Thursday, January 13, 2022

Oversight Board

Byron Bishop, currently Equal Opportunities Division manager in the city's Department of Civil Rights, tapped to be the city's first independent police monitor took himself out of consideration for the job after documents surfaced showing he'd discriminated against a woman he'd been having an affair with and violated state licensing requirements at his former company.

"The Police Civilian Oversight Board voted in closed session to offer him the job"

The decisions from the state Department of Workforce Development's Equal Rights Division and the former Department of Regulation and Licensing date back to 2007 and 2005, respectively, and were shared with Madison's Human Resources Department by a member of the public. The Wisconsin State Journal obtained them through a public records request.

... Board members — who unlike the vast majority of the members of Madison's dozens of citizen boards are paid for their work — have also refused to comment publicly about their decision-making in the search for an independent monitor ...

If the records were that easy to come by, I wonder how the PCOB overlooked the matters.

Two cases:

Bishop ticked the right boxes and they didn't bother to look farther ("Eric A. Hill, a white former military police officer who sought the monitor position, filed state and federal discrimination complaints in November, alleging that nearly 30 social media posts by board members disparaging white men and the military put him at an unfair disadvantage.") This seems pretty likely--seven of the eleven voting members posted biased statements about Eric.

Or they knew, and it didn't matter to them because he ticked the right boxes. I wish I could say this was unlikely.

UPDATE. I should have added a bit more information. From a 2020 story about the founding of the board in response to protests:

Those appointees are: Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, who was nominated by the Community Response Team and has been a longtime advocate of police reform; Ananda Deacon, nominated by Freedom, Inc.; Joshua Hargrove, nominated by JustDane; Rachel Kincade, president of Madison Organizing in Strength, Equality, and Solidarity (MOSES), nominated by NAMI; Ankita Bharadwaj, nominated by OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center; Yesenia Villalpando-Torres, nominated by UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence; Maia Pearson, nominated by Urban Triage; and Jacquelyn Hunt, nominated by YWCA.

Freedom Inc wants to do away with police and prisons and has a history of intimidation. MOSES aims to end "mass incarceration," whatever that may mean. JustDane used to be Madison Urban Ministry--I used to know a little about that, but that was decades ago.

1 comment:

Korora said...

"MOSES"? Note to the Jordanian government: Track down spontaneously spinning human bones on Mt. Nebo.