RALEIGH – New Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker is making news early in his tenure for all the wrong reasons. Right out of the gate Baker very publicly suspended the county’s cooperative agreement with federal immigration authorities, electing to release illegal alien criminals back into the community so other illegal aliens would feel more ‘comfortable’ calling law enforcement. Now he is facing pressure from community groups that backed his election because of tone-deaf personnel moves.
WRAL first reported that Baker had promoted an administrator that made homophobic comments to during sensitivity training, and fired the deputies that blew the whistle on the unprofessional conduct.
“WRAL Investigates obtained internal sheriff’s office investigative notes regarding the 2017 sessions led by then-Lt. Teddy Patrick. According to an investigation, Patrick signaled to deputies he didn’t like gay people – he thought being gay was wrong – but said he could work with them. […]
“It was very unprofessional being that he was a lieutenant and a teacher,” Williamson said.
“He was making statements that were just inappropriate, Speight said.
Patrick even outed a fellow deputy in one class, they said.
“[He] stated that [the deputy] was a homosexual. I, myself, and many of my colleagues did not know that,” Speight said.
According to the investigative notes, Patrick told an Asian employee in another sensitivity class that he bet she was good with chopsticks.”
This all happened when former Sheriff Donnie Harrison was still at the helm, and upon hearing of the comments and confirming their veracity, immediately demoted Patrick. Patrick then filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming the demotion was racially motivated, but the EEOC agreed the demotion was justified as dismissed his complaint.
Fast-forward to the new administration of Sheriff Gerald Baker who immediately started the cleaning of house that is more associated with purely political transitions of power. Because Patrick was more in line with Sanctuary Sheriff Baker’s controversial policies, he promoted him to Captain, one of the highest roles with in the department, and fired the two deputies that merely reported what he said in 2017 that led to his demotion. They were fired the Friday before Christmas.
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This was too much, even for groups that helped get Baker elected.
More from WRAL:
“A week after Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker defended promoting a supervisor who made disparaging comments against gays and Muslims, the sheriff met Thursday with some community groups to discuss his moves.
“We’ve had some concerns, and we just feel like this meeting is basically about clarity, understanding and moving forward,” said Diana Powell, executive director of Justice Served NC.
Justice Served and Forever Fathers were among the advocacy groups that attended Thursday’s meeting. The groups supported Baker’s campaign last fall, when he unseated longtime Sheriff Donnie Harrison, but they promised to hold him accountable.”
It’s encouraging that these groups are following through on holding Baker’s feet to the fire. In a department that is supposed to be the highest law enforcement authority in the county, dedicated solely to the safety and security of citizens therein, Baker appears more interested in risking citizens’ safety in the interest of political stances on immigration and settling internal political scores with retaliation.
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