KC Crosbie

Video of Tuesday’s LFUCG work session drama

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June 24, 2010

On Tuesday, George Myers dropped a major dramabomb on the Lexington’s Council Work Session when he made a motion to place on today’s docket a vote to remove Dewitt Hisle as chair of LFUCG’s Internal Audit Board, due to his overwhelming conflict of interest and the odd behavior around the internal auditor. While the motion lost by a vote, Hisle would resign hours later.

But there was much more drama than that when the council discussed the motion, including KC Crosbie grilling the legal department, Feigel accusing Myers of politics and casting aspersions, Tom Blues jumping in to shill for Newberry, Julian Beard going all Bunning on Newberry, and Ed Lane sounding suspiciously defensive about his work on the internal audit board.

Oh, and here’s all the fun on video, in 4 parts. Enjoy:

Among the higlights:

Myers claims that Sahli’s excuse for canceling the internal audit board meeting earlier this month is different than what he’s saying now, implying that they’re, uh, not keeping their story straight.

Crosbie twists Newberry’s legal lackey Keith Horn into knots on when Sellars stopped representing LFUCG and started representing Bruce Sahli, also asking if he still represented LFUCG when he started leaking opinions to the Herald Leader. She asked who requested the auditor of public accounts to do an independent review and Mayor Newberry jumps in and says “I did”. Crosbie asks if it was him and not Sahli, and Newberry said he believed Sahli had some conversation with them as well, but he knows he did. Whoa.

Feigel and Lane shilled to the 9th degree for Newberry, accusing Myers of politics, while Blues jumped in early saying this was premature. Lane went on to cover for the board and also trashed the LFUCG special investigation committee, saying they weren’t qualified and the only people to listen to are the state auditors people.

Beard took on that last point by saying that he remembered this body voting unanimously to create that committee, so Lane should feel free to STFU. He told Lane if he’s looking for ways to knock the legs out from under this committee, it would be a shame. He said there has not been a political breath drawn in the committee and they’re just interesting in finding out how the process happened, and if fairness has been dealt to the individual(s) involved in this fraud report and anything around that. He said they have a mandate to go further, and certainly will.

Andrea James also stepped in and defended Myers, saying she sees absolutely no politics in this. She said that anytime a council member sees something on a board that doesn’t allow process to work, it is their responsibility to report it to the full council, which is exactly what Myers is doing. She said this is about transparency.

Peggy Hensen said that she would vote for the motion because this looks really bad, and Hisle’s position with Newberry’s campaign creates a definite conflict of interest.

Jim Gray recused himself from both discussion and the vote.

And do you know what really would have been fun? Diane Lawless was apparently out sick for the meeting, but if she had been there, the vote likely would have been tied 7-7. And you know what happens then? The Mayor has to break the tie… meaning Newberry would have decided right then and there whether his campaign’s treasurer was fired from the board or not.

Which would have been really fun.

Council meeting is tonight at 7:00… any more fireworks in store?

June 22nd LFUCG special investigation committee meeting

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June 22, 2010

Lexington’s special investigation committee looking into the Patrick Johnston fraud allegations met again this morning at 9:00. The order of business: to go over the refusal of Internal Auditor Bruce Sahli to turn over the fraud reports in question, and also go over the requested documents turned in to the committee that were due yesterday.

Here’s a rundown of the meeting:

Myers started the meeting by recapping Bruce Sahli’s refusal, then stating that they made a subsequent request on June 17th to the external auditors Mountjoy Chilton Medley to give the committee the fraud documents. He stated that Mountjoy wanted an extension to June 30th, as they wanted to “evaluate the requests” and also ask for the consent of Mayor Newberry to “allow us to disclose this confidential information” to the committee. Again with the “confidentiality” garbage… Johnston wants it out.

Here is a scan of the letter Myers sent to Mountjoy, and their reply:

They would jump back into what to do with Mountjoy later in the meeting.

