Hot in Vermont: Arrogant Public Officials

officespaceFrom the department of “fuck you, we’re the law around here” come two nuggets that make you go, “say, what?!?”

First, the ACLU has been forced to sue the Hartford police department in an attempt to find out what exactly happened when the local law enforment wizards decided to go full metal jacket on a sick man in his own home. Oh, the fact that he was black in a screamingly white neighborhood might possible have something to do with it, but if the Hartford cops have their way, the public will be kept nicely in the dark. They’re hiding behind vague pencil pusher rules about state investigations — however, the state police claim the investigation is completed, but the state attorney general says she hasn’t seen the final report. How very convenient for them all that they can play musical chairs and make the unpleasant facts go away… except, not. Thanks to the ACLU and the interest from a couple of our local papers, it’s pretty clear that the Hartford cops can squirm all they want, but they’re eventually going to have to come clean and face up to their racial profiling and/or ineptitude — whichever applies.

And so help us, Jim Douglas’ equally inept Commissioner of Ed, Armando Vilaseca, is trying some of the same deceptive tactics with regards to a much-anticipated list of district budget cuts for the coming year. Yes, he says, the list is public, but no, he says, the public can’t have it. That’s nice, real nice. Again, the ACLU is having to throw some weight around to make it clear to these inept clowns that as civil servants they are obliged to obey the law, and Vermont has a pretty solid public records law. Oh, and as a completely unrelated aside, who the hell can have any confidence in a Commissioner of Education that uses the word “inputted”:

This has been such a huge, huge undertaking, and we’re sending it to schools and having them look at the information to make sure we inputted all the information from the districts correctly

Really, Armando? You satted in front of your little screen an inputted all the data, and now you’re afraid you wronged something? For fuck’s sake; no wonder our children’s isn’t learning…

Kudos to the Times/Argus, the Rutland Herald, the Valley News and not least the ACLU in Vermont who are fighting an uphill battle against teh stupid and arrogant civil servants whose salaries we pay, but whose services we probably really could do quite well without…

(h/t Jim @ GMD)