An Open Letter to Mayor McKeithen
Original post made by John P. Johns, another community, on Jun 12, 2010
I regret to advise you that I will be unable to attend next week's city council session as I have been called away on business in Alaska.
I had hoped to be present to personally recommend an independent investigation into the handling of building permits and subsequent inspections on all permits issued to current and former City Council members who's permits were deemed problematic as a result of my Phase III audit of the Building Department. The scope of this independent (meaning Ms. Furth would have nothing to do with it) would include building permits issued to the following individuals:
I believe that such an investigation is warranted because two standing members of the City Council (Charles Marsala and Elizabeth Lewis) both had a significant role in determining the course of action in my termination and subsequent legal battle with the Town.
I also have reason to believe both of these current City Council members acted in a self-serving manner and without regard to the public interest in charting a course of action by the City vis-a-vis my person. The conduct of former city councilmen Jim Janz and Alan Carlson should also be examined as well to determine whether their actions were improperly influenced with respect to my employment matter.
It is now an established fact that the City made a grave mistake in doing what it did to me. Unless a full examination of what transpired is done, I fear that the same thing could happen to someone else who calls attention to misconduct of highly placed elected or appointed officials. As you said when you voted for a Phase III audit of the Building Department "daylight is the best disinfectant".
If this administrative investigation were identify activity that suggests a crime has occurred, such as honest services fraud, a violation of federal anti-corruption statutes, I would also suggest that the matter then be referred to the US Attorney.
Now that my litigation with the Town has ended, I would most certainly welcome the opportunity to be of service to your council if such an investigation were authorized.
My current hourly rate is $150. I believe I could provide you with a very thorough analysis in 300 hours at a cost $45,000.
As a point of order, I would respectfully submit to you that it would be within your power to call for a sole source selection of me as a consultant to perform this study because there are three items on the June 16th regular agenda which are pertinent to this matter. These include items 18, 24 and 28. All you would have to do is to make a motion that the budget of any one of these three items be amended to include the cost of my services.
In response to the question why would anyone in their right mind invite me back to do this study? Well the answer is simple. I have a distinguished record of service with the Town, as is documented by having been awarded the Atherton Civil Interest League 2004 League of Merit Award and a resolution of commendation by your City Council. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only town employee who has received both of these awards in the Town's 80+ year history.
I have also taken the liberty of inquiring of several firms who provide building inspection and permit processing services to the communities, including Kutzman and Associates. None of the firms I spoke with would touch this project with a ten foot pole. They know better than to bite the hand that feeds them.
As another point of order, in view of the sensitivity of this matter, I would respectfully submit that neither Elizabeth Lewis nor Charles Marsala would constitute disinterested parties. This is due to the fact that the conduct of both parties would be within the scope of this review. As such it is reasonable to deduce that neither individuals could, not even by a stretch of Wynn Furth's imagination, be considered disinterested parties.
Again, I would also respectfully submit that you, as Mayor of the Town of Atherton would, as a point of order be duly empowered to make a motion and that for this motion to pass only two of the remaining 3 council members would have to approve the motion. It would also be reasonable to expect that Jerry Carlson, who was the one who originally made a motion to have me conduct the Phase III audit of the building department would be more than happy to have me come back.
When I was the Finance Director, it was frowned upon to have direct contact with City Council members by staff without the prior approval of the City Manager. Such conduct was frowned upon because it was seen as a possible undermining of the City Manager. Nonetheless Jerry and I had many private discussions pertaining to Town business. I therefore considered him to be both a friend and a mentor. I would very much look forward to re-establishing that friendship.