Doraville ain’t what it used to be!

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 11 months ago

In 1974 the Atlanta Rhythm Section (known to fans as ARS) released a cut called “Doraville.”  Do you remember ARS — the sophisticated southern rock style, up tempo tunes and silky smooth vocals?  Do you remember Doraville?  “… touch o’ country in the city, Doraville, it ain’t much but its home.  Friends of mine, say I oughta move to New York.  Well New York’s fine, but it ain’t Doraville.”  If not, here is a teaser:


It appears that Doraville ain’t New York, and it also ain’t what it used to be.

A small-town Georgia police chief who left to face enemy fire in Iraq only to return and be fired by town officials got his job back Wednesday, thanks to an angry mayor.

Doraville Mayor Ray Jenkins deemed his council’s recent vote to oust Police Chief John King contrary to state and federal laws and put the chief back on the job.

“I support him 100 percent,” Jenkins told “The community is really upset and disturbed. I am trying to get it under control.”

King, a colonel with the Army National Guard, came under fire by council members who were upset after he was sent to Iraq, calling him a part-time police chief. Doraville is about 16 miles outside of Atlanta with about 15,000 residents, King said.

“Apparently they feel it takes away from my effectiveness as police chief,” King said. “I think my service to my country has made me a better chief.”

One of the three members who voted to fire King, Bob Spangler, said his vote was not personal. Ed Lowe and Tom Hart also voted against King.

“The City of Doraville must have a fair, honest and present Chief of Police. As a City Council Representative, it is my responsibility to ensure that happens. While some are attempting to spin our decision as personal, I assure you it was based on solid facts,? Bob Spangler said in a statement released to FOX 5 News Atlanta.

Police Chief King has just today given his story on national television.

Iraq war veteran and Doraville police Chief John King told a national CNN television audience Friday night that he was “absolutely shocked” to hear he had been fired, a move widely attributed to concerns over his National Guard service.

“This is not the America that I fought for and defended,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s “Out in the Open.”

King, an Iraq war veteranand commander of Georgia Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 108th Armor Regiment, was fired Tuesday by the Doraville city council, then reinstated Wednesday by the Mayor.

Earlier this week, King, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that when he was fired, “I felt like I was in south Baghdad getting hit by snipers and had no chance to fight back.”

King was fired at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday after a closed-door meeting, following an exchange in which Councilman Tom Hart called King a “part-time chief” and criticized him for being out of the loop during the 18 months he served in Iraq.

On Friday, Hart told the AJC that he misspoke by bringing up King’s service in Iraq but said he stands by his decision to fire the chief.

“I had gone two days without any sleep,” said Hart. “It [the firing] has nothing to do with the military stuff.”

The ploy at sympathy (“I had gone two days without any sleep”) is pathetic and irrelevant.  Since the alleged ‘facts’ are of interest, let’s go over them with Messers Spangler, Lowe and Hart.

  1. Firing Mr. King violates United States Code 38 U.S.C. Section 4301.  It is manifestly obvious that Mr. King’s military service caused what the stolid councilmen call “part time” service to Doraville (on Foxnews King stated that the council complained that King wasn’t available by cell phone while in Baghdad), and thus by saying the things that they did they have already lost the certain lawsuit should they continue with their intent to fire King.  [Sidebar: If we were to deploy Messers Spangler, Lowe and Hart to Baghdad — an appealing idea — it is likely that their cell phones would not work there either].
  2. It is not germane that they had temporarily lost the services of King.  This is assumed as the precondition for application of the federal code (cited above).  Said another way, if they had not temporarily lost King’s services, the complaints would never have been lodged and the Federal Code would never have been invoked.
  3. It is even more damning that the council fired King when he returned rather that when he deployed.  Since they now have his full time services again, his termination can only be seen as punitive.
  4. As a rule of thumb, companies in the U.S. not only allow employees time off for service (including long term deployment) and ensure employment upon return, but most continue to pay the employee his or her full time salary while being deployed.
  5. Finally, Mr. Hart’s sleeping habits are not germane to the case and will not be mentioned in the upcoming lawsuit.

“Red clay hills, rednecks drinking wine on Sunday; behind their field, gettin’ down in Doraville.”

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  • Sharon

    If you go to and click on govt then click on agendas and minutes and go to Aug 7, 2007 you can read the minutes of the meeting that took place that night. King was not being fired…he was being replaced…not only that, but he makes it sound like he just got back from Iraq..which is not true..he had been back app. a year and a half…if you read carefully, you will see where Bob Spangler kept telling him that it had nothing to do with Iraq…King pulled the military card and got the support he needed by doing that..its just sorry that he used the military to do it and tell untruths to the public for sympathy. Telling lies to get what he wants is definitely not doing the military any justice. A lot of people fell for that back then, but I believe he would have a hard time getting so many to believe him now. These councilmen voted to pay him his full salary the first time he was he was getting paid from the military. So he got what he wanted and that was attention and sympathy…things most important to him…

You are currently reading "Doraville ain’t what it used to be!", entry #574 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Music,Politics and was published August 11th, 2007 by Herschel Smith.

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