Julian Beard stepped in and softly mumbled something about his disagreement with Sellars’s legal opinion in the Sahli letter, saying that the charter disagrees. K.C. Crosbie then chimed in and said that Sellars only quoted part of the agreement with Mounjoy, but withheld the part that explicitly stated that they are free to release a document such as this to a LFUCG committee. Hoo boy.

Before Beard and Crosbie jumped back on to Sellars’s weak argument, Myers and Crittenden (committee’s outside counsel) went over the legal basis of his claims. Myers pointed out that Sahli works for the internal audit board (his boss according to the letter), yet the internal audit board has made no effort to advise him, as Myers in on the board and the chair hasn’t called a meeting since this issue was brought up (though they did suspiciously cancel one). Myers also asked about the precedent that would be set for any future LFUCG committees if they allowed Sahli’s ridiculous refusal to stand. This is where Crittenden unfortunately isn’t even close to being up to speed. More on that in a bit.

Beard then went back to his complaint over Sellars’s opinion on refusing to release the documents, which was absolutely blistering. He accused the Newberry administration of “stonewalling”, “cutting our legs out from under us”, and a reference to having to “run all around Robin Hood’s barn” to find what they needed (Google it, I had to). He said “this angers me, to say the least”. Beard kind of reminds me of Bunning when he gets angry. Go get ‘em, Julian.

Crosbie then went back and restated that Sellars selectively quoted from the LFUCG engagement with Mountjoy, not providing the Council with the part which said they could turn over the document to committees such as this one. She then went on to state how conflicted the law department is, as their story on whom the law department and Sellars represent has shifted over and over again over the past month. She said that the committee needed to look into how Sellars was procured for Sahli, and the process of how they released information to the media.

This is where Crittenden was asked for his legal opinion and things got frustrating. Crittenden (as he told the committee in advance) is on vacation this weekend, and was on the phone with the committee today. He said he didn’t have answers to Crosbie’s questions, and would have to look it up when he got back. Newberry’s team has an army of taxpayer funded lawyers working for him, and the committeee gets a retired judge working by his lonesome, whenever he can spare the time. Ugh. He also seemed to again be a bit naively optimistic that Mountjoy would turn over the fraud documents, just as he and Myers had been with Sahli last week.

Myers then commented that commented on how odd this situation is, since the committee should be able to use city lawyers, yet the city lawyers consider them a “3rd party”, also questioning whether they should have chosen the auditor’s outside counsel, as the internal audit board was never consulted on this.

Gorton stepped in to ask Crittenden about Sellars’s reference to the Council being a “3rd party”, and wanted to know if she was actually part of government. Crittenden said this was a baseless claim, as it is their duty to be the policy making body of LFUCG. Gorton replied that she’s glad to know that she’s actually part of the government. Shameless grandstanding.

Returning to Mounjoy, Crosbie made a motion to ask Mountjoy to give the committee the fraud report documents by 2:00 Friday. The motion passed unanimously.

Myers then went on to go over the documents that were given to the committee by the deadline yesterday. Johnston, Rumpke, Logan Askew and Brian Marcum (Director of the Divsion of Central Purchasing) where each sent letters requesting:

1) Emails between Patrick Johnston and Logan Askew regarding the proposal for liability insurance that was ultimately presented to the Council on September 11,2007. This should include, but not be limited to, emails dated August 17, 2007 as referenced in the Lexington Herald-Leader on June 3, 2010.

2) The Requests for Proposals, and the submitted proposals for liability insurance services ultimately awarded to the Kentucky League of Cities in September, 2007, and any completed analysis of the same.

3) Communications between the Urban County Government, Marsh, and the Kentucky League of Cities concerning the transition to KLC insurance in 2007.

Scans of these letters (and Rumpke’s response) are below:

As you can see, Rumpke said that she did not have this information. Marcum also did not turn over this information claiming he did not have it, though I don’t have a copy of the letter. According to Myers, Askew provided all three, as did Johnston.

Myers also asked Sahli to provide additional information:

I) Any written communication to and from the Internal Auditor regarding the completed Fraud Risk Assessment Questionnaire completed by an employee in the Division of Risk Management in 2008 and 2009.

