OP-ED: Getting Slaughtered

The following is an opinion editorial authored by Todd Bartley, TalkWilliamsport.com, news@TalkWilliamsport.com.

When “OPINION: Campana Created Slaughter, Beiter May Pay The Price”, was published in late October 2019, it was in the context of Mayoral candidate Derek Slaughter, whom I publicly endorsed for the first time in my career.

The hope going into the election last year, was that his platform of, “transparency, efficiency and accountability” were actually firmly held beliefs and not punch lines on a yard sign or a billboard.

All of the warning signs of insincerity were there leading up to the election.

Slaughter had committed to a debate with his challenger Eric Beiter for late October at Lycoming College similar to the one held with the Lycoming County Commissioner candidates that month.

On multiple occasions leading up to the debate Slaughter gave me his word he would be there; until he decommitted in an e-mail and then went radio silent.

Was this yet another stalling tactic by a nouveau ruling class elite; by refusing to answer actual questions relating to his platform and policy positions?

As a matter of fact, stalling is the precursor to hiding.

Ironically, it was mere foreshadowing of his leadership style of staying in the bunker and shutting everything down during a pandemic.

 

TRANSPARENCY

The word transparency was on every “Slaughter for Mayor” yard sign, it was on every billboard, in every stump speech, in every garden club visit, in the hallways of the Williamsport Area School District.

Until, Mayor Slaughter was sworn into office and then transparency became opaque.

A number of Right to Know Law requests have been submitted to the City of Williamsport, Williamsport Bureau of Police and the Williamsport Area School District (WASD) seeking public records related to the “criminal sexual misconduct” case on the part of a Williamsport Area High School baseball player during the 2018 team trip in Myrtle Beach.

Lycoming County District Attorney Ryan Gardner described the recorded and disseminated on video “criminal sexual misconduct” as such; prior to referring the case to PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

At all times relevant to the 2018 Williamsport Area High School baseball team trip in Myrtle Beach, Derek Slaughter was a teacher at the school as well as a former girls basketball coach (9 seasons ending in 2016).

While preparing his final stretch run for Mayor, Slaughter accepted a transfer to teach at the middle school level.

Was this to distance himself from the investigation currently ongoing by PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro?

The fundamental question for Mayor Slaughter is, what did you know about the Myrtle Beach case and when did you know it?

There is no documentation of a ChildLine call from then teacher or current Mayor Slaughter regarding the Myrtle Beach case.

How does this lend itself to the campaign process of transparency?

 

LACK OF TRANSPARENCY AND ENGAGING IN DELAY TACTICS

On July 3, 2020, four specific Right to Know Law requests were submitted to the City of Williamsport. Included were a specific request to the Williamsport Bureau of Police and three specific requests of Mayor Slaughter.

A five-day response window was given.

On July 8, 2020, the Requesters received a notice from Janice Frank, City Clerk, City of Williamsport a 30-day extension was being requested for legal review.

Sounds transparent to me.

As the 30-day extension deadline approached, an additional 20-day extension was requested by the City of Williamsport in order to respond.

Sounds transparent to me.

Then on, August 24, 2020, the City of Williamsport finally provided responses, if they can be called that.

The responses were e-mailed to this author with a physical address listed of 1318 Winter Street, Williamsport, PA 17701.

That was not the address listed on the Right to Know Law requests.

The Office of Open Records recently determined the responses from the City of Williamsport were untimely. In terms Mayor Slaughter with his background in teaching will understand – he failed.

Based on the untimely responses, additional even more surgical Right to Know Law requests are being submitted to the City of Williamsport and the Williamsport Bureau of Police seeking public records – since the overwhelming evidence demonstrates their existence.

 

HOW DID WBP CHIEF HAGAN

UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY MISS THE OBVIOUS IN HIS OPEN RECORDS AFFIDAVIT?

Attestation of Chief Hagan AP 2020-1827

As chronicled in “A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XX,

According to the WBP website“The mission of the Williamsport Bureau of Police is to ensure the safety and security of the community by providing exemplary law enforcement services.

The Williamsport Bureau of Police values the principles of honesty, integrity, honor, fairness, and respect in our interactions with those we serve. We are committed to achieving excellence in our services to our citizens through community-based, pro-active policing.”

