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Tough Questions for Mike Wasmann

Original post made by John P. Johns, CPA, another community, on Apr 26, 2010

During my audit of the Building Department, I identified several properties with zoning violations of an egregious nature:
Mr. Steve Ackley's poolhouse with a basement but wihout the required sprinkler system. Mr. Sam Benzacar's house with a 5,000 square foot third floor that, according to the Building Department wasn't there. Then there was Charlie King's house, with a basement that wasn't really a basement. Last but not least there was Elizabeth Lewis' home, one which was permitted as a remodel, despite the fact that the onld home was completely demolished. One that is about 25% bigger than the maxium allowed for her lot size.
What do all of these properties have in common? The answer is Mike Wasmann. Mr. Wassman did the lion's share of the inspections for each property. Mr. Wassman was the one who when interviewed by me during my audit insisted that everything was fine. No there wasn't anything illegal going on he told me.
[Portion removed]
Now that Chief Brennan and Chief Nielsen have left the stage, perhaps Mr. Guerra will give this issue the scrutiny that is called for.
In addition to examining Mr. Wasmann's financial records, it might behoove the Atherton PD to examine the checking accounts of a few builders as well.
Perhaps the newly appointed Finance Committee member Mr. Jeff Wise might be willing to volunteer to open his own books in the interest transparency. Ms. Lewis should have no problem doing so either I would imagine. She does sit on the Council and she did benefit from Mr. Wasmann's apparent lack of attention to detail.
Just a suggestion Chief, "follow the money". There's lots of it in Atherton.

Comments (1)

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Posted by richard marks
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Apr 27, 2010 at 7:06 am

The Building Department has a reputation for corruption that is well deserved. I was present when one building employee gave a not so gentle reminder to a prominent developer in town that her birthday was just around the corner.

Shortly after this exchange, this same employee was heard boasting about having to go pick up a gift from one the building department's customers that we too big to fit in her car.

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