City Council says officer not coerced in crash investigation - FOX Carolina 21

Asheville City Council says officer not coerced in crash investigation

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Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson release information to the city council about the investigation into Wilke's complaint. (July 11, 2013/FOX Carolina) Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson release information to the city council about the investigation into Wilke's complaint. (July 11, 2013/FOX Carolina)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The Asheville City Council has released information about the investigation into complaints filed by a police officer, claiming some city officials tried to force him to cover up a wreck involving the chief's son.

Following a closed-door meeting on Thursday, the council publicly released its findings regarding the response to Lt. William Wilke's formal complaint.

"Today, I believe we stand here with all the information that we could ever muster, to be able to make the decision that we made today, we support our city manager, we support our chief of police, and we support our police department," said Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy.

Wilke held a press conference on June 25 and released a statement, saying that Police Chief William Anderson and another captain tried to coerce him to give false information to state agents investigating the March 9 crash involving Anderson's son.

Wilke filed a complaint with the city about the coercion claim and said the city had failed to take action about his complaints. The city states that following Wilke's initial meeting with the city manager on March 13, they never heard from him until his formal complaint was filed on June 17.

Following the city's investigation into Wilke's complaint, the council said on Thursday that the city manager has "conducted a thorough investigation" into the complaint and determined that Anderson and the captain did not try to coerce Wilke.

The council said that any coercion would be a criminal matter but their city manager's investigation and talking with the District Attorney's Office determined no criminal laws were violated, "in the course of the investigation of the accident."

The city said its investigation also found that when Anderson ordered Wilke to his office, which is when the alleged coercion took place, that Anderson did not violate any existing policy on the issue. The council did say Anderson's conduct was inappropriate and the issue was addressed with him and his supervisor.

The city said it could not release further information about their investigation and response to Wilke's complaint because it would violate a confidential personnel code.

The city did say that their staff did invest more than 20 hours since June 27 into interviewing employees including Wilke, Anderson and the captain regarding the case.

FOX Carolina is working to contact Wilke for a response to the council's report.

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