In the first of many contradictions that will be demonstrated, when the WBP was contacted by Detective Aiesi of the Myrtle Beach Police Department (MBPD) as noted in Part XIII she said to WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe, “we seem to be getting the runaround.”

 

The Williamsport Bureau of Police when asked about records related to the 2018 Williamsport Area High School baseball team trip in Myrtle Beach, the WBP answered “No Records exist”.

Sounds transparent to me.

 

How can “No Records exist”, when Sgt. Reeder is leaving voicemails with the Myrtle Beach Police Department?

From PART XX: THE WILLIAMSPORT BUREAU OF POLICE IN THEIR OWN WORDS

The REPORTING OFFICER NARRATIVE obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Myrtle Beach Police Department authored by Detective Glenn Porter goes onto say:

On 09/28/2018

I contacted the Williamsport city police at 570-(redacted by author) and spoke with an on-duty supervisor, Sgt. Reader. he advised that he would look into this and call me back since I do not have a victim’s name.

I later received a voicemail from him saying that their department did not take a report on this (redacted by MBPD).

Listed below is an e-mail obtained from the MBPD through the Freedom of Information Act which confirms the Sergeant Reeder voicemail on September 28, 2018.

From: Tiffany Whitmire
To: Glenn W. Porter; Kerry Aiesi
Subject: FW: Voice message from (redacted by MBPD)
Date: Friday, September 28, 2018 3:09:27 PM
SRO (redacted by MBPD) with (redacted by MBPD) at (redacted by MBPD)
—–Original Message—–
From: 570 (redacted by author) [mailto:(redacted by author)]
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2018 3:05 PM
To: Tiffany Whitmire <(redacted by author)>
Subject: Voice message from
Caller ID: (redacted by MBPD)
Message length: 60 sec. (486 kb.)

 

As part of the FOIA request made by this author; the MBPD provided the voicemail they received from  Sergeant Reeder of the WBP on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 3:05 PM.

SERGEANT REEDER VOICEMAIL TRANSCRIPTION

Hi, this is Sergeant Reeder with the Williamsport Police Department here in Pennsylvania. I’m trying to get a message to Officer Porter. 

Umm, he had contacted me about an incident down there over the summer or the spring.

Umm, it sounds like the uh (redacted by MBPD) who were involved in that, um go to (redacted by MBPD) which is a separate jurisdiction than ours. 

(EDITOR’S NOTE: On reason and belief it appears Sergeant Reeder inexplicably sent the MBPD Detectives to the South Williamsport School Resource Officer first.)

Umm, the officer you made contact with is (redacted by MBPD) he is the school resource officer for (redacted by MBPD) Police and he actually has some recent knowledge about that involved (redacted by MBPD) go to their school so.

We did not take a report, um, so I just wanted to pass that along and uh, the number for uh, (redacted by MBPD).

Thank you

 

 

How can “No Records exist”, when SRO Stoltzsfus is exchanging e-mails with the Myrtle Beach Police Department?

From PART XXDetective Porter of the MBPD in the REPORTING OFFICER NARRATIVE obtained through a FOIA added an entry:

I called and spoke with the School resource officer at South Williamsport High School, Officer Samar (redacted by MBPD).

Officer Samar informed me that he only became aware of this incident yesterday on 9/27/2018 from another colleague at the school (redacted by MBPD).

Officer Samar said that he had no other details but when he heard that some type of assault took place with students from the Williamsport Area High School, he placed a courtesy call to the School Resource Officer there named Jordan Stoltzfus.

When Officer Samar told Officer Stoltzfus about a possible incident, Officer Stoltzfus relayed to him that he has not heard of any such incident.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The only reason South Williamsport School Resource Officer Samar was contacted and became involved in this report is the fact that Sergeant Reeder inexplicably sent the MBPD Detectives to him.)

If SRO Stoltzfus only heard about the Myrtle Beach incident in late September 2018, how did he participate in an “investigation” in May and June of that same year?

How do WAHS Head Principal Brandon Pardoe and Lycoming County Chief Detective Weber run concurrent criminal and non-criminal investigations into the Myrtle beach incident and not involve the WASD School Resource Officer?

Could it be the idea of the fewer people know, the better?

Did attorney George Lepley ever address this in the conversations with Weber or WASD Solicitor Fred Holland leading to the letter of May 31, 2018 authored by Lepley?