2) Any written policies and procedures of the Internal Audit Unit that provide guidance for the office’s review of fraud allegations, special requests, etc.

Here is that letter, and Sahli’s response in which he explains why he is denying #1, above.

I’ll have much more on this letter later.

Sahli did provide #2, above. Yet he stamped it “confidential”, even though this could in no way be classified as “confidential”, as it is an open government document pertaining to the function of the Internal Audit Board. The members all agreed that just because you put a “confidential” stamp on a pile of papers, it doesn’t make it so.

They set the next meeting for 8:00 next Tuesday the 29th and adjourned.

More analysis of what went down in this meeting to come, either tonight or tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: In the Council Work Session this afternoon after this meeting, George Myers called on Internal Audit Board chair Dewitt Hisle to resign. His motion failed by one vote. Bigtime drama. Read about it here.

June 14th LFUCG special investigation committee meeting (2nd attempt)

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June 15, 2010

(my second attempt at this, as Blogger decided to delete my first post)

The Lexington council’s special investigation committee met today for the first time with their newly appointed outside counsel, retired Franklin County Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden. Here’s his bio from when he was inducted to the UK College of Law’s Hall of Fame back in 2007:

A highly respected judge of integrity, Roger L. Crittenden has given a lifetime of service to the Commonwealth and to the UK College of Law. After three years of service in the U.S. Army including a tour in Vietnam, Crittenden graduated with the class of 1975 and launched his career in public service at the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources and the Kentucky Council on Higher Education. In 1980 he was elected as Franklin County District Court Judge where he served for 12 years before being elected as Franklin County Circuit Court Judge in 1992. He retired in 2006 and is Senior Judge of the Franklin Circuit Court.

Committed to education, Judge Crittenden has served as chair of the Circuit Judges Association Education Committee and is a former board chair of PUSH Infant Pre-School. Judge Crittenden also served the UK College of Law as an adjunct writing instructor for 26 years. He completed his final semester of teaching this spring and was honored by having one of the legal writing groups – three of which are titled after figures such as Clay, Cardozzo and Marshall – named after him.

Three of his notable decisions as a judge were ruling against the University of the Cumblerlands in 2008, against the 2% tax on HMO’s in 1993, and against pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in what I assume was one of his last cases in January of this year. From what I saw of him today, he seemed sharp and fair (for whatever that’s worth).

Diane Lawless opened the meeting by asking a question to clarify Jay McChord’s threat (and it was a threat) in the last meeting on retribution against someone if the committee finds that no fraud or wrongdoing occurred. She wanted to know who he was talking about exactly, Johnston or fellow council members. McChord didn’t bat an eye, answering that he didn’t know, then going on to say that council members have publicly mentioned the fraud allegations in chamber, and if there’s nothing there they must be held accountable. Painfully obvious that he was directing this towards KC Crosbie, just as internal auditor Bill Sahli publicly called on Crosbie to apologize for mentioning this before the council in late May.

(and on a completely unrelated but funny note, Lawless and McChord were wearing matching pink)

Gorton and Beard stepped in to say that this statement kind of unnerved them, and Crittenden added that the committee in no way has the responsibility to hand out some kind of punishment, whether fraud and wrongdoing is found or not. They moved away from the matter after that.

The committee then went on to discuss how they will handle requesting documents, confidential documents, and how and when they will use their subpoena power.

Before they went on to discuss the specific documents they were requesting, two significant matters came up. First, Myers noted that it was important that the committee look into the due process of the internal audit board, as he wanted to know why he, as a member of the board, was not notified about the original fraud claims, yet apparently others were. Crittenden noted that the rules for when something does or doesn’t go before the board was in the scope of their work.

Lawless then noted that she and other members of the committee have received an unsolicited flood of information on these allegations from people since this matter first exploded in late May. She said that due to McChord’s threat in the last meeting, she sought legal advice from a lawyer to make sure that her receiving this information in no way made her liable from some type of political/legal retribution. She wanted to openly discuss what she is supposed to do with this information, in terms of bringing it before the committee or not. Both Myers and Crittenden seemed to agree that while unsubstantiated information shouldn’t be used by the committee, members were free to share this information so that they could all officially request any relevant information though official channels (using the where/when of the information provided).

