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OPINION: Who Can We Thank For Ex-WPB Police Chief Delsa Bush?


OPINION: Who Can We Thank For Ex-WPB Police Chief Delsa Bush?

Ex-West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (left) and ex-West Palm Beach Police chief Delsa Bush

Something may have been overlooked this week in the saga of West Palm Beach Police Chief Delsa Bush.

Bush was allowed by the city’s brass to behave like a spoiled brat. She wavered on when to quit. Then she resigned in a choreographed hissy fit during a phone call to City Administrator Ed Mitchell Thursday – as a WPBF-Channel 25 camera taped it all.

In the hoopla, it was easy to forget who put Bush in a job she didn’t deserve, couldn’t handle and, in the end, in which she embarrassed herself and the proud department she claimed to represent.

Former Mayor Lois Frankel, who’s now challenging U.S. Rep. Allen West for a seat in the House of Representatives, picked Bush eight years ago.

Insiders tell me Frankel didn’t listen to most advisers who said Bush wasn’t up to the challenge. Those included Bush’s predecessor, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. In public, Bradshaw smiled and noted. In private, he and most of PBSO’s brass despised Bush for her lack of leadership.

But as usual, Frankel did the most politically expedient thing: She considered Bush’s race and gender, and figured that her choice could get her a few extra black votes.

I reached out to Frankel a half dozen times for comment on Friday. My excellent colleague from The Palm Beach Post, Andrew Abramson, also called her. While Frankel wouldn’t return my calls, she talked to the much friendlier Abramson.

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“(Delsa) represented the city as the first black woman and the first woman police chief,” Frankel told Abramson, “and she was an example of how someone can really come from very modest means, work hard and achieve the American dream.”

Vintage Frankel: Never admit you’re wrong, even when you’re dead wrong!

And when you can’t really mention the quality of one’s work, just mention gender and race.

Bush was the single-most important hire that Frankel made in her eight years as mayor. This week’s events showed clearly Frankel screwed up.

For more:

Frankel praises former police chief

WPB Police Chief Delsa Bush sends in resignation letter

Delsa Bush resigns in front of TV camera

No red flags with OpenSky Police Radio

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