 

Porter from the same entry: I attempted to call Officer Stoltzfus at the school number 570-(redacted by author) but was informed he had already left for the day.

I was transferred to his voicemail and left a message for him to call me back.

I also was provided an e-mail address of (redacted by author).

I sent him an e-mail requesting him to respond to me as well.

 

The e-mail to SRO Stoltzfus was obtained through the FOIA request of the MBPD:

Officer Stoltzfus,

My name is Detective Porter with the City of Myrtle Beach Police Department. Today I was made aware via a Fox Sports Article that (redacted by MBPD) may have taken place and filmed on Social Media (redacted by MBPD).

As of know I am not aware any such (redacted by MBPD) was reported to us by anyone.

I was informed today that you recently were told about this from another SRO but your knowledge may be limited as well.

I just wanted to speak with you (redacted by MBPD).

The link to the article is below if you have not seen it. I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach are office line at 843-(redacted by author).

http://foxsportswilliamsport.com/millionaire-baseball-mayhem-in-myrtle-beach/

Thanks in advance,
Detective Glenn Porter Jr.
Investigations Division-Violent Crimes
Myrtle Beach Police Dept.
(redacted by author)

 

Sounds transparent to me.

 

Why is Police Chief Damon Hagan preparing his pension and retirement plans during an investigation of the 2018 Williamsport Area High School baseball team trip in Myrtle Beach by the PA AG Josh Shapiro?

As the Mayor of the City of Williamsport and these types of blatant contradictions of facts, to ensure the public trust in the Williamsport Bureau of Police, should Slaughter relieve Hagan of command, pending the outcome of the AG investigation?

Sounds like a transparent move to me.

Maybe Mayor Slaughter can clarify his contradictory and non-transparent answer regarding the anti-racism movement in Williamsport and his denial of permits to other groups who wished to protest.

 

SLAUGHTER CONTRADICTS HIMSELF IN AFFIDAVIT UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY

#3 Any messages sent or received by Mayor Derek Slaughter to/from Morgan Allen and/or Michael Orrico, captured stored or removed from any city owned electronic devices issued by the City of Williamsport or personal phone or electronic devices used to conduct City of Williamsport business, specifically from January 1, 2020 – current date. Editor’s Note: the original RTKL submission was made on July 3, 2020. 

The ever transparent Mayor Derek Slaughter attestation 2020-1828 as follows:

Response #6: “For Request #3, I was unable to identify the records sought because the Requester did not provide a subject matter for the records sought within the request, and the request spanned more than six months.”

Response #7: “For Request #4, the City provided Requester, through the Open Records Officer and City Clerk Janice Frank, copies of phone logs for my cell phone used to conduct City business from January, 2020 to July, 2020, totaling 62 pages. The only information redacted from those call logs were phone numbers and the account number.” Editor’s Note: the information redacted included the very records sought by Requester.

Response #8: “My phone number associated with that account is not normally held out to the public as my contact number, so it was redacted.”

Response #9: “The incoming/outgoing phone numbers listed on those logs were also redacted because they include the personal phone numbers of others. Had the Requester asked for records reflecting calls to a specific phone number or numbers, the City could have searched these logs for records reflecting those communications. However, as requested it would be virtually impossible for the City to review the thousands of entries and cross-reference them with third-parties, in order to research and determine all of those that relate to personal numbers, and all of those that relate to public numbers.”

“I, Derek Slaughter, make these statements under penalty of perjury to the best of my knowledge information and belief as more set forth in Pa. C.S. 4904. Dated October 12, 2020.”  

 

So in an effort to boil this obvious act of non-transparency by the least transparent Mayor in Williamsport history, Derek Slaughter who is a college professor wants the public to believe he has no idea who calls him, or whom he calls; including his closest political advisers?

The request was quite specific indeed regarding who the Mayor speaks to regularly, “#3 Any messages sent or received by Mayor Derek Slaughter to/from Morgan Allen and/or Michael Orrico.”

And yet, Slaughter gets cute with his response, “I was unable to identify the records sought because the Requester did not provide a subject matter for the records sought within the request, and the request spanned more than six months.”