Next, the members went through the specific documents that they were requesting. The first documents requested are to be Johnston’s fraud assessment reports. They are asking the internal auditor for these documents, and gave a Wednesday deadline for them to be produced, or else they will use their subpoena powers to obtain them. They essentially concluded that the internal auditor is a separate entity from the mayor’s administration. We’ll see how that goes.

The other documents requested are the RFP’s on KLC, relevant emails to the matter, and relevant information on the process of the internal audits. They set a Monday June 21st deadline to receive this information, and will have their meeting the next day at 9:00.

If any of the information they receive is confidential, they will be housed at the county clerk, where committee members will be free to read them, but not to take away copies.

Crittenden said that if any information isn’t provided, the committee will have the power to subpoena for it. Myers said that he doesn’t imagine they’ll have this problem, then looked in the back of the room to Shaye Rabold for some sign of agreement. Shaye basically said she didn’t know anything and to leave her out of it. A little tense.

So that’s it until the next meeting 9:00 Tuesday morning June 22nd. Linda Blackford’s story on the meeting is up here, too.

Also of note is Blackford’s other story out this afternoon. Whereas George Myers publicly stated that he hoped the Newberry administration (and others) would not attempt to try this case in the media, Newberry’s press secretary has already sent little attacks on Johnston’s credibility to the Herald Leader. Shocking that Newberry would do that, I say. Shocking.

LFUCG’s Special Investigative Committee named

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June 3, 2010

And away we go:

By unanimous consent, earlier this week the Lexington City Council requested that Vice-Mayor Jim Gray appoint a special investigative committee to further pursue the allegations of fraud recently brought to the Council’s attention.

The investigative committee will be comprised of a diverse group of Council members:

* George Myers, Chair, 8th District
* Linda Gorton, At-Large
* Cheryl Feigel, 5th District
* Diane Lawless, 3rd District
* Doug Martin, 10th District
* Julian Beard, 4th District
* K.C. Crosbie, 7th District

“It is essential that the recent allegations of fraud are given a thorough and complete review,” said Vice-Mayor Gray. “I am certain that, through this committee, we will continue to move towards a more ethical, transparent government for the people of Lexington.”

LFUCG votes to approve special investigative committee on Johnston/RM/fraud allegations

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June 1, 2010

Today the LFUCG’s Committee of the Whole meeting approved (after long debate and no objections) a special investigative commission to look into the allegations that Mayor Jim Newberry’s administration ignored Patrick Johnston’s fraud allegations regarding the Kentucky League of Cities and then eliminated his position.

Linda Blackford has a quick summary up, but here’s my chronological rundown of the meeting:

Jim Newberry was not in attendance, though Linda Rumpke, Logan Askew and Keith Horn were there.

After George Myers gave his summary on last Thursday’s meeting where they declined Newberry’s risk management “reorganization”, the fireworks started when KC Crosbie started her questioning of Linda Rumpke. Crosbie provided the council with information that Patrick Johnston provided her regarding his history with Risk Management in Lexington during his tenure, which prompted Rumpke to jump up and announce that she also had handouts, detailing the “misleading statements” made by Johnston at Thursday’s Links meeting. At which point Newberry’s pal Kevin Stinnett stepped in and wanted to know why Crosbie didn’t have statements prepared from the risk management workers who weren’t losing their jobs. Cry me a river, Kevin.

Crosbie then asked Rumpke if she has read the 1987 ordinance on approving the budget and asked if they were in compliance with it. Rumpke said she hadn’t but assumed that they were, and Crosbie should ask the law department. Rumpke was getting perturbed at this point by the questioning, and Crosbie told her it was OK if she didn’t know, she could provide that information when she obtained it.

This is when LFUCG Law Commissioner Logan Askew jumped up to the podium with a major chip on his shoulder. Askew angrily accused Crosbie of misleading the public by saying that LFUCG had violated the charter (which she didn’t, she only asked about following ordinances). He then viciously implied that KC Crosbie wasn’t smart enough to have found this information all by her lonesome. Then Askew remarkably demanded that Crosbie submit all of her questions to him in writing before the committee. Yes, he demanded to know what her questions were ahead of time. Unbelievable.

