Remember that time when Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry steered all that taxpayer money towards the Kentucky League of Cities despite a city bureaucrat’s warnings, then that bureaucrat’s warnings about how shady KLC is turned out to be true, then Newberry turned on both KLC and the bureaucrat for making him look so bad?
I know, fun times.
But that doesn’t mean that Newberry can’t still rub elbows with some of the human refuse from KLC, like acting ED Neil Hackworth:
It’s good to know that despite hard times, trials and tribulations, Jim Newberry stays true to his good ole boy friends.
Remember Kathleen Imhoff, the former chief executive of the Lexington Public Library? She was fired last year for stealing spending $134,000 on herself and having 1,522 images of “adult materials” on her laptop, then sued the city for $5 million this summer.
Another victim for those meanies at the Herald Leader and Crit Luallen, you see.
Well it turns out that she has a little personal blog where she documents her oppression by the forces of sanity. Like this post from back in April:
It has been three weeks since the Library Board indicated that they would like to resume mediation, but they have failed to return phone calls to set up a date and time. It is hard to negotiate if you don’t talk.
But what’s interesting is the comment on this post:
Kathleen – how are you. I just went to your site. Very interesting. Perhaps we can get together sometime.
No technical financial fraud was found by the committee (no surprise there), but they did manage to rip Internal Auditor Bruce Sahli a new one, as well as refer some of the shady shiz that went down to the city’s Ethics Commission. Here are the recommendations:
■ Take no further action regarding the fraud allegations and proposed restructuring until the state auditor’s report is delivered and reviewed.
■ Refer the possible violations of the council’s Ethics Act to the Ethics Commission for review.
■ Form a committee to determine the restructuring of the Internal Audit Board, its staff and the process for handling fraud allegations. Reconstitute the Internal Audit Board with a new charter and bylaws.
■ Establish a process for employees to report suspected wrongdoing that protects their identities.
Now we wait and see for the Ethics Commission fallout and Crit Luallen’s report, which is rumored to be out within two weeks.
In retrospect, a full airing of Johnston’s concerns would have better served Lexington, though maybe not the League of Cities.
Even now the council is being forced to wage a legal battle against the executive branch of city government to get information that’s of obvious interest to the citizens’ elected council.
The smoke that Newberry talks about might already have blown over if he had just ordered a full and open accounting of everything.
What also has developed is at least the appearance that the audit board and its chairman performed less as a watchdog of the public’s interest and more as a guardian of the mayor’s image. Such an appearance is an inherent risk under the current audit board ordinance.
The council can easily repair that by enacting new rules or qualifications to ensure the appearance of an independent audit board.
Convincing the public that city government is operating in the open will be harder.
Yesterday, Sylvia Lovely gave a strange/bizarre/surreal interview with Gabe Bullard of WFPL. The media folks and Crit Luallen are just a bunch of meanies who distorted the so-called misdeeds of the Kentucky League of Cities and Sylvia Lovely. And the KLC was totally private, they like didn’t receive money from governments around the state at all. She was bringing back important art work. Listen to it all here.
A Herald Leader editorial last week asks if it is a coincidence that the long-overdue firing of KLC ED Bill Hamilton happened just as the LFUCG investigation into fraud allegations with the hiring of KLC began.
Surely, this is just one of a series of coincidences happening around Lexington’s city hall.
Just like it was a total coincidence that Patrick Johnston’s position was eliminated by the Newberry administration, and it had nothing to do with him calling out funny business in Lexington’s insurance procurement.
Just like it was a total coincidence that LFUCG’s lawyer Logan Askew (max Newberry donor) hired outside counsel Terry Sellars (max Newberry donor) who told internal auditor Bruce Sahli to withhold Johnston’s fraud reports from the council unless the internal audit board told him to (chaired by Newberry’s campaign treasurer Dewitt Hisle, made up of his Senior Adviser, Finance Commissioner, and 4 of the 7 members being max Newberry donors).
Just like it was a total coincidence that the internal audit board kept non-Newberry staffer and contributor George Myers in the total dark about Johnston’s allegations, and also mysteriously canceled their meeting where they could have permitted Sahli to give the council these documents.
Just like it was a total coincidence that Ed Lane (internal audit board member and max Newberry donor) tried to block the effort of Myers to remove Hisle as chair of the board and called the actions of Myers “political”.
Just like it was a total coincidence that Sellars told the council that they did not have the right to request Johnston’s fraud reports, citing one sentence out of context of a paragraph that explicitly stated that the council did have this power.
Seriously, what are we calling this thing? Johnstongate? Help us out.
On Sept. 11, 2007, Lexington city council members voted to move forward with hiring the Kentucky League of Cities to package the city’s excess liability insurance. Everyone agreed, except for council member Richard Moloney, who voted unsuccessfully to move the issue into a committee for more time to consider the proposals.
“I had problems with the rush,” Moloney said Tuesday as he recalled the vote. “I didn’t want to vote on it because the whole thing stunk, and now I find out it still stinks.”
Yes, but as Susan Straub points out, he has given to Jim Gray, which means that he is part of the grand international conspiracy to destroy Jim Newberry, therefore he is Mr. Distorty like Linda Blackford and shouldn’t be listened to.
Blackford also gives us this trip down memory lane in 2007:
“We are recommending that we go with the KLC proposal,” Askew said in his presentation to the council. “I might say that in addition to these features, KLC is a neighbor … they are also involved with insurance with more municipalities than any other … they have worked very very hard to make this proposal to us because they are very interested in having this business relationship with the city of Lexington.”
The council voted that day because the new policy year started Oct. 1. It was the first time the council had received a detailed choice between two providers, city officials have said.
Council members received a matrix of criteria that was different from what Johnston originally prepared, according to documents. Four areas of comparison were left out of the document given to the council, including a notation that the League did not have stringent self oversight of its financial and insurance forms, and that the League’s finances were not graded by the national rating company A.M. Best.
Good to see that Jay McChord is able to perform his duties as a council member:
Vice Mayor Jim Gray announced on Friday the appointment of 9th District Councilmember Jay McChord to a position on the Council’s Special Investigative Committee. The Committee was created by unanimous consent of the Council to examine recent allegations of fraud associated with the City’s insurance procurement process.