Taxpayers screwed out of another $50,000
Date: Monday, January 18, 2010 @ 23:28:09 EST
Topic: LW Utilities

The cost of corruption ...add $50,000

The WASTE CLOCK is a convenient summary of what is causing Lake Worth to lapse into bankruptcy and dysfunctionality. That central problem remains uncorrected and its called… corruption. And its right at the top levels of Lake Worth government.

Leaving it intact has just cost taxpayers another $50,000 added to a previous $347,000 (not on the clock) in a series of willful and deliberate flourishes of wasting taxpayer money as commissioners knowingly allow the wasting to continue. [Mr Mayor… where is the forensic audit of the utility you promised? Haven’t heard a word about it.]

For example, both commissioners Golden and Mulvehill had detailed and specific knowledge complete with documentation well in advance of their consenting votes to allow the utility director to deliberately waste money. Why did they compromise themselves? $50,000 dollars on one occasion; $650,000 on another ...and all willfully and deliberately wasted. They racked up $80,000 worth of waste after I held up city documentation showing it was waste and yet they turned right around and voted FOR wasting your money. Guess they didn't want to break ranks with the city manager and the utility director she covers for. So our own commissioners who came to power for all the right reasons, sold us out and actually voted FOR what they KNEW was waste.

Now let’s get something very clear. The city manager was also privy to this information and when LWM informed her directly and in person that this thievery was going on and suggested she look at the documentation… the city manager ignored it and actually gave her blessing and consent to whatever the utility director wanted and that abandonment of principle accelerated the pace to over a million in waste in just 6 months.

Now in this out of control deliberate wasting of public funds, we see the usual “change order” appear on the agenda from GE for a transformer that the “three stooges” blew up at the power plant when they forgot to check for shorts before energizing a big transformer with a 138,000 volts. And this isn't the first time this has happened. They had just spent thousands repairing this transformer. Three mistakes have added up to costing taxpayers this additional amount as well as the $347,000 for the repair after plant personnel blew it up.

First, it was not holding anyone accountable for mindlessly blowing up the transformer. Second, it was the plant manager and utility director failing to include a simple logical clause in the repair contract… a “not to exceed delivery date” with GE who now has the transformer hostage and is demanding an extra $50,000 to get it to us on time. There was six months of time to plan this and nobody did ...and that cost us $50,000.

And most importantly, number 3. No one ever looked into why insurance didn’t cover the transformer. If they had, it might show that insurance doesn’t cover gross negligent acts that needlessly blow up transformers. Of course when asked about insurance, the utility director responded that the transformer was too old to be insured when in fact… we have older transformers that are insured. So is she lying again right smack in front of commission as she has previously?

And as usual, the people we elect to be the watchdogs of the public purse become ineffective and compromised. They don’t want step on the sacred cow… utility director Mattey who the city manager covers for. And so the willful and deliberate wasting of public money continues uninterrupted and the forces of corruption boldly operate right in plain view because they know the game.

And just to show how clever they get… LWM was sent some documentation showing that in order to avoid CCNA regulations and steer some big money to a favored contractor friend… the utility director has decided to slip GT2 breaker replacements to one event at a time taking care that each event/invoice is billed for less than the $15,000 that would require going out for bid. So NuCat participates in the scam but scores a bonanza that legally should go out to bid. But then that’s the game isn’t it… “grab the cash and pass it on to your friends.”

This article comes from Lake Worth Media

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