Jim Gray then stepped in and interrupted Askew, telling him that it was inappropriate of him to address a council member in such an intimidating manner. He told him to cut it out and treat her with the respect she deserves. Askew promptly shut up and sit down.

Crosbie then continued her questioning of Rumpke, asking her if the administration was soliciting members of risk management to take positions in other departments before the “reorganization” was approved. Rumpke says the didn’t encourage them to take other positions, merely helped them find other positions. Hrm.

Crosbie then asked her when she first became aware of the fraud assessment reports. Rumpke claimed that she never heard about them until Crosbie’s questioning of the external auditors on April 27th. This is when Jay McChord butted in and stated that we should stop talking about this, as the fraud allegations don’t relate to the risk management budget. Gray said the functioning of the department that is being gutted is certainly relevant to the proposal to “reorganize” it, and allowed Crosbie to continue. Rumpke said that she’s never seen the reports, but was told of them eventually by the internal auditor, Bruce Sahli. She said she has never spoken to Johnston about them.

Crosbie then dove into questions about how workers’ compensation claims where being handled. Rumpke said very condescendingly that she doesn’t participate in meetings about this with Johnson, and said that law handles this. She also disagreed with statements that Johnston has made about workers’ comp. Crosbie said she had questions about the two lackeys (my words) from the Links meeting, Dawn and Sweeney, but noted that they weren’t there. Askew claimed that they were “near”, I believe, and could come if their presence was requested. They never came in the chamber today.

Crosbie then asked if the law department was the only one handling workers’ comp claims at the moment, which opened up a can of worms. Rumpke said that reports often flow between departments, but law is where they are currently “coordinated”. Crosbie asked if Johnston, the current RM director, currently has access to these claims, or whether he has been cut off. Rumpke answered that he was cut off, beginning when their first “reorganization” proposal was made, before the council even had approved it. Crosbie noted the obvious that this might, uh, undercut the ability of the director to do his job. Lawless followed up by noting the oddness of cutting his access before the council even had a chance to approve it. Strange, indeed.

Gorton briefly stepped in and noted that she had asked the administration to provide her with a list of ordinances the council was to follow on this matter, and no one has gotten back to her. Rumpke claimed she had. Gorton again said she’s received nothing from her on this, and would like that, kthanks.

Crosbie then questioned the legal department on the legal status of Johnston if the council approved Newberry’s budget proposal “reorganization”. They said that he would be laid off. Crosbie asked if Johnston made any budget recommendations for the department that was given to the administration. Askew said that he did. Crosbie followed by asking if there were any differences in his submitted recommendations and the recommendations that the planning committee received. Askew got defensive and asked if she was accusing him of changing it. Rut roh. I’d assume we’ll find out more about this soon enough.

George Myers then stepped in and presented a May 10th memo by Staff to Council Paul Schoninger. He contacted risk management associations around the country and asked them best practices questions. They said that most have centralized risk management component, which makes them more effective. They said that the administration’s proposal to split risk management will weaken it and make their message inconsistent. This is why Myers voted against this, as it would do more damage than good. And this is George Myers talking. Ouch, Newb!

Councilman Julian Beard then stepped up and dropped the bomb. He said that getting information on this from the administration is “like pulling teeth”, and he favors a special investigative committee to look into this. He said this matter is clogging up the Links process, and it is much better to be able to dig into this and get to the bottom of it very soon. He said that they needed unified approach to this, and some may call it adversarial, but what he’s hearing from Newberry’s soldiers is that they’ll answer your question if you ask the right ones, otherwise they won’t give you the information. That’s why an investigative committee is needed. Ka-boom.

At this point, Stinnett interjected that council members should be limited to 5 minutes and wanted a vote for it, but that went nowhere fast.

