Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Greensboro News & Record Editorial: Going, going, gone: On firing city attorney Rita Danish

"...Barely 35 days after a new law passed that enabled the council to fire her,
J. Rita Danish, who was hired in December,
reached “a separation agreement” last week with the city.


...For most citizens, the fate of a city attorney usually is not a burning issue.

He or she is not elected by the people and typically has a relatively low public profile.

But the significance of this latest development resonates far beyond Danish’s future with the city.

It also dramatizes one of the biggest pitfalls
of having the attorney report directly to the council.

Instead of one boss, she now has nine who are sharply divided, both politically and ideologically.

So, predictably, some council members say Danish has done a fine job.

Some don’t.

But their specific complaints are neither clear nor damning.

Could "neither clear nor damning complaints"
indicate the Editorial Board doesn't actually know what happened?

Some critics fault Danish for some of her rulings,
including one that prevented a council member, Danny Thompson,
from resuming participation in a meeting by phone after excusing himself and hanging up.

Why did Danish not let Danny,
but did let others?

Some also fault Danish, who came to the state from Ohio,
for not yet being licensed to practice law in North Carolina.

Was Danish the most qualified applicant,
or a favorite of the city manager?

Then there’s the message these latest developments send to the manager,
whose decision to hire Danish in the first place has been blatantly called into question
and who couldn’t be blamed for feeling undercut.

How could Rashad Young's hiring decision not be called into question,
if she previously worked with Rashad in Ohio?

And there are renewed concerns that the weak-mayor model of government
that has worked well over the years in Greensboro is morphing into a council-driven model
that diminishes the role of a professionally trained manager and staff.

Why won't the professionally trained staff answer
and Robbie Perkins?

In fact, city staff’s primary marching orders these days
seem to be to sit down and shut up.

Is someone telling staff not to answer the information requests?

Small wonder Danish wanted out and that Young,
who is smart and effective, may soon have second thoughts of his own.

How could she want out if she was axed?

Who’d want to work for these people, under these conditions?"

News & Record Editorial Board

Danny Thompson - "Allen Johnson is a complete liar."
- Why didn't Robbie Perkins want the memo released?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Who’d want to work for these people, under these conditions?"

for the salary she was getting, I am certain plenty of people would!