Tuesday, September 22, 2009
David Whitaker's Next Move?
I didn't think much about it when I saw on the City of Fayetteville's website last week that it was advertising for a new Assistant City Attorney. I mused to someone that maybe David Whitaker was frustrated working for Kit Williams, but I was sure that Robin Mero would catch on in a week or two and maybe file a stack of Freedom of Information requests to have the city's clerks do her research for her. Sure enough, today we get a Page One story that Whitaker has resigned, and it was played bigger by the Northwest Arkansas Times than the hiring yesterday of Shawna Thorup as Director of the Fayetteville Public Library.
Mero's story is one of those surface attempts at journalism that throws in a few facts but never gets to the important stuff. We do learn that Mr. Whitaker has been Assistant City Attorney for just over eight years, that he is a University of Arkansas law school grad, that he is an U.S. Air Force veteran, and that he was Director of the Washington County Domestic Violence Taskforce under Prosecutor Terry Jones. It is a nice resume, but why is this a story?
The article also mentions that Mr. Whitaker is Chairman of the Washington County Democratic Committee and state chair of the Democratic Veterans Caucus. That information, along with his comment that he wants to seek a new opportunity in public service, should be an obvious clue to a cub reporter that the game is afoot. He wouldn't resign from a good job to run for city or county office, not even one of the open judgeships.
Something big is about to happen here. Either David Whitaker is in line for a federal appointment or a major state position, or he is getting ready to make a run for the Democratic nomination for Congress or U.S. Senate. That's the story that the Times reporter missed.