In a deft move, Mills manages to compromise the only reporter questioning the Allard St murder

Thad

“embedded” Reporter (photo B. Doran)

We have got to give credit, where credit is due. Chief of the Eureka Police Mills is one of the smartest, and probably the most devious Police Chiefs Eureka has ever seen. We say that after reading yesterdays article in North Coast Journal written by Editor Thadeus Greenson, documenting his last days as an ethical journalist. The article gave an insider’s look at the testing process for Captain at the Eureka Police Department. In fact, Thaddeus wasn’t just given an inside look, he was an active participant in choosing the next Captain! Just like the US Military did in Iraq, Thadeus was “embedded” with the police to have an inside look at the workings of EPD. Just like that……bam!….the only reporter to have questioned the killing of Tommy McClain has now been influenced and co-opted, so to speak, by the Teflon Chief!!! According to Greenson, when he was asked about joining a panel to decide the next Captain he replied, “I told Mills I’d mull it over…..”.

Ultimately, he was seduced, and allowed himself to be “embedded” into and used to help sanitize a process that could shape Eureka for a generation.

Here’s what’s happening with this promotional process according to Police Chief Mills:

“Mills said he wants the department’s next captains to be in line for the chief’s chair when he’s ready to move on, so the promotions are important.” (Deadly important, as we have seen recently)

Greenson was the only journalist to at least begin covering the murder of Tommy McClain, and now he has been given a shiny ribbon and pat on the back from the Police Chief. Accepting that role meant that Greenson had to STFU about who was in line for Captain (and he signed a confidentiality agreement). It really isn’t all that amazing that Chief Mills asked Thadeus Greenson to participate. In fact, it’s pretty logical given that Greenson has been the only local reporter to question the murder of Tommy McClain. What surprised us was the internal dialogue that Thadeus reports he had:

“The catch for me was that large parts of the process were going to be confidential and I would have to sign a nondisclosure agreement. And, if I joined the panel, I would be asking questions provided by Mills, with only a limited opportunity to ask follow up questions. As a journalist, telling me I’m not allowed to ask my own questions and that what’s said needs to be kept secret is generally a deal breaker. Further, I believe journalists should keep their sources and subjects at arm’s length to preserve objectivity as much as possible.”

Besides that, a big catch for us is, we hear that the command officer that bears responsibility for the Tommy McClain murder is up for consideration as Captain.  Only in Eureka!

A journalist with integrity and ethics would have ended the internal argument there. “Thank you Chief, but I will be declining your offer” would have been the right thing to do as a journalist and an editor.

From the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics:

“Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.” (doesn’t say sign confidentiality agreements).

“Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.” (no comment necessary).

 

So it looks like the public can’t count on Thadeus Greenson to be asking the essential questions about the McClain murder or EPD in general. We have always looked up to Thad Greenson around here.

Not anymore.

 

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21 thoughts on “In a deft move, Mills manages to compromise the only reporter questioning the Allard St murder

  1. If Mills truly thinks the EPD needs reforming, how can he consider promoting anyone now in the department? Mils came from somewhere else and if new(to Eureka) ideas are going to be put into place, EPD has to have other new people to do that.

    Promoting from within sends the message that you can just ‘wait out’ this talk of reform until some incident occurs that raises a ruckus and you can blame it on ‘reform’ then go back to doing business as usual. EPD needs leaders who have never known or been involved in the bad policing methods, not insiders who have lots of baggage and only pretend to believe in reform to get promoted. This process will only identify the slickest talker and best back slapper among the bunch. It won’t cause permansnt culture change within the EPD.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Chief Mills is all talk when it comes to reform. His actions show that he is not a reformer.

      Pretty disappointing that Thad chose to be a part of that process. Didn’t he see what Mills was trying to do? Maybe he can continue to remain objective, but why risk having anyone question his objectivity?

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I would hope that his actions in accepting this deal will be to expose the department…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, just look at him. Jimmie Bartholomew Olsen got co-opted by Lex Luther. Drive-alongs are always fun.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thad used to do some great reporting. This not up to his previously high standards.

    Like

  5. I have to agree Mr. Greenson made a mistake. But at least he publicly confessed his sin.

    Looking at the questions he and others were forced to ask… it’s obvious finding a “reform minded” candidate was not the emphasis.

    Or even a desired result.

    Or even a consideration.

    The questions were typical (but slightly modified) of hiring mid level managers. No doubt (judging from the Mills quotations) Chief Mills got what he wanted.

    Getting the answers one wants is easy to do when one writes the questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Personally I think Mills asked Greenson because he wanted to see how the candidates would handle hostile media. Greenson just had to act the part of Scary Liberal. And as far as middle managers go, did you read the one asking about community policing strategies for Eureka, learning from Ferguson? That’s not typical. This very blog was calling for a community oversight panel for EPD. That was one of the right answers to his questions. On the list. Yes.

    Like

    • That part is fkg scary, ‘Learn from Ferguson’, holy carp!

