From Issue: Volume XX - Number 18
Imagine my surprise early last week when it was announced that Anthony “Tony” Batts was to become Baltimore’s next police commissioner. That got me to wondering whether the mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlins-Blake, was hiring Dr. Tony Batts, who is “slick, charismatic, golden-tongued, outgoing and intelligent” or Mr. Hyde, who is “vindictive, arrogant, egotistical, womanizer, mean and a liar.”
Based on past performance, he is both.
Three times now Batts has successfully seduced a female city mayor (Long Beach and Oakland are the other two) into getting named to the top cop spot. But he did not get far with San Jose City Manager Debra Figone after a January 2011 background check revealed the real Tony Batts, with a checkered history of domestic violence, hiding the DV documents, lying under sworn testimony, inappropriate relationships with those working for him and acting above the law.
It wasn’t long before the Baltimore news media were making my phone ring off the hook after people started Googling Batts’ name and learning about the numerous stories we’ve produced about him and Lobstergate. Our most thorough piece was published on Feb. 11, 2011, entitled “Why San Jose Spurned Ex LB Police Chief Batts.” Read it yourself at www.longbeachcomber.com/story.aspx?artID=2368 as well as two Feb. 25, 2011 Letters to the Editor in response: www.longbeachcomber.com/story.aspx?artID=2393&arc=1.
Special note was given to an item that appeared last week in the Baltimore Business Journal stating that Batts was “CEO of the A. William White Group” since he quit the Oakland job in October 2011. Batts was born Anthony William White before being adopted, so he is actually CEO of a “group” of one person.
And that’s just one of many lies coming from the man. Read the Press-Telegram 2008 reports about Batts lying on the witness stand during the Lobstergate trial that cost the city $4.1 million. The jury did not believe Batts because he said the word “malcontent” would never come from his lips in describing certain officers. “It was very common for him to say that,” subsequent testimony from others would reveal. He also lied about people not getting cited for lobster fishing in the harbor area.
Ask anyone who worked for him how he’d say one thing then do just the opposite. Sources would tell me he lied when he did not ever have to lie! If there’s one important lesson that I’ve learned in my lifetime, it’s that telling the truth means you never have to remember which lie you told to which person.
Will Batts get confirmed by the Baltimore City Council before starting to work Sept. 27? I highly doubt it but you never know anything for certain. Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake may be a popular, attractive, powerful, black woman, but there’s a storm of public opinion brewing on this topic.
The Baltimore blogs are abuzz with all of the negative stories about him from Long Beach and the Bay Area. A Baltimore City Council staffer has requested and received most of the documentation I have at my disposal. This week police reporter Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun personally interviewed people in Long Beach and Oakland to confirm what has already been written.
Denials were made by former council woman Tonia Reyes-Uranga and LBPOA President Steve James concerning the domestic violence. They lied to the reporter about what they knew and my pile of emails from others document the fact that they lied. Gotcha, thanks to archived emails going back to 2006. Don’t you just love it when you can catch people with their panties down?
Our recommendation to Mr. Batts back in February 2011 was that he should stick around Oakland to complete his three-year commitment to the city and then retire with a fat pension check that would be 90% of his $255,000 salary. But no, Tony wants another $190,000 bite of the apple to be Baltimore’s chief, albeit a pittance in comparison with similar jobs.
He’s trying to get promoted to a higher level of supervising 3,000 sworn officers for Baltimore’s 619,000 population (versus 800 in Long Beach, population 465,000, and 650 in Oakland, population 396,000) to demonstrate his complete incompetence. Good luck with that.
My first nine years of life were in Beltsville, Maryland, which is halfway between Baltimore and Washington, DC. Our family moved to nearby Waynesboro, Penna. in 1952.
As a native of that area my advice to the citizens of Baltimore is to be grateful for your interim police commissioner with 19 years solid experience, Anthony Barksdale, and give him the job on a permanent basis. And Long Beach residents should be thankful we now have a quality chief of police with Jim McDonnell, the former number two man at the LAPD.
Besides, Tony already has a top job as CEO of the “A. William White Group.” He can always hire Beeler & Associates to promote his good name and deeds. Taking on impossible challenges can be fun.