Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Minor election memo, big mess

(Just some mindless scribblings about today's story. You should probably read it – click right smack here – or you'll probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Actually, most of my stuff is just mental patient-like ramblings anyway.)

It's rarely the crime that gets you. It's the cover-up. (I really wish I had come up with that line.)

And this one, the one in the elections office, just burned a bunch of folks.

Hell, I'm thinking about taking the “Deathstar” tag away from the City County Building. Maybe it now belongs to the Old Courthouse. The Elections Office.

Naw, forget that. They get a name. But not “Deathstar.” No. We'll stick with the Star Wars theme. But now we'll call it the “Mos Eisley.”

Heh.

Anyhoo, there's a point to this. I just forgot. Oh Yeah. Interim administrator of elections Scott Frith destroyed a document. A document written by his former boss, Greg Mackay, that alleged a number of unkindly things. And I don't really care if there were hundreds of copies of that document floating around. He took the one, given to him - “him” meaning the custodian – and shredded it.

Now, he says, HR Director Frances Fogerson didn't really care what he did with since "that wasn't the only copy." She admits that, too. Cause, you know, there was another floating around. Whatever.

(Don't blame Fogerson for this one. She wasn't even supposed to have the document to begin with. It got dumped on her. Heck, she's one of the most honorable people in the Deathstar.)

Here's what Frith told me (this is a longer quote than what ran in the paper):

“I really wanted to know what would happen to it. Greg had been terminated and there had never been an investigation. I just wanted to know what was going to happen to it. I wasn't going to frame it and put it on my office wall. I was hoping it would all go away – this whole issue. I didn't want it down there forever.”

So where exactly was it going to go then? Oh yeah, the shredder. He isn't taking it home with him. He's not keeping it in his car. So what else was there? Come on. Seriously. This sucker was getting trashed the second he got his hands on it.

And the sad thing? I knew about the document. Hell, what did I care? The allegations – at least the ones in that piece of paper – were unfounded. Speculation. Second-hand, third-hand, whatever, observations. It could have been political payback. Whatever. It was a non-issue. There was no investigation. Just because someone jots some crap down on paper, doesn't mean it's worth anything. Heck, you're reading this. You read the paper, right? (Heh. Don't say I don't take a shot at myself from time to time.)

But, no. There's a ton of documents that allege a lot of stupid stuff out there. It's when you destroy them, though. That's what makes it a story.

But, whatever. That's not what I wanted to post here tonight anyway. I was actually going to empty my notebook, put up some of the stuff that didn't make the paper. Then I got to beating on Scott. And I like the guy. But what he did was stupid.

Whether you agree that the memo should have been written or not.

And here's the irony.

You want to know how I finally got the document? I got a copy from Scott. No kidding. Because, supposedly Election Commission Chairman Chris Heagerty had the other copy. But, apparently he gave it to someone in the elections office. (He can't remember who.) But then today he says Elections Commissioner Bob Bowman has a copy. He'll get it from him. Fax it over. I'm still waiting for it.

In the meantime, Firth has hit the panic-buttons. He needs a copy. He gets one from Bowman. Today. He emails it to me.

And just think: If he'd never destroyed it? If I – or anyone in the media – had asked for it? Well . . . .

Whatever.

More ramblings. More thoughts. More drivel.

A couple things just didn't seem to add up, both on and off the record stuff (although the off the record mess I'm keeping to myself). So, some stuff got left out of the story. The facts are there. I don't (knock on wood) think anyone disputes what was written.

But, maybe read between some lines.

You got two key players. Both are powder kegs. For all that buddy-buddy show, the back-patting, joke-telling, BS the two put on, they really didn't like each other. That's now apparent.

It will be even more apparent tomorrow (or today when you read this. If you read this.) when the election commission picks a new administrator. Because Greg won't get it (although that's because he's no longer in the running). Nor will Scott. No way he gets the job. It's going to local attorney Clifford Rodgers. (Sorry, Victoria DeFreese, but you were a token pick. They needed a third person. They could have picked Steve Hill, but then they'd have to look their pal in the face and tell him “No.” It's easier to tell you. No offense. You're a nice person. Whatever. Dance for me puppet.)

No, Rodgers gets the pick. And then we won't ever have to write about the election office until the next election. Or redistricting. Or until someone digs up some dirt on Rodgers. Or more on Frith. Actually, I seriously doubt anything comes out on Rodgers.

Here's something else that bothered me. The mayor's role or lack thereof. It was no secret what was going on at the Cantina. No secret I – and I'll give Anthony over at WBIR some props – was working on the story. But, someone “in the administration” tipped Frith about it.

That's life, though.

I do, however, find it odd that some folks in the administration apparently forget about the incident. Oh yeah. They knew about this. You see, Scott found out about the memo in February. He went to see Frances Fogerson. Then Chris Heagerty goes to see her.