      That means to me the rich side of town funds the city with fines, fees, and legal churning of the residents of the city’s poor side, where the amazing statistics are that something like 1 in 3 households has an active warrant, that the ‘city’ purposely make it hard to comply and piles fines on top of court orders so that unless the simple at the beginning, say $250 jaywalking ticket isn’t paid, and the several hundred dollar fines on top of that, then the court costs, then the administration costs…that if the now thousands of dollars the person ‘owes’ is not paid he goes to jail for …jaywalking and being poor.
      Then some worried relative gets a payday loan for an expensive high interest mortgage on whatever property they may still own (and not for long) and pay it to keep their family member out of jail..which they will also be billed for. Voila, another target for a rent seeking property collector….who nis from the rich part of town.

      This is a widespread model for funding broke ass towns like Ferguson and Eureka, don’t think these rocket surgeons on the CC haven’t thought of it. Mills may pose that he sure wouldn’t want the riots that happened there as a result of this long standing predatory process, the demise of the young man by the trigger happy poorly trained cop was an extension of this Ferguson Model mindset.

      Watch for it here…one ‘captain’ for west Eureka, another for the rich(er) part.

      And watch for the ‘sergeant’ to not be promoted, yet, as a attempt by Mills (ever a politician is a police chief, and Mill is a great example)( he even said hi and shook hands with the likes of me for …well…somebody’s sake.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wrong. The announcement came out and Stephens is one of the next Captains. Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble.

      Like

  7. TE correctly called out out how the media is in bed with who they report about yet some commenters defend Greenson? He made a choice. He could have refused.

    Thanks for exposing the truth, always, TE.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Journalism is supposed to be about OBJECTIVE reporting that is fair, balanced and honest. Vilifying a talented young journalist for taking a risk, being open and civic minded, and making the most of an opportunity is cowardly. I think Thad’s decision and forthrightness shows courage and integrity on his part, not a sell out. I applaud him for it.

    Whoever who is hiding behind this anonymous, highly biased blog clearly lacks Thad’s character. Thad has never been afraid to call it as he sees it from what I’ve seen. Tuluwat is so blatantly hate-filled toward Mills that he is willing to piss on a journalist he self-admittedly previously respected just for accepting a position on a community promotional panel!!! What does that say about this blog and its author?! I challenge you sir to reveal yourself and publicly stand behind your vindictive rants.

    Like

    • What makes you assume the TE is run by a “he”? “Civic minded”? Thad doesn’t live in Eureka. He was chosen, as opposed to Papstein, or anyone at the TS or channel 3 because he had actually done his job and questioned Mills about questionable subjects.

      Thad took the bait, even though he is smart enough to see the true reasons behind Mills request. Thankfully the men or women or a mixture of both write this blog and question the local power structure. Otherwise, Mills may extend an invitation to another “inside” process and silence the last remaining independent source of critical information in humboldt!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Btw….anonymously asking for anonymous people to reveal themselves is bad form, Sir or Madam Dax.

      Liked by 2 people

    • yeah, you Dax and Chiv and Rose have been whining about outing people’s identities here for a while now and it’s really time to give it a rest. Rose and Chiv were even after Mola42 and Janelle Eggers the other day, it is creepy…as it’s meant to be.
      I am sure Dax is in the phone book, so I won’t look, but why does it matter to you so much who is writing this…is it some threat you are making by that?

      Why is it that you need this identity?…so you can run them out of town, threaten them, hound them, ruin their livelihood? harass their family and children?…that’s how it’s always been done, maybe you have some new threats and harassments dreamed up. So threats is it?

      I surely think it is, in this good old boy town where even the KKKlan pops up from time to time, it is pretty thuggish to insist on knowing who is who, and considering the masthead here itself even mentions Bret Harte who was also threatened by armed thugs who wanted him to shut up about their genocide, torture, and enslavement of the natives here…I think after 150 years of this behavior maybe you should just stop asking.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Yogi Beara:

      Rose was rather sweet to me… praising me for being a pillar of reasonable dialog (not usually what she says to me when I comment on her blog) and encouraging me to reap the reward I deserve.

      I guess if I give out my name Rose will send me a Christmas Card.

      And yeah… it is kind of creepy (Hey little boy! Do you want some candy? Num! Num! Num!).

      But my response then, now and forever is I value my privacy.

      I try to make it a point never to say anything I wouldn’t say under my own name since it’s not that hard to whisk away someone’s secret identity.

      No one’s done it yet because I’m not that important. So it should remain.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. If what “disgusted” says is true……that “Cowboy” Sargent Stephens has been made a Captain.
    Hide the women and children, put your house up for sale. This town as officially gone to hell.

    Like

  10. I prefer the word “inbedded”. It much more accurately reflects the dynamics.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. disgusted at 5:50…how is promoting Sgt. Stephens to Captain bursting someone’s bubble?

    It’s bad enough that he was considered after this sad incident, and now you say he was actually chosen as a new Captain…so you say.

    And any guesses as to whether he’ll be captain of the ‘rich’ half or the poor half?

    Liked by 3 people

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