Askew then again stepped to the podium and asked that Crosbie give her questions to him written in advance (they’re soooo hard!). Gorton said that this was silly, council should have the ability to ask any question they want. Askew demurred a bit, then apologized if he had been disrespectful to anyone.

Crosbie jumped back in with KLC questions, asking if Johnston was in favor of the city’s switch to KLC. Askew says that quotes were presented, but could not “recollect” what they were. He said that he could provide this, but thought that council already received this. Crosbie again asked if changes were made between his summary on this and what was ultimately given to Council. Askew’s answer again was that he “could not recall”.

I think those statements give a BIG hint to what a big part of this entire ordeal is about. Stay tuned on that one.

Beard then formally presented his motion for a special investigation committee made up of the council to look into this whole sordid affair, and the council went into debate over this.

Feigel said that she felt totally in the dark on this, and that with the Herald Leader writing about this and all of the serious allegations being made, we needed to get to the bottom of this and fast.

That’s when Doug Martin stepped in and played his “role” on the council. He pointed out that the Newberry administration has called for external and internal auditors report to be reviewed by a “3rd party” (which Rumpke just announced after Beard’s motion was presented). He said it was a “peer review group” of sorts. He said that this report should come to the council before they do anything. Basically, we should let these hand-picked experts discuss this matter before we do. Right.

Lawless then pointed out that the council itself is being told that they are a “3rd party” by Newberry’s lawyers, and it seems like a lot of people have been given that “3rd party” business. She supports investigative body idea, out in the open for the public to see for transparency’s sake. Though she noted that it is hard to get everyone together in summer months.

Beard noted that the benefit of letting the council comprise this investigative body is that they would have subpoena power that the “3rd party peer review” folks would not have. You are correct, sir.

Then Newberry’s allies started falling in line in favor of Beard’s proposal. Lane said that these allegations were serious and this emergency meeting should get going as soon as possible. We don’t want this going on in the “political season”, as it could get messy. Then Myers said that this concern about the whistle-blower’s “name getting out” is absurd, because we all know who he is and he’d love to release this without intimidation. The real issue is whether our city government protects whistle-bowers from intimidation like this, which is harmful to everyone.

Myers then asked Horn if “he’d like to step to the podium and answer a question about that”, to which Horn replied “not really”, though he did anyway. Myers grilled him about the ridiculous argument from the Thursday meeting from Sellers about how no 3rd party can see Johnston’s fraud report. Horn kind of hemmed and hawed, saying something about needing an “outside” eye since he’s in the legal department, and said Myers should ask Sellers. Myers asked Horn if he had seen it. Horn mentioned an ethics code about not looking at it, but said that with the administration’s “3rd party peer review” process they could, just like the internal and external auditors did. Which makes PERFECT sense, doesn’t it?!

Stinnett said let’s get Sellers down here to talk about it. Horn said “sure”! Well, sometime this week, not right now. Sorry! Crosbie then asked a golden question: Who does Mr. Sellers represent? Horn said he represented city government. Kinda speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

Crosbie explained that she will support Beard’s motion. We need to be transparent and get these answers. We are elected to do this, and if we don’t we are not fulfilling our roles. We’ve already been called a 3rd party by the lawyer that’s supposed to represent us, and this has got to stop once and for all.

Martin then asked for a “friendly amendment” that every member of the council would be required to make up the committee. Beard says getting all 15 quickly is like herding cats and almost impossible at this time of year. Everybody on the council agreed (it should be voluntary for all), and Martin wound up being the only member to vote for it (he kept making a reference to “4 council members” being able to swing vote in the “politically charged environment”… you’re pretty transparent, Doug). With the vote, he slunked back in his chair, pouting. Call a whaaaambulance, dude.

Beard’s motion was then voted on, with no member speaking up to vote against it.

Get all that? Yeah, it’s a lot. But in summary, the council’s investigatory body is convening quickly with subpoena power, and all of the truth is going to come out very, very soon.

Popcorn, Lexington. Popcorn.

