The chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Blaine Sector was removed from his post on August 5, after associate chiefs from D.C. met with the sector’s leadership team on Monday morning.
The agency has declined to comment on why Sector Chief John C. Bates was ousted, instead releasing the following statement by email in regards to the leadership change:
“The U.S. Border Patrol has given Blaine Sector chief patrol agent John C. Bates a temporary duty assignment to duties at Border Patrol headquarters. Blaine Sector deputy chief patrol agent Henry Rolon will assume the duties of the chief patrol agent until further notice.”
“They came in and met with the staff and I don’t know if the chief was there or not,” said Michael Cox, president of the National Border Patrol Council, Local 2913, which represents local Border Patrol agents. “They just came in and made the announcement.”
Bates has been with the Border Patrol since 1985, and was appointed Blaine Sector chief in 2007.
His position provides oversight of Customs and Border Patrol, and his sector is tasked with protection of the borders of western Washington, Oregon and Alaska. It is one of 20 sectors nationwide.
Cox said the Border Patrol headquarters had been monitoring Bates’ leadership ability for some time, but he doubted the transfer was because of wrongdoing.
“It really isn’t uncommon.They switch things around once in awhile,” he said.