Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Go Hillsborough Circling the Wagons?

Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive.

Perhaps the Go Hillsborough team is thinking they should have studied more Shakespeare... or whomever that quote is attributed to these days (actually Sir Walter Scott, but Shakespearean Tragedy is quite fitting).

The fallout from the work here at EyeOnTampaBay.com, and recently, Noah Pransky's investigative reports on WTSP continues.

Hillsborough County administrator Mike Merrill has asked Sheriff David Gee to provide a new review of the county's Go Hillsborough engineering contract following a 10 Investigates report that raised questions about the behind-the-scenes influence of a well-connected consultant. Merrill also suspended work on the transportation project's outreach "until a satisfactory resolution can be reached."
"To ensure continued public engagement, these allegations must be thoroughly and independelty [sic] investigated to preserve trust in local government," Merrill wrote Gee in a letter sent Monday afternoon.
Well that's interesting.

In Merrill's letter to Gee, he pointed the contracting award process, and also suspended work on Go Hillsborough.
The purpose of requesting this investigation is to determine whether this procurement and contract aware meets all requirements for Florida Statues [sic] and of County Commission procurement policies, and whether there has been any violation of State of Florida ethics rules, as applicable.
While this investigation is underway until a satisfactory resolution can be reached, I have directed Parsons Brinkerhoff and all the subcontractors engaged by Parsons in this contract to suspend work until further notice. Furthermore, the county will only process payments to Parsons for work completed to date. 
Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive.

The story was also picked up by the Tribune.  When asked about the County Commission's plan to have an audit of Go Hillsborough performed by newly hired internal auditor Peggy Caskey,
“It needs to be an independent auditor,” said Tampa Tea Party founder Sharon Calvert. “Because Peggy Caskey, they just hired her from the clerk’s office. She’s already looked at this one time before.”
And as Noah Pransky reported, Caskey's earlier look was only a review, not a full audit, and did not address many questions that he and EyeOnTampaBay.com have raised.

As we've documented in this blog, there have been numerous missteps and fumbles, from very questionable if illegal awarding of the Go Hillsborough contract to the Parsons/Leytham team, to transit activist co-founder of Connect Tampa Bay working events, to using Los Angeles traffic pictures to illustrate Hillsborough traffic jams, not to mention the exorbitant costs, to name just a few. It's been a mess from the get go.

It's a crisis of their own making.

Oh this too.

Text message of Leytham's talking points sent to 
Deputy County Administrator Lucia Garsys
(Courtesy WTSP.com)
A little "chewing" on your politicians to warn them of the issues should have been heeded this time rather than listening to "5 simple bullet points" from Leytham.

As if a few talking points can hide the deceptions and cover up the mess made in part by Leytham.

Did you note that date? It's from October 1, as in 2014.

That's almost a year ago we were warning the commissioners of the problems.

Oh what a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive.

Now they're circling the wagons.

County administrator Mike Merrill has asked Sheriff David Gee to provide the investigation of Go Hillsborough.

Some of the commissioners are now getting a little antsy.

Merrill's feeling it too.

He know's who'll get sacrificed.

Tangled up in that web.

UPDATE: Fixed broken image of text message.

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