DeKalb County CEO Defends Choice of Bolton. Also Blames Dallas City Council.

Last week, we mentioned how some folks in Atlanta -- like, oh, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- couldn't figure out how DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones picked Terrell Bolton as the new chief of police, especially since a Jones-appointed committee didn't even recommend the ousted Dallas chief for the gig in the first place. Well, today Jones bites back in a letter to the editor of the paper. His missive is after the jump -- including the head-scratching admission that Jones still doesn't "know why [Bolton] took certain actions upon becoming chief" in Dallas.

Yup. Take it from me: Asking questions is hard. --Robert Wilonsky

DeKalb chief a top-notch choice

I knew that my selection of Terrell Bolton as DeKalb County police chief would not come without controversy. I am disappointed, however, with the tone of a recent editorial ("The Power of One," @issue, Dec. 28).

The editorial board embarked on a journey from Dallas to DeKalb merely to state that they disagreed with my selection of Bolton.Editorial board members are quick to write but slow to read and do research. A minor bit of due diligence would help them know the facts. The citizens committee did an outstanding job of interviewing and forwarding their views to me. I then asked a former FBI agent and chair of the MARTA board for assistance. We saw a superior candidate in Bolton.

Bolton joined the Dallas Police Department as a patrolman and worked his way up the ladder to become its chief. While I don't know why he took certain actions upon becoming chief, I yield to his knowledge of the Dallas Police Department.

I was advised that some members of the Dallas City Council rushed to settle and ignored Bolton's advice to litigate in some cases. In the cases that were litigated, Bolton and the City of Dallas prevailed. The statement relative to the role of loyalty in my decision was narrow-minded and intellectually flawed. If loyalty was the most important requirement, I certainly would have selected the person who I have worked closely with for several months. I picked the person I believe will serve the DeKalb residents best.

VERNON JONES Jones is DeKalb County CEO.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky