Thursday, May 01, 2008
In the above file, I have scanned in the rest of the investigator's report ordered by Gonzalez. I will next scan in Gallagher's response to it.
To: Linda Cobbe
From: Lee De Cesare
Subject: Public Information
Linda, does Public Affairs have any data (eg from the newspapers on the Erwin trial and its consequences) that tells if McClelland and other people accused of wrongdoing were punished? Were they indicted by law officials, e.g. the AG? I would like copies of anything you have.
Also, since Mr. Gonzalez was the attorney of record in the case; could you ask him if he has data about the punishment of the guilty people involved in theft?
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Erwin Fi...":
Tom Gonzalez is the school board attorney. His job is to protect the school board, so why did HIS firm hire the auditor to check on Erwin's complaints? Isn't that a conflict of interest? I'm not sure who should have hired the company that looked into the allegations, but it doesn't seem right that the school board attorney should do this, since he is trying to protect the board and could have hypothetically told the company what to find.
Posted by Anonymous to Lee Drury De Cesare's Casting-Room Couch at 7:15 PM
Your question is a good one. The only answer I have is that the school board and administration have scoffed at the law and decent behavior so long that they think they are immune to the logic of such questions as this.
Thus, in coming to the end of the Erwin files, I find profound satisfaction in seeing the logical, cogent, irrefutable commentary of Erwin's attorney, Ms. Priscella. I got her address from the file and intend to write her a fan letter as soon as I load all this other selected Erwin commentary onto this blog.
I also got an email from one of the building administrators who gave a strong refutation to Erwin's testimony in the Erwin just as all the others did--Davis, Hamilton, et al. They all sing from the same choir book. They have an ugly, sinister, unspoken understanding when they pick out a guy to crucify that they will all resort to the same vile choreograph that ends with calling him crazy.
I wasn't going to publish this administrator's email because I thought he was still working and would lose his job just as Erwin did. But when I checked in yesterday to work on the files in the public-affairs office, I asked the check-in security guard where this guy's office was. She said he had retired a couple of years ago.
So he won't lose his job or his pension if I put his email on my blog--although maybe he should for ganging up on Erwin.
Nobody ever loses a job in the ROSSAC redoubt if the toady is faithful to the superintendent. Davis is still around as head of technology. Elia created a boutique job for Hamilton so he would have the leisure to fret over whether to retire or not at the taxpayer's expense. Not one of the board members that adorn the board semi-circle have the nerve to rein in Elia in arrogance of that sort. We have yet to get one on the podium.
This morning someone asked me about their filing a charge with the Florida Bar for Gonzalez's cooperation with the chicanery of the Professional Standards head, La Kipley, and Ms. Elia's railroading him.
I said, "Absolutely, you should file. Maybe if enough people file the bar will start to catch on to how unethical Gonzalez is." Anybody who has a whiff of any lack of ethics should file against Gonzalez with the bar. It's a liberating experience. I recommend it.
The bar rejected my claim, but a lot of good came out of it. First, it put Gonzalez on the accusation end of the equation for a change. Second, he spent a lot of non-billable hours defending himself to the bar against my claims in his prolix essay. He had to do legal and linguistic contortion to to defend himself against not surrendering public documents (i.e. the Erwin files, which I got after I filed the charge); he had to describe in painful detail the ugly circumstances of how he got his good-ol-boy job without competition; he had to defend himself against cramping citizens' free-speech rights who come before the board; he had to stutter his way through his explanation of threatening citizens with a law suit to shut them up as he did me with his extortion hints. I was able to point out at a subsequent board meeting that the SLAPP law forbade this behavior and that he knew it and was just counting on the citizen's ignorance to make his hints of a law suit scare them into silence.
You don't have to win a hundred percent to win a valuable victory. Just somebody's filing this first bar ethics charge was a victory. It shows others that the maneuver can be pulled off.
