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Mayor Continues to Defend City Actions in MOVE Siege

May 16, 1985

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Mayor W. Wilson Goode said Wednesday that ″there will not be any scapegoats″ and no member of his administration will be fired because of the disastrous siege of a radical fortress.

″I stand full-square behind all the people in the field who made decisions. I’m not second guessing ... one single person that I gave authority to act on my behalf,″ Goode said at a crowded, hour-long news conference.

″I believe that a mayor has to delegate to his subordinates those kinds of operational decisions that required expert type of arrangements. And I don’t want to second guess them. I want to stand full-square behind those decisions and want to be held accountable for them,″ the mayor told reporters.

Earlier Wednesday, state Sen. Hardy Williams, a Democrat who represents the neighborhood, called for the resignation of city Managing Director Leo Brooks, a former Army major general who was the top city official on the scene during the siege.

″My comment is that there will not be any scapegoats in this arrangement,″ Goode said. ″I am fully and totally responsible ... and everything that was done was done with my knowledge and I will not commit anyone who worked for me to assume that responsibility.″

After the news conference, he said, ″There are no changes in the administration coming about″ because of tragedy.

However, he had promised earlier to appoint a commission within a week to examine city officials’ actions.

Goode said he would have acted differently in a hostage situation but did not consider the children in the house to be hostages.

″We did in fact talk a great deal about a way to have them send the children out. And that was a tremendous amount of concern for us. Also, you know as late as 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon we did have people go to the street to seek again to talk with them and ask them in fact to leave,″ Goode said.

″If in fact we had known that there was a hostage in the house we would have not proceeded the way we proceeded,″ he said.

Asked the difference between a child and a hostage, he said: ″Their parents were in the house. It means that they were there with their parents.″

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