September 8, 2014 2:07 am ET
Endorsement of DiCara must be rescinded or FOP will lose creditability and integrity
For 39 years, I wore a badge. And that badge stood for something—honor, integrity, and commitment. Without all of those qualities, it was nothing more than a pretty hunk of metal pinned to one’s chest.
And that, folks, is why I am so up in arms about the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) endorsing someone who continues to shirk responsibility for his actions and make me out to be the bad guy just for pointing out the truth.
Let’s start this latest chapter at the beginning, shall we?
When I arrived at the Baltimore County FOP meeting, I was greeted by several old and familiar faces. While time has taken its toll on many retirees, blocking out some of the memories we had shared, it was still good to see those that I served with many years ago.
As the meeting went on, though, it became obvious that time also has taken a toll on a key word that adorns the “not so shiny” fleet of police cars—integrity.
I went to that meeting with one goal in mind, especially after finding out that the FOP endorsed Democratic candidate Joe DiCara for county council.
(Blogger’s note: Now it makes sense that FOP President Cole Weston called me twice over my blog about Mr. DiCara’s lying about his master’s degree from the U of B. But, apparently those calls didn’t mean much.)
I have to believe that the political action committee that interviewed both Mr. DiCara and the Republican candidate, Todd Crandall, vetted the candidates’ backgrounds. And, if that vetting did take place, then they were aware of Mr. DiCara’s problems with his resume.
It’s as if one would believe that that cops are very skilled in those types of investigations. At least that’s what Chief Johnson claims in his press releases over the department high crime clearance rate.
Let’s say I give them the benefit of doubt, which means the FOP did not know about the deception and endorsed the democratic candidate, Mr. DiCara, because of him falling on the right side of the political fence. (Ah, the “Democratic Oath”—the gift that keeps on giving.) Surely, once such matters were brought to the FOP’s attention, the members would change their endorsement, right?
Right? (Cue the crickets.)
Just prior to my passionate speech on ethics, integrity, and all of the other things that a department is built upon, a union member brought up a similar situation in which the FOP was going to endorse a candidate until it came to light that he too had lied. Needless to say, the endorsement went elsewhere.
Then, as I was speaking, I became incased in a wall of ambivalence with the feeling that no one gave a hoot. Where was the integrity?
At least they could have faked it…
After I was done, there was only one comment from the same member who spoke of the other incident involving another candidate lying. He brought up the fact that this is the same type of situation.
However, that too fell on deaf ears.
What made matters worse is the fact that the union gave Mr. DiCara a $1,000 donation and took no action, even after I pleaded with them to reconsider. The check was already in the mail, and nobody wanted to do the right thing, it seemed.
I have to admit that this whole situation left me totally disgusted, especially after the meeting—while leaving, other officers said, “Well, it’s just politics.”
I’ll be dammed. That statement goes to the core of what the FOP stands for, in my humble opinion.
I had a talk with FOP President Weston, who said the issue will go before a committee for review. For the sake of all that is good and decent, I can only hope that the FOP will do the right thing and rescind their endorsement of Mr. DiCara for his lying on his resume. What’s even worse is that Mr. DiCara continues to place the blame elsewhere—while he seemingly accepted responsibility for the falsehood, he ultimately blamed his faux pas on his webpage designer.
Mr. DiCara cannot blame his webmaster, though, for his egregious attempt at misleading me on the issues regarding Fort Howard, which will greatly impact the community and our veterans.
Speaking about Fort Howard, I have a taped interview with Congressman Ruppersberger on that same subject, which was filmed at the bicentennial celebration at Fort Howard. Delegate Mike Weir also had some thoughts on Mr. DiCara’s issues.
My final thought on this matter: If the FOP stands by its decision to endorse Mr. DiCara, that star with the blue letters will be a little more “yellow” in tone.