Oh, one final thing I forgot. You notice who the one completely silent council member was? Chuck Ellinger. Didn’t say a single word throughout the entire 3 hours. I guess the man who wants to be vice mayor doesn’t want to cast his lot with any side just yet…

Big time LFUCG whistleblower meeting at 2:00 today

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May 27, 2010

I’ll be in attendance tweeting on the big LFUCG brew ha ha that Linda and I wrote about yesterday.

Follow here, or use #LFUCG.

KC Crosbie exposing possible corruption on a grand scale at LFUCG (UPDATE)

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May 26, 2010

Remember that accidental tweet I showed you yesterday from Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry’s Chief of Staff, Shaye Raybold?

Well, today I’ve been able to uncover quite a bit that puts that accidental tweet into context.

This tweet was sent out around the same time that Council member KC Crosbie was making this statement to the Council Committee of the Whole:

As you can see, Crosbie is explaining that Lexington’s Director of Risk Management filled out a fraud assessment report in 2008, which was ignored by our city’s auditors. On top of that, Mayor Newberry recently got rid of this same individual by eliminating his position. On top of that, our city’s lawyers will not allow Crosbie or anyone else outside of their circle to even look at the document. This sends Jim Newberry errand boy Doug Martin into a fit of rage, shouting at Crosbie that she shouldn’t have spoken about this in public (nice transparency, Doug). Crosbie stands up for herself and argues that the taxpayers of Lexington need to know about this.

This obviously stinks to high heaven.

Crosbie has been on this for over a month, as she brought up similar questions at the April 27th meeting of this committee. She grilled the city’s external auditors, Mountjoy Chilton Medley, on whistle-blowers reporting fraud within the city government. Who would this get reported to? How many have we had, and who sees them? They assured her that her questions would be answered. By the time of the committee meeting yesterday, they obviously had not.

But wait until you hear what this fraud assessment report was all about. The Kentucky League of Cities.

I’ve learned that the person in question filed this report because of the great concerns he had with the city’s new insurance contract with the Kentucky League of Cities. First, he was concerned about KLC’s performance history and pricing. But more importantly, he threw up major red flags around Bill Hamilton. Yes, the infamous Bill Hamilton. And remember, this was before the Herald Leader’s Linda Blackford turned over the rock at KLC and exposed the culture of out of control spending there.

Our own Director of Risk Assessment sounded the alarm on KLC, and no one listened to him. And then his job was eliminated.

And now? The mayor’s lawyers are threatening him to not release the documents.

Tomorrow at 2:00, there will be a committee meeting that is supposed to discuss this, unless the votes are there to squash it. The three members of the committee are Doug Martin, George Myers and Jim Gray. Jim Gray will hear it, because he continually stands up for transparency with our tax dollars, as he’s shown us time and time again. George Myers will try to squash it. The only question mark is Doug Martin. Though he is an errand boy for Jim Newberry, would he really be willing to squash something of this magnitude, especially as he’s up for election against a teabagger this fall?

Tune in and find out. You haven’t heard the end of this.

UPDATE: Linda Blackford (Mrs. KLC Slayer, herself) now reporting:

But Crosbie wonders whether Johnson’s position is being eliminated under the Mayor’s proposed budget because of the concerns he raised.

“I don’t know because I can’t get a copy of the fraud questionnaire to be able to evaluate whether his report is legitimate,” Crosbie said. “I’m getting the feeling that there’s something in there that the administration doesn’t want the city council to see.”

Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Newberry, said: “The reorganization decisions we have made have nothing to do with any complaints any employee has alleged against the government.”

The Herald-Leader obtained a May 19 letter written by Crosbie to Law Commissioner Logan Askew asking why city council members could not get the questionnaire — a document external auditors use to ask employees whether they know of any fraud. At Tuesday’s city council meeting, she repeated her concerns.

The city also denied a Herald-Leader open records request for the fraud risk assessments, saying they were not the property of the city, and belonged instead to the external auditing firm, Kentucky’s Mountjoy Chilton Medley.

Crosbie said the law department hired outside counsel to evaluate whether she could see the questionnaires. Those lawyers told her she could not see them because the council is considered a third party and not directly involved in the confidential nature of the documents.

It’s rarely the crime, but the cover up that gets ya…




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