SOURCE: Police who accused others of threatening Obama fired Tuesday

Posted at 10:45 PM, Feb 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-20 09:43:43-05

by Alix Bryan and Mark Holmberg

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--The Richmond police officer whose accusations of threats against President Obama from within the force led to two firings and a Secret Service investigation was fired himself Tuesday, police sources tell CBS 6.

The accusations  from the sergeant came after Mr. Obama’s visit to Virginia Commonwealth University last May. The officer alleged the two officers made inappropriate comments about harming the president. The story became national news. The Secret Service found no criminal act, but the two white officers were fired amidst the furor.

The fired officers have been fighting to get their jobs back. Their attorney, James Towey, said the accusations were completely fabricated and that the firings were the result of meddling by the mayor’s office.

Towey sent a letter to Richmond City Attorney Allen Jackson after the firings, requesting public hearing about the case.

His letter states the officers’ case involves “disturbing facts that shed light on dysfunction within the Richmond City government as well as instances of despicable misconduct by particular city leaders.”

Towey also said that while he doesn’t want to try the case in the media, he is putting the city on notice — and intends to fight for the open hearing.

“The citizens have a right to be informed, through the presentation of evidence in open hearings, about misconduct committed at the hands of individuals whose salaries they pay and about an extreme abuse of power by one individual, in particular, who they elected to high office,” Towey also wrote in the letter to Jackson.

A whistleblowing officer told CBS 6 last year that the inappropriate comments were made by a 20-year police veteran who was talking on the phone to an officer assigned to provide outside security for the president and first lady. The whistleblower reported that the veteran suggested the officer “take a couple of shots . . .” and that another voice in the background talked about planting a bomb under the stage.

Towey’s letter says the allegations against the officers were "false and/or greatly embellished" and that Mayor Dwight C. Jones pressured Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood to fire the officers before letting an internal investigation run its course.

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