UPDATE ON GREG LEVELING
He was obviously not the Man With The Plan
Gregory W. Leveling 338 Stately Oak Lane Lake Dallas,TX 75065 940-321-4145
firstname.lastname@example.org . Career Objective Police Chief
Fayrouz In Beaumont
SECOND PIECE OF NEWS
I Can't Shut My Mouth
This one is from Dallas:
November 12, 2005
A high-ranking Dallas lawman was temporarily suspended Thursday for making what critics called racially offensive comments about Southeast Texas hurricane evacuees.
At an Oct. 19 meeting of Dallas County Sheriff's Department captains, Assistant Chief Deputy Greg Leveling called Rita evacuees "ungrateful, knuckle-dragging, knee-walking Beaumontians," according to a complaint letter filed by a Dallas law enforcement union.
Leveling's comments echo stereotypical depictions of African-Americans as apes and monkeys, said Charles Bailey, a Dallas County sheriff's deputy and vice president of the Dallas County Peace Officers Association.
December 21, 2005
Re: two questions
A reader says:
You state definitively that Greg Leveling referred to African-American evacuees as knuckle-draggers. I have never seen a breakdown of the race of the evacuees in question in a news article from the DMN or anywhere else. Is this an assumption on your part that the subset of Rita evacuees he was referencing were all mostly African-American? Beaumont itself is about 47% Black, 47% white according to 2000 census data. Or do you have perhaps have more information related to the specific groups of Rita evacuees he was referring to that the DMN has not presented in any news article?
Of note, in searching for articles, I found it interesting that more of his statement wasn't reported in the DMN, whereas the Beaumont newspaper did. From the Beaumont Enterprise website:At an Oct. 19 meeting of Dallas County Sheriff's Department captains, Assistant Chief Deputy Greg Leveling called Rita evacuees "ungrateful, knuckle-dragging, knee-walking Beaumontians," according to a complaint letter filed by a Dallas law enforcement union.
I agree that it was an ill-thought out comment, and likely was racially based contrary to Leveling's claims, however, I have seen nothing reported to indicate just what race the people he was referring to were.
Posted 8:13 AM | James Mitchell (More) | Respond | E-mail this entry | Permalink
ORIGINAL DALLAS MORNING NEWS ARTICLE
Sheriff commander denigrated evacuees
Dallas County: Assistant suspended for 'knuckle draggers' comment
09:51 PM CST on Thursday, November 10, 2005
By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News
Staff writer Holly Yan contributed to this report.
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez suspended one of her top commanders for nearly a month Thursday for referring to hurricane evacuees as "knuckle draggers" in a staff meeting in October.
Assistant Chief Deputy Greg Leveling also was punished after an allegation that he was working at an off-duty job while saying he was working for the Sheriff's Department.
Deputy Leveling, whom Sheriff Valdez hired from the Denton County Sheriff's Department for her command staff when she took office this year, was suspended for 20 days and ordered to attend diversity training.
Deputy Leveling could not be reached for comment. The county released a portion of his statements reacting to the allegations against him, which the department has sustained.
The suspension will cost him the equivalent of one month's salary, which is $7,153, county officials said.
Deputy Leveling supervises the housing of 8,185 county inmates held at various facilities, including the Decker Detention Center.
In the past few weeks, Decker was used to house hurricane evacuees – and some from the Beaumont area complained publicly about the conditions there.
At an Oct. 18 meeting Deputy Leveling had with his subordinates, frustrations over the complaints apparently boiled over, county officials said.
"Leveling [said] that he was 'voicing his frustration' with the way Sheriff's Department employees were treated by evacuees from Beaumont by utilizing the terms 'knuckle draggers' or 'knee walkers' when speaking of the evacuees," Sgt. Don Peritz, a sheriff's spokesman, said in a statement Thursday.
The other allegation stemmed from an off-duty job Deputy Leveling was working while still saying he was on the county clock because he was "reviewing reports and other office-related tasks," Sgt. Peritz said.
Because he is a salaried employee, Deputy Leveling was accumulating what amounts to comp time, and he agreed to "return the time to rectify the situation," Sgt. Peritz said.
He said Deputy Leveling wrote to the sheriff that "he was 'embarrassed' and that he failed as a 'leader and a role model.' He has since met with the department members who attended the meeting in October, personally apologizing to 'each and every colleague' and he assured the sheriff 'there would be no further conduct of this sort.' "
Deputy Leveling campaigned for Denton County sheriff last year but lost to the current sheriff, Benny Parkey, in the Republican primary.
He spent 11 years with the Denton County Sheriff's Department and was on the board of a nonprofit mental health association.
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How rude and insulting to the people of Beaumont.
Southeast Texas didn't choose to be hit by a hurricane. Actually, when we were hit by Hurricane Rita, we were still hosting some of Hurricane Katrina's evacuees. We made certain they were protected from the storm first.
Maybe during the next hurricane season, Dallas officials can ask Ares, God of storms and hurricanes, to send the hurricanes some other direction so they won't have to deal with the evacuees.