I also got the fun of tearing up Gonzalez's grammar, punctuation, and writing style. That's my specialty and an especially apposite one with Gonzalez since he has an undergraduate literature degree and since lawyers are supposed to be able to write.
When Erwin got transferred to the job of finding ways to remedy the things that were wrong with the schools, it was involuntary and punitive. In trying to prove that Erwin's was not punitive, the comeback from Gonzalez was that there had been at least two involuntary transfers before. There had been more. In the grounds department Hamilton told Erwin to transfer bad employees around until they arrived at a perch in which nobody complained about them.
I read in the Erwin files that Kipley got the Professional Standards job by an involuntary transfer. That may be. I heard she was such a terrible principal at Hillsborough High that the teachers hated her and that some wouldn't go into a meeting with her without a tape recording device because she lied so routinely about what was said in the meeting. Those files contain all kinds of tidbits like that about the Evil Empire for us Forces of the Light.
My other theory is that the administration upper people intuited that Kipley had just the right talents of sadism and chicanery to suit that vile position.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Erwin Files Continued
Apparently, somebody tipped off the newspapers to the theft in the grounds department and the building problems, etc. despite the administration's efforts to keep a lid on the story.
The media started nosing around and publishing partial data. Then Ms. Bricklemeyer on the board decided from those clues to demand an internal investigation; or maybe she took action from Mr. Erwin's tardy visit to her. I wonder why Mr. Erwin did not have the presence of mind to go see her sooner.
Perhaps the ROSSAC culture of cover-up imbued him with caution about taking the problems outside the hermetically sealed administrative-superintendent bubble.
Unlike the current board members, Bricklemeyer had the moxie to act on suspicious information. Her demand to the superintendent set up an investigation which consisted of both an internal investigation by Professional Standards and one contracted for with Gietzen & Associates by board factotum attorney Tom Gonzalez. Gonzalez's report seems to collate the internal Professional Standards investigation led by Dasinger. Here follows the Gietzen report:
Dear Mr. Gonzalez: Gietzen and Associates was retained by your firm, on behalf of the Hillsborough County School Board, to conduct an internal investigation concerning allegations brought forth by Doug Erwin concerning several different areas or divisions within the School Board. This letter will address the firms’ findings in regards to an internal investigation of the grounds department of the Hillsborough County School Board.
The grounds department of the Hillsborough County School Board consists of approximately seventy employees that deal primarily with the recreational fields at the various schools as well as mowing the properties surrounding the schools, not including the actual school area and landscaping.
This department is also responsible for minor repairs to fencing, sprinkler systems, tree upkeep and painting of athletic fields and other general upkeep of the areas as necessary. The department is divided into two basic areas one dealing with mowing of school property and the other dealing with the remainder of the tasks assigned. As to the employees charged with mowing the school properties, we find that they are assigned to a particular school that is used as their base by Irvin which they travel to two three or more additional schools in their rounds of mowing.
These employees check in at the satellite school offices on a daily basis and do not come to the grounds department per se. Many of these employees during their interviews indicate they only come to the grounds office once every two weeks and that is to pick up their paychecks.
In many areas there will only be one individual assigned from the grounds department to the mowing tasks for one or more schools. According to interviews with the employees, supervisors and others it was learned that these employees that are responsible for mowing sign in at the school office and check in by telephone with the grounds department.
Due to the numbers and diverse locations, it was our finding that these individuals were not visited or supervised on a daily basis. An attempted examination of the files of the grounds department as they relate to the attendance of mowing employees found that the files were inaccurate and in many cases completely missing. According to interviews with other grounds employees it was found that these employees that are responsible for the mowing are inert or less self governed and only spot checked by supervision.
The other portion of the grounds employees check in at grounds daily to receive their assignments and then travel from the grounds department to their individual work assignments and return at the end of the day. The grounds department is headed by James McClelland as unit manager. Answering to Mr. McClelland are Tony Vasquez, Richard Hall and John Hester. The remainder of the employees for the grounds department work for or are supervised by Vasquez, Hall or Hester.