And then all of a sudden, Mayor Tim Burchett wants her in his office. And – ta-daa- he has a copy of the freakin' memo in his hand. Oh yeah, apparently Dean Rice, the administration's chief of staff, is in the same room. With said memo.

Of course, that must have really been Heagerty's copy that he was waving around. Because he doesn't have it anymore. Maybe he gave it back to Heagerty who gave it back to the elections office or wherever. (And what's the point of the mayor talking to HR about this anyway. It's not his problem. Like he said. HR “doesn't police the elections commission.” But I digress.)

Yet, somehow, the two of them had to be reminded today that all this took place. They forgot. Funny.

One more thing. Commissioners Heagerty and Bowman have long known about this. That's not a big deal, really. What's interesting, though, is they did meet with Scott back in either late July or early August. Mackay was there, too.

They all talked about it. They said Scott was a single, 30-year-old dumb ass and should have known better. He agreed.

Or something like that. Then, Heagerty tells Frith that nothing will go into his file.

Apparently, no one sent Heagerty the memo. The memo that said Mackay already filed that bad boy in Fogerson's office.

Yeah, Heagerty found out about that – along with Frith and Burchett – back in February.

According to Fogerson, he “stormed out” of her office.

Like I said: A lot of people got burned on this one.

Over something stupid.

But, don't kid yourself. It goes on all the time.

I happened to be in the mood tonight to share it with you.

And it all started with someone wanting to destroy it.

Irony, I suppose.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is one word for this entire situation: tacky. Reading about it makes me want to take a shower.

Here's what I want to know. Bowman claimed (if i understand correctly, which I may not) that McNutt's appt created a "new" Commission, so they were required to look at replacing the administrator.

We---ll, Brooks will replaced soon. Will that create another "new" commission? Will we have to start over with this sorry mess?

Brian Paone said...

"(Don't blame Fogerson for this one. She wasn't even supposed to have the document to begin with. It got dumped on her. Or that's the story the administration is sticking with.)"

Wow. You ARE new. Fogerson arguably has more integrity than anyone else in that building. If she says something happened a certain way for a certain reason, it happened that way and for that reason. The last sentence is completely uncalled for, and a surprise given what you've said before concerning her department.

You really should be careful with this blog, Mike.

I like your irreverent, devil-may-care attitude, even if I think it's a rather base and lackluster method of written presentation. (My opinion. Yours may vary.) But you've got a really bad habit of going over the top sometimes, especially when you don't need to.

It's your world, though. I'm sure you'll do as you see fit, and I'm sure you'll have your reasons for so doing.

Holler if you'd ever like to get out of template phase. I'm going to go see how long it takes for Lail to get butthurt and swing the banhammer for... what is it, the 11th time? 12th? Hard to keep track. Especially this late. (Early?)

See ya 'round. Good luck.

Mike Donila said...

Brian i'll agree with you on that line about the admin "sticking with it". It was late when I wrote it. In fact when I get near my lap top and I'm. Not typing on a phone I will cut it. Fogerson. Is one of the most honorable people in the CC. Building.

Ivan Rogero said...

You rock Paone. Seriously dude, you should be writing for the Big Shed.

Political Leverage said...

the question I have Mike is their is allegations of blackmail and yet not one DA is investigating? Now we have shredded documents. As for Frith, he refused to ever add me on facebook and now it appears we see why. But back to the DA, why haven't they been brought in by Burchett?
Once I would have read the "blackmail charges" I would have been on the phone!The last thing needed in a clear open and transparent administration is blackmail.
Now this was before tim's time but this was his moment to shine

Brian Paone said...

"(Don't blame Fogerson for this one. She wasn't even supposed to have the document to begin with. It got dumped on her. Heck, she's one of the most honorable people in the Deathstar.)"

:-) Thanks. Brian's a good guy, too, if you've ever met him down there. Haven't talked to him in a while.

Anyway, I have the strangest urge to pile into the Blazer and drive around in this impending doom we're about to get. And it's been a while since I've taken a flier on a strange urge. Wish me luck!

Ivan Rogero said...

What will Scott Frith do now? Guess he'll be a full time student. And he and Greg were such a cute couple. Time for Sandra C. to find a new apprentice.

Mike Donila said...

the question I have Mike is their is allegations of blackmail and yet not one DA is investigating? Now we have shredded documents. As for Frith, he refused to ever add me on facebook and now it appears we see why. But back to the DA, why haven't they been brought in by Burchett?
Once I would have read the "blackmail charges" I would have been on the phone!The last thing needed in a clear open and transparent administration is blackmail.
Now this was before tim's time but this was his moment to shine



Frith would have to press the charges on blackmail. He won't.

Anonymous said...

"dance for me puppet" poor Vicky. Guess she'll have to go back to her nude "modeling"
bahahaha