So Slaughter can identify the times he spoke with Allen and/or Orrico but must have the subject matter they discussed. Is that not why the Right to Know law exists to obtain exactly this type of information from elected officials trying to obscure it from public view?

Please keep saying how transparent you are; wait there’s more.

“My phone number associated with that account is not normally held out to the public as my contact number, so it was redacted.”

How exactly is the public suppose to reach you during a pandemic?

Your City Hall number?

As part of one of your early “public safety” measures you closed City Hall, the same City Hall you said in a candidate forum your administration would leave for a more viable location.

Those plans must be redacted from the public too.

During the campaign Slaughter authored this: “With the right leadership, we can make Williamsport a hub of business, culture, and innovation. Your voice and your vote matter. Please vote Derek Slaughter for Williamsport Mayor on Tuesday, November 5th.”

In the first year of Mayor Derek Slaughter tenure, his leadership has seen the closure of SHOP-VAC a major employer within the City of Williamsport. The loss of airline service from the airport. The potential relocation of the Community Theatre League to accommodate the “new city hall”.

The proposed move of CTL was halted when this author called Slaughter out and caused him to reverse course.

Innovation?

Really?

 

If you are not answering your City Hall number would the head if IT Chris Cooley have those called forwarded to, wait for it, your City owned/paid for cell phone?

I know, these facts are stubborn things, aren’t they?

Response #9: “The incoming/outgoing phone numbers listed on those logs were also redacted because they include the personal phone numbers of others. Had the Requester asked for records reflecting calls to a specific phone number or numbers, the City could have searched these logs for records reflecting those communications.

In fact, Requester did make that specific request by name.

Those specific numbers will be provided to the Mayor tomorrow in Right to Know Request the City then has 5 days to answer since the records have already been searched for, legally reviewed, produced and redacted.

See how easy it is to be transparent Mayor Slaughter?

 

Transparency from Mayor Slaughter could include the disclosure of all the calls he made to my cell phone leading into your election on his way to WAMS and then after school on his way to Penn College.

I lost count of how many times he called seeking guidance on the campaign and on issues of the day facing the City. Until he stopped calling after turning down the debate invitation.

What was it you said about what all the students kept saying about the Myrtle Beach case while you were a teacher at WAHS?

Let us leave that to the Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his investigative team; since as a teacher that made you a mandated reporter.

You know, like you said after one of the many shootings in the City that have occurred during your brief tenure. Remember, the one you read about in the paper. Or was it the one you did not find out about until you woke up the next day.

You know, like you said in your press release on November 22. 2020:“We will say this over and over – if you see something, say something. Tell a trusted person you know to say something. If anyone has any information about these crimes, please come forward. Each of us is responsible to do the right thing to solve and prevent these crimes.”

 

There is only one thing more important to our community than see something, say something – its do something.

Mayor Slaughter and former WAHS girls basketball coach, the ball is in your court.

 

DID WASD SUPERINTENDENT BOWERS RECEIVE A QUID PRO QUO FOR HOLDING SLAUGHTER TEACHING JOB IN PLACE – BY BEING NAMED TO MAYOR C19 ADVISORY BOARD?

On April 21, 2020, Mayor Slaughter Forms COVID-19 Advisory Board as reported on this website. “In response to the needs of the greater community, I created the Mayor’s COVID-19 Advisory Board. This board of key stakeholders will identify the impact, needs, and a path forward for Williamsport.”

Chalked up to the oops I almost forgot category, and still getting partial credit for their homework albeit late on April 23, 2020 Mayor Slaughter added two more members to the Advisory Board.

The two additional members were Ron Frick, President of Lycoming County United Way and Dr. Tim Bowers, superintendent of the Williamsport Area School District.

The family of JOHN DOE #1 in the Myrtle Beach case is STILL waiting on your calls.

 

THE NATION WILL BE WATCHING WHEN IT ALL COMES CRASHING DOWN

When the national media rolls the satellite trucks in here; you Derek Slaughter will be the Mayor of the City and an employee in the Williamsport Area School District that allowed it to happen.

So the nation and the world will then witness what “Getting Slaughtered” from a media, reputation, and quality of life standpoint looks like.

Mayor Slaughter, I just hope it was all worth it; like former WAHS high school baseball player Cody Shimp said, “sticking together until the end.”

That is what actual, “Transparency, Efficiency and Accountability” really look like in the real world.