The latest incarnation of the Chapel Hill Town Government’s fumbling quest to cover up the Yates incident is a joke, and may be the most politically revealing. Town Manager Roger Stancil, and presumably the Mayor and Police Chief, have come out with their newest attempt to prevent the truths of this incident from receiving credibility.

Tasked by the Council last week with providing a potential budget for an independent investigation, requested in an 11-page report by the Town’s Community Policing Advisory Committee, Stancil instead presented a counter-proposal in four documents, which he sent to the Council at 4:42 PM this Monday, barely more than two hours before the meeting would start.

Despite this 11th hour release, the Council was ready to vote on Stancil’s proposal not two minutes after discussion began. For such a charged issue that has divided the community and brought national scrutiny upon the Town, this seems like a rather hasty decision – unless, of course, they’d already made up their minds, say, on November 13?

Instead of an investigator, trained to ask the right questions to the right subjects, and equally skilled at piecing together hundreds of stories into a factual timeline, Stancil proposes a website where anyone can post information about the incident, with the CPAC left to pick up the pieces.

The government has yet again sidestepped actually voting on this independent investigation, which Jim Neal petitioned on November 21, again on January 9, and which the CPAC petitioned on January 23. According to the Mayor, with whom I spoke after he adjourned the meeting, the investigation is now “in the ether,” and the Council won’t consider it unless yet another petition is brought to them.