Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dellums Makes the Right Move

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Mayor Ron Dellums has canned an aide who got caught up in the Chauncey Bailey murder investigation. According to the Trib, Dellums fired Deputy Chief of Staff Leslie Littleton on March 21. The mayor's office maintains that it was a cost cutting move and had nothing to do with Littleton's involvement in the Bailey case. Whatever. It was the right choice, and we applaud Dellums for making the tough decision. Firing people is never easy. And we say that entirely with a straight face. This is not another April fool's joke.

As a refresher, Littleton had interceded on behalf of Your Black Muslim Bakery CEO Yusuf Bey IV in the summer of 2007, just before Bailey was murdered. Bey IV is the likely mastermind of the killing, although he has yet to be charged. Littleton's actions likely emboldened Bey IV at the time, because she effectively helped him win an internal war at the bakery with his step-brother-in-law Saleem Bey. Bey IV later discovered that Saleem Bey had been Chauncey Bailey's main source in a story that Bailey was working on about the bakery. Shortly thereafter, Bailey was killed.

Littleton claimed that she only helped Bey IV reluctantly, but her refusal to take a closer look at him and to take Saleem Bey's legitimate allegations about him seriously represented a gross oversight. At the time, Littleton was an aide to Congresswoman Barbara Lee. Dellums later hired her for his staff. According to sources, she essentially acted as chief of staff to the mayor's wife, Cynthia Dellums. The mayor made the right choice in letting her go. Now, hopefully he will continue to weed out unnecessary staffers from his office.

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