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Ferguson City Manager Resigns, But Mayor Knowles Is Staying Put

City Manager John Shaw resigned under protest on Tuesday.
Ferguson City Manager Resigns, But Mayor Knowles Is Staying Put

One down, but still more to go. Ferguson City Manager John Shaw resigned Tuesday after the Department of Justice report called him out for dragging his feet on making changes to improve policing and justice procedures in Ferguson.

[D]uring a City Council meeting, officials distributed a letter in which Shaw said he was stepping down, and the Council's seven members voted unanimously to approve a "mutual separation agreement." Shaw, who was not present, wrote "I care deeply for this community, and I believe that with our coming municipal election it is the appropriate time for the city to experience change in its city manager."

He also defended his actions in the page-long letter, saying:

And while I certainly respect the work that the D.O.J. recently performed in their investigation and report on the City of Ferguson, I must state clearly that my office has never instructed the Police Department to target African-Americans, nor falsify charges to administer fines, nor heap abuses on the backs of the poor. Any inferences of that kind from the report are simply false.

That letter has a whole lot of weasel words in it. The Department of Justice never said that the City Manager instructed the police to target Black people, nor did it say that he falsified charges to administer fines, nor did it say he personally heaped abuse on the poor.

What it said was simple enough. When he was told about all of the abuses, he still didn't do anything. When the abuses were pointed out to him, he didn't do anything. He was the manager, but he wasn't managing things.

So yes, he should have resigned already, and saying that he didn't do outlandish things no one accused him of doing is just deflection.

Next to go? It should be the mayor himself, but I won't hold my breath.

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