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Circling the Wagons and Giving Change a Chance
Position Paper by Michael G. Stogner, Candidate for Supervisor

Original post made by Michael G. Stogner, another community, on May 11, 2014

The SamTrans scandal is a perfect example to illustrate many of the issues that I have been campaigning about in San Mateo County:
1. Corruption in San Mateo County.
2. Unresolved conflicts of interest in San Mateo County.
3. A culture of back scratching and wagon circling instead of problem solving in San Mateo County.
Administrative leave is a temporary leave from a job assignment, with pay and benefits intact. Other reasons that an employee may be placed on administrative leave may include protecting sensitive information or resources. You have got to ask did Michael Scanlon, CEO of SamTrans, or Mark Simon, Executive Officer of SamTrans, think about this option regarding the SamTrans CFO when the first accountant came forward. What about when the second accountant came forward with almost identical claims of fraud?
Let's say Scanlon didn't think about it, it never crossed his mind. That's what the Board is for, to provide oversight of the PUBLIC's money. Did any of the Board members think about Administrative Leave for Gigi? Did Carole Groom, Chairwoman of the Board?
Now that there are three accountants that have all claimed fraud, and Gigi Harrington, CFO, has had plenty of time to access all the sensitive records, software, etc. There is the possibility she can be eradicating evidence. Do you think now might the time for it, better late then never. Wake up Board, do your job.
When Carole Groom was approached in her role as Chairwoman of the Board by whistleblower Ling La, Groom gave her the brush off and then lied about it to the press. Groom either doesn't understand her function in the whistleblower process, or thinks everything should be resolved internally in a hush hush way and intentionally thwarted the whistleblower process which is the LAW in California. Either way, she needs to go, since either one is totally unacceptable.
Calling in the FBI would be a big improvement for the criminal investigation. It's not fair for any of the San Mateo County Taxpayers to expect our District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe to be able to investigate these allegations.
Here are just a few reasons:
1. The spokesperson for SamTrans is County Manager John Maltbie's daughter.
2. Mr. Maltbie has influence over D.A.'s budget.
3. Supervisors are on the Board that provides oversight of SanTrans, The Supervisors have influence and approve the D.A.'s budget.
4. Wagstaffe, Scanlon, Tissier, Groom, Horsley are all members of Service League of San Mateo County, which is a non profit where they can meet privately.
This causes the appearance of a conflict of Interest. Gigi Harrington is the CFO who refuses to meet with NBC11 We Investigate Team as promised by Mr. Scanlon.
Give change a chance. There is a slate of candidates including myself (Mark DePaula, looking to replace Carole Groom, and Juan Lopez for Sheriff) who are all looking to combat corruption in San Mateo County. It can't continue on with business as usual.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Thank you
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Some citizens were interviewed by FBI agents about Wagstaffe. They should forward this information to the agent who told a citizen a couple of weeks ago that the SamTrans case was "very interesting."

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Supervisor Don Horsley says San Mateo County's Whistleblower system works really well. I disagree. I think the Supervisor Carole Groom example proves my point.

Web Link

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Posted by Right
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Horsley is right. If your goal is to protect the entrenched corruption in SMC, the existing whistleblower system, and particularly the people enforcing it (Horsley, Groom, Wagstaffe) work like a charm. I hope voters will sense different goals are appropriate.

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Posted by Righty
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on May 14, 2014 at 6:52 am

Due to the lack of action on SamTrans side (placing Harrington on administrative leave) it appears CFO Gigi Harrington is untouchable.

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Posted by Michael G. Stogner
a resident of another community
on May 14, 2014 at 7:31 am

Letter to Editor,
Web Link

If you watch NBC 11 We Investigate first video report you will see reporter Vicky asking CEO Michael Scanlon about fraud to which he responds "we have awards" he also assures Vicky that he will have his CFO meet on camera anytime to answer questions, that is Gigi Harrington, and that has not happened after several requests. Why?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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