Tuesday, March 23, 2010

ABRAMSON BUBBLE BEGINNING TO BURST

For years many of us have been calling out Abramson and his cronies for many things including malfeasance with our money. Corporate giveaways to folks like Cordish, high taxes that hurt our ability to compete with jobs, pay to play schemes, and the list goes on.

Crit Luallen is scheduled to release the full scope of her audit tomorrow and in anticipation of that Abramson is already trying to clean house but is he?

Think about it Luallen's report will make almost 100 recommendations, not just the 30 people have heard about, and all are very telling. But hey let's start with the lower echelon cronies Abramson has no trouble throwing to the wolves. Instead of focusing on the higher echelon insiders like Jane Driskell, Rick Johnstone, or Deputy Mayor Will Summers, who oversees all of these things I am told, he has chosen to start at the bottom of the barell.

Gabe Bullard over at WFPL did a story yesterday on the shenanigans involving Melissa Mershon and Carol Butler and it is just the tip of the iceberg in my opinion. You can read Gabe's report here: Two Resign In Metro Government Following Audit « The Edit: WFPL's Gabe Bullard blogs the news

What I will bring to light is the following from Luallen's upcoming report:

From the Department of Neighborhoods portion of the audit this is very telling:

"During our FY 2009 audit of accounts payable, transactions selected for testing included an invoice submitted by Metro Department of Neighborhoods in the amount of $15,000. During FY 2009, Metro Department of Neighborhoods was responsible for neighborhood outreach and organizing community events.

This agency housed the divisions of Brightside, Community Outreach, Office of International Affairs, MetroCall and the Mayor’s Special Events Office, and in FY 2009 was funded primarily through the General Fund. In requesting the supporting documentation for this transaction, we were notified that the documentation was under review by Metro Internal Audit.

Upon contacting Metro Internal Audit, we were made aware that the invoice appeared to be fabricated because it did not match the appearance of other invoices submitted by the vendor. Furthermore, additional evidence indicated instances in which several other vendor invoices processed by the Metro Department of Neighborhoods also did not match the vendor’s standard invoice. All of the questionable invoices look basically the same with the exception of the vendor’s logo, which had been copied onto the invoice in most cases.

Evidence indicates that 36 invoices from 15 separate vendors processed between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009 appear to be created by someone other than the vendor. These 36 invoices were approved for payment, generating checks to the 15 vendors totaling $368,660.


Because investigations by Metro Internal Audit and Metro Public Integrity are not yet complete, there is a potential that other invoices have been handled in this manner and not yet detected."

Pay particular attention to the bold areas and the beginning of the quoted area.

"This agency housed the divisions of Brightside, Community Outreach, Office of International Affairs, MetroCall and the Mayor’s Special Events Office"

Notice each of these offices are ones Abramson is credited with starting and his favorite projects.

He touts them all the time and takes credit for how great they are yet the evidence now clearly shows otherwise. Carol Butler is a Special Assistant to Abramson and receives $65,000 a year as a part time worker in this Department alone. Yep an insider crony.

Anyone who thinks Abramson is not aware of what his cronies do do not knwo Abramson. He is hands on regardless of how he portrays it.

Now check out the rest. $368,000 apparently paid out to vendors on phony invoices. SO where did the money go?

Have we verified the vendors actually got the money? Have we verified they were paid for actual services or products rendered? Have we determined the real value of those products or services in relation to what was supposedly paid to them?

And how much of the money paid out on phony invoices came back to Abramson's pockets directly or indirectly.

This is but one example of how easy it is to line your pockets with taxpayer money and Abramson has been doing it for years in my opinion of course. He has made himself a rich man off our taxes and anyone who thinks that Mershon and Butler were not working under his orders as part of the scheme is delusional.

Think about it.

You dummy up invoices for $368,000 when the actual cost is say $100,000 less. You take the $100,000 and divvy it up say $50,000 for cash splits and the other $50k "donated for campaign contributions."

You of course then are assured you will continue getting anonymous phone calls on actual bids for projects so you can make sure you are the lowest one bidding and get the government contracts.

Of course those bids are padded enough and the money you funnel back to the machine keeps you getting richer.

It is called pay to play folks and this is but one example of how it is done.

I have even had reports that some of Abramson's favorable vendors have been told to bid higher on some things because they were low enough to win the bid but too low to give the payout. And we pay for it all. Wonder why we have a budget "shortfall?"

And so on and so on.

Now we want folks like Jim King to be Mayor who has had problems staying legal himself. Or Hal Heiner and David Tandy? Both Metro Councilmen who have done nothing to insure transparency so this does not happen.

And Jerry wants to be Lt. Gov with another insider who does the same thing in Beshear though on a larger scale.

Folks stay tuned this audit will prove to be the downfall of Abramson but hopefully many insiders on the Council today as well.

We must stand united against incumbents and career politicians now more than ever. This further my resolve to work towards term limits so career politicians cannot do this to us any longer.

I think this one example is just one reason why it is so important.

Your thoughts?

2 comments:

  1. Heiner has done nothing to insure transparency??? Ed, do you do any research anymore before you just go off on a tangent (read below for just one example) Heiner has fought Abramson tooth and nail for the last 5 or 6 years and demanded that the books be opened. He worked for 2 years on the ordinance mentioned below. Look, it's your site and it's obvious you are backing Thieneman but at least be honest and fair yourself when portraying a candidate. You are just absolutely wrong here.

    "Transparency

    LouisvilleCheckbook.com & LouisvilleCheckbook.gov
    An Ordinance to establish LouisvilleCheckbook.com was unanimously passed by the Council after Councilmen Hal Heiner (District 19) and Ken Fleming (District 7) pushed for the establishment of a website that would both examine the City’s financial transactions for the past 3 fiscal years and allow citizens to electronically review payments made to various vendors during our current fiscal year. Council members helped to fund www.LouisvilleCheckbook.com which was released in October and established a deadline for the Mayor’s Administration to have a fully functional site available for the current fiscal year. There are still other innovations planned for the City’s Checkbook, as ordinance sponsors are pushing for contracts and other agreements to be posted as attachments on the web-site to offer even more transparency in the coming year."

    ReplyDelete
  2. While I appreciate your comments notice I never mentioned Thieneman at all in this story. Heiner has said a lot of things about transparency but nothing substantial has been accomplished.

    Louisville Checkbook? Hal has been on the Council for over 7 years, took 2 years to get this, and it truly has not addressed the transparency issue. It is not up to date showing things that are months old.

    While I applaud Hal for FINALLY doing something it is nowhere near what we need or have asked for.

    SB 80 is a good start towards what we need in Louisville and yet for 2 years Louisville leadership has fought against it.

    Where was Hal when it was brought up or being discussed in Frankfort? If he is about transparency that was a chance he had to prove it and sadly he did not.

    Hal says he will go to Frankfort and fight for us. He did not perhaps because last year he was not running for Mayor and this year he is.

    Tandy on the other hand went to Frankfort and fought against SB 80 promising that Louisville would come up with a plan.

    Over a year has passed and Tandy has been proven a liar. Heiner knew this and did nothing either.

    I appreciate you taking the time to write but this issue has absolutely nothing to do with whether I support Thieneman or not.

    It is about transparency and the lack of meaningful change in that regard.

    Thanks for writing.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for reading LNP. Open and honest discussions of local politics and relevant issues is important to voter understanding. Please listen to the "Ed Springston Show". We broadcast Monday through Thursday evenings at 7 PM on local media outlets. Please check for the links.
Yours truly,
Ed Springston

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