Talk:Visiting students detained in Louisiana, USA, while photographing ExxonMobil chemical plant
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The following statement was emailed to Pingswept on April 12, 2005, by Steve Case, one of the professors present at the incident. I have not found it reproduced anywhere else on the web.
Dear Friends, I have had many calls and letters from friends across the country asking what they can do to help me. Last week, I was asked by Attorney General Charles C. Foti, Jr. to either retire or run the risk of being fired. No specifics were given to me explaining this decision by the AG. I have always understood that, as an unclassified civil servant, I served at the pleasure of the AG and that I could be dismissed at any time and for no reason. Because of my age, health issues, and investment of twenty-seven years in the state system, I decided early retirement was the best option for me. Now that I am retired, my schedule is less complicated. There was more than ample time last week, and the weather was so pleasant, for me to finally pay some attention to those weeds that have waved at me every time I took the little dogs for a walk. If nothing else, this yard work has given me time to relax and think a bit. No, I would not want to return to my work in the Attorney General’s Office. There are probably many people, both within the agency, other agencies, and in some of the business community who celebrated upon hearing of my departure. What they failed to consider is how this new condition has freed me from the restrictions of my former job. I have always tempered my comments about things like environmental problems and social injustices because I served in the Department of Justice. Now I will have more freedom to say what I think rather than what might be more appropriate as a representative of an elected official. If you want to write to General Foti then please feel free to do so. Officials should hear from the public. You might also consider writing a letter to the Editor of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, the Times Picayune in New Orleans, or your local paper if you do not live in either of those cities. If your letter makes the paper, then you will help to educate many thousands of readers. I would also be glad to hear from you. Hopefully, I will be able to continue my work of helping people to try and solve their environmental, political, and social justice issues. I still serve on the board of directors of some local, regional, and national organizations that deal with helping people. I will let you know whenever I find a new job. Good luck to you, and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance to you. My thanks to all of you for your friendship and support. Sincerely yours, Willie