn’t your average American consider this woman’s actions patriotic? -Thomas]
Ex-chief of Park Police denounces firing
Chambers: Administration ‘silencing’ dissenting views
Saturday, July 10, 2004 Posted: 8:56 PM EDT (0056 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) — One day after she was fired, former U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers accused the Bush administration Saturday of silencing dissenting views in the rank and file.
Chambers’ departure may not garner the same spotlight as those of former counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, but it appears to fall into a similar category: officials who leave or are forced out after questioning Bush administration policies.
“My professional judgment, based upon 27 years of police service, six years as chief of police, and countless interactions with police professionals across the country, is that we are at a staffing and resource crisis in the United States Park Police — a crisis that, if allowed to continue, will almost surely result in the loss of life or the destruction of one of our nation’s most valued symbols of freedom and democracy,” she wrote.
A week earlier, Chambers had spoken with a Washington Post reporter about the budget shortfalls, and the article appeared December 2. Three days later, the chief was on administrative leave.
Chambers said her story effectively put a chill on National Park superintendents who were facing their own shortfalls. She said she has spoken with current officials who know the situation but fear for their jobs.