Chafee’s office blindsided by Col. Doherty statementFebruary 24th, 2011 at 10:08 am by Ted Nesi under General Talk
As Tim White first reported on WPRI.com, Rhode Island State Police Col. Brendan Doherty issued a stinging statement yesterday that took a sharp if indirect shot at his predecessor Steven Pare for opposing the Secure Communities program backed by Peter Kilmartin:
The state’s top cop is taking aim at his predecessor for opposing a controversial federal immigration program, a move he labeled “dangerous and irresponsible.”
Rhode Island State Police Col. Brendan Doherty released a statement Wednesday reaffirming his department’s commitment to working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when checking on the immigration status of a person charged with a crime.
The statement comes after Steven Pare, Providence’s new public safety commissioner – and Doherty’s predecessor as head of the state police – first told Eyewitness News he had asked the federal government if the city can opt out of the “Secure Communities” program.
The initiative would send the fingerprints of someone charged with a crime to the federal government to check whether they are subject to deportation. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin signed an agreement for Rhode Island to use Secure Communities last month.
In addition, Pare has ordered his officers to stop using an electronic ICE database to check a person’s status who has been arrested, according to a memo obtained Monday exclusively by Target 12. The memo said the department will instead fax daily “arraignment sheets” to ICE.
Governor Chafee said last month he had not decided what his policy would be regarding Secure Communities. This morning his spokesman Mike Trainor made clear to me the administration had no idea Doherty was planning to issue such a biting statement about the program.
“I can confirm that the governor’s office had not received any notification that Colonel Doherty was going to issue that release,” Trainor said. “The governor will have nothing to say until he has a chance to discuss this with Colonel Doherty.”
Doherty was close to former Gov. Donald Carcieri, who appointed him in 2007 to replace Pare. Chafee opted to retain Doherty at the state police’s leader upon taking office, and the Senate reconfirmed him without objection last week.