Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tattletale line loads of fun

I love the county's so-called fraud hotline.

It caters to my smart-ass sensibilities. (Uh, not that I've called it or anything.)

It's entertainment at the expense of others.

And that's the best kind of fun.

But, really, this thing in and of itself is a waste, and someone needs to report it.

Then send the bill - $8,000 the first year and $2,000 each additional year – to the state lawmakers who mandated the thing in the first place. (By the way, does the state actually have one of these things?)

You see, folks aren't really using this thing correctly. You're supposed to call the hotline to report government waste, fraud or abuse – associated with coin, scratch, money. Whatever.

You're not supposed to throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. (Love them cliches.)

Or as county Mayor Tim Burchett says: Don't hide behind your mama's skirt and throw rocks. (Yeah, he really did say that. Heh.)

Anyhoo, a bunch of wild tips came in this past week. And, yes, I did check up on them. (I can't speak for the county. They move a heck of a lot slower than I do.)

But, I didn't find anything. Still, I'll keep looking and feel free to send me – not that silly hotline – any tips you have.

I'm rambling. Sorry.

In the meantime, enjoy the anonymous tips folks so far have left on the hotline service, and my side comments.

(Also, please remember, I'm more professional in real life than I am on this company-mandated blog for which I am not getting paid any extra to do.)

Here ya go:

  • “One of my friends who works for the county says that Allison Burchett (the mayor's wife) was hired to work there but never actually comes to the office, and didn't even go to law school.” (Well, one of my friend's cousins who kind of knows Allison but really doesn't says he disagrees. Human resources also says the mayor's wife isn't on the payroll. And county Law Director Joe Jarret wouldn't put up with that crap anyway.)
  • The caller said the Knox County law director was involved in fraudulent activity. (Tell Jarret's political opponent to have another one. Unless he or she was talking about the last law director. Then, they're only a year or so too late.)
  • “A friend of mine who is a jailer said there was a detail of DUI prisoners sent to the mayor's house to plant bushes and clean out brush. And I also heard the same jailer took prisoners to the sheriff's mom's house to paint the house and fix the back porch.” (I can't testify to whether JJ hooked up his mom with a new paint job, but if the prisoners worked on the mayor's landscape, they need to be sent back to jail. Because they seriously did a bad job. Last time I checked, Tim Burchett's mayoral manor didn't have any new bushes there. Unless the caller was talking about those dead things by the mailbox.)
  • “My buddy at KPD said he heard over the police radio that Mayor Burchett was pulled over for drunk driving last weekend but the sheriff got him out of it. If I got a DUI, I'd lose my job! This is the same crap we here in Knox County had to put up with for 10 years.” (Uh, if I'm not mistaken, the mayor is a teetotaler. He's probably had more booze spilled on him then he's drank. But nice try. On a side note, I'm not sure I trust a person who doesn't drink. But I digress. Again.)
  • The caller said four employees (names unknown) slept while working at the park. (Are you sure they weren't working for the school administration? If one of them looked like guy or this gal, let me know. Heh.)
  • The caller said the employees should not drive Knox County vehicles when they are not performing work-related activities. (Yeah, they shouldn't do a lot of stuff in life. Truly remarkable observations. You got anymore details?)
  • “(Chief of Staff) Dean Rice just got a new truck and I understand it is actually paid for with county money. This is wrong and I think it's ridiculous.” (Dean owns a gas-guzzler and petrol prices are skyrocketing. That in itself is ridiculous. But unless you're talking about his taxpayer-funded paycheck, he didn't use “county money” to buy it.)
  • “I keep hearing that Dean Rice gets paid $200 a week for mileage that he claims he drives for official county business. But there's no way!” (Are you sure you weren't thinking about schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre. Or Clerk of Circuit Court Cathy Quist?)

OK, all the rest of the reports are all true, so I'm not going to post them. Kidding. My fingers are tired and this blog wasn't all that witty to begin with.

On a side note, I encourage people to call the audit hotline (866-858-4443 ), especially late at night after you've had a few.

And, again, feel free to send me tips. I do check them out no matter how fantastic they might sound.

You never know.

Anyhoo, I need to run. I have to make more calls to the audit hotline.


Anonymous said...

"A friend of mine who is a jailer said there was a detail of DUI prisoners sent to the mayor's house to plant bushes and clean out brush. And I also heard the same jailer took prisoners to the sheriff's mom's house to paint the house and fix the back porch."

That is a true story from an adjacent county, I think it may have been Loudon County. But it wasn't here.

Mike Donila said...

I don't doubt that. It used to happen in Georgia all the time.