Something may have been overlooked this week in the saga of West Palm Beach Police Chief Delsa Bush.
Bush was allowed by the cityâ€™s brass to behave like a spoiled brat. She wavered on when to quit. Then she resigned in a choreographed hissy fit during a phone call to City Administrator Ed Mitchell Thursday â€“ as a WPBF-Channel 25 camera taped it all.
In the hoopla, it was easy to forget who put Bush in a job she didnâ€™t deserve, couldnâ€™t handle and, in the end, in which she embarrassed herself and the proud department she claimed to represent.
Insiders tell me Frankel didnâ€™t listen to most advisers who said Bush wasnâ€™t up to the challenge. Those included Bushâ€™s predecessor, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. In public, Bradshaw smiled and noted. In private, he and most of PBSOâ€™s brass despised Bush for her lack of leadership.
But as usual, Frankel did the most politically expedient thing: She considered Bushâ€™s race and gender, and figured that her choice could get her a few extra black votes.
I reached out to Frankel a half dozen times for comment on Friday. My excellent colleague from The Palm Beach Post, Andrew Abramson, also called her. While Frankel wouldnâ€™t return my calls, she talked to the much friendlier Abramson.
â€œ(Delsa) represented the city as the first black woman and the first woman police chief,â€ Frankel told Abramson, â€œand she was an example of how someone can really come from very modest means, work hard and achieve the American dream.â€
Vintage Frankel: Never admit youâ€™re wrong, even when youâ€™re dead wrong!
And when you can’t really mention the quality of one’s work, just mentionÂ gender andÂ race.
Bush was the single-most important hireÂ that Frankel made in her eight years as mayor. This week’s eventsÂ showed clearly Frankel screwed up.