Thursday, October 28, 2010

Link To RonKayeLA Article: "Wanted: A Thousand Citizen Watchdogs"

WHEN WENDY GREUEL AUDITS SHADY AS HELL $20 BILLION IN LAUSD CONSTRUCTION SPENDING AND SAYS, "ALL IS WELL"...TIME TO POST THIS: (How can you spend half a billion on ONE SCHOOL and say, "Hunky-Dory?") Wendy, maybe you should call ZD for some tips on what just happened under your cute little haircut and DUMB HELLEN KELLER NOSE!

DON'T EVER VOTE FOR THE NAME, "WENDY GREUEL" no matter HOW MUCH Diane Fienstein begs you to.

Wanted: A Thousand Citizen Watchdogs

Earlier this month, LACCD named Christine Marez to be its newly-created inspector general with a $705,000 a year five-year contract for her newly-created firm.

For the past four years, she lists herself as "Director of Policies" on construction, formally known as the Director of the Office of Construction Management Standards.

On May 19, she posted this: "My new firm is at the top of the list for an amazing contract!! Asking for your love and support...tomorrow at 2 p.m. they choose us unanimously!"

Apparently successful in winning that contract, she went after the college inspector general contract in August and was awared it on Oct. 6 by the LACCD board.

"By employing an inspector general who reports directly to us, the Board will be improving our oversight of the District's bond program and hopefully will be increasing efficiencies over the remaining years of the construction projects," said Georgia L. Mercer, president of the Board of Trustees.

Maybe, but a lot of the problems in the LAUSD construction program involved the use of consultants and the lack of policies and standards, according to a Feb. 24, 2009 audit by then Inspector General Jerry Thornton.

In 2006-07, shortly after Marez went from being a consultant to an LAUSD employee, he found there were 1,277 contractors in the Facilities Division earning $186 million -- 1.7 times the cost of full-time employees. 

He noted the lines of authority between staff and consultants were "blurry," causing a "lack of accountability" and hiring other consultants from their own firms as well as signing their time sheets.

Fourteen months later, an LAUSD consultant was indicted for allegedly funneling business from the construction program to a  business he co-owned and Superintendent Ramon Cortines asked LA City Controller to conduct an audit for other possible conflicts of interests.

On Wednesday, Greuel released her audit which some might call a whitewash or at the least a burying of a decade of mismanagement and giving a clean bill of health to the district -- and presumably Marez, who shared responsibility for the policies and standards of the construction program.

"While we found some potential conflicts of interest during an earlier era at the district, it appears that the LAUSD under its current leadership has made significant progress in reforming the process for awarding construction projects," said City Controller Greuel. "The district still has room for improvement, but they appear to be on the right path." [INSERT ZUMA DOGG SPIT-TAKE, HERE!]