The grounds department has two clerks, Beverly Spano, and Joyce Pomnintz who are responsible for the clerical operation of the grounds department including but not limited to maintenance request, purchase orders, invoices, payroll and other miscellaneous clerical duties.
The annual operating budget or the Hillsborough County School Board Grounds Department is $306,000.00. Prior to beginning this investigation this firm was provided by you, several documents listing numerous allegations concerning suspected wrong doings at the grounds department
These allegations included the following: 1. That the unit manager, James McClelland, had become very wealthy by stealing from the School District.
2. That James McClelland had been supplying fertilizer, pesticides and other materials to his nephew, Reese MeClelland, and that there was no accountability of these supplies being used.
3. That Reese McClelland was working for the School Board Grounds Department as a contractor and that James McClelland had filed no paperwork concerning the conflict of interest
4. That James MeClelland was involved with a reputed drug dealer, Sergio, last name unknown who had assisted him in stealing and dispersing various materials including tractors which belonged to the Hillisborough county School Board. That there was a lack of accountability in the grounds department operation.
5. That there was a lack of accountability in the grounds department operation.
6. The grounds department was not following bid procedures.
7. Mr. McClelland was leaving his work site and going to his property in Pasco County taking supplies and materials out of the grounds department on a regular basis and delivering them to the Pasco County property.
8. That stolen equipment belonging to the School Board had been observed on Mr. McClelland’s Pasco property.
The above listed allegations are to be found in the notebook titled employees behind tab “Erwin allegations.” There are numerous other allegations listed concerning other divisions and departments in the school hoard and other employees.
It should he noted that this investigation addressed only the allegations listed above and that other areas of the allegations were not visited due to the time parameters allowed for the investigation. It should also be noted that some of the allegations investigated by this firm concerning school board employees or associated persons have been retained by this writer and not disseminated with the report. Suffice to say that these allegations even if absolutely factual could not have been construed as wrong doing by the targets of the allegations. The names of those individuals were omitted from the investigative file due to the potential damage to their reputations by the publication.
Due to the limited amount of time allowed for Oils investigation only certain areas of the operation of the grounds department were examined. It should also be noted that these examinations were cursory and limited in their scope as to the depth and time periods examined. As to the allegations in #1 we find the following: allegation #1 as well as parts of other numbered allegations has to do with rumors, innuendo and statements from anonymous individuals that James McClelland, the unit manager of the grounds department has been for years stealing supplies and equipment. This firm’s investigation into that allegation finds no proof that James McClelland was stealing any equipment or supplies from the grounds department.
As to the second allegation concerning claims McClelland’s supplying product such as fertilizer and insecticides to Reese McClelland, we find the following. An examination of the files and records of the Hillsborough County School Board, by this firm has found records concerning vendor bids to conduct certain work with the Hillsborough County School Board. One of these bids was filed by a company, Janice Turner Tractor.
Examination of invoices and warrants of the Hillsborough County School Board would find that this company enjoyed a relationship with the Hilisborough County School Board for quite some time and was paid a substantial sum of money concerning its vendor relationship with the school board. That information can be found in the notebook titled vendors at tab, ‘Janice Turner Tractor” sub tab “J.T. Tractor Bk! to the...
I will continue scanning when I return from my day with the files in ROSSAC. Today I review Gonzalez's deposition of Erwin for the whistle-blower trial Erwin filed against the school board. lee
Continuation of the Glietzen report:
school board. Examination of those documents would be indicative that although Janice Turner Tractor submitted bids to the school board, only some were approved however, Janice Turner Tractor did enjoy a vendor relationship with the school board and was paid by blanket purchase order negating the need to be a revised.
It would appear that between April 1998 and July of 2000 that Janice Turner Tractor company was paid a total of $56,925.00 for jobs including site preparation, the spreading of Di-Tera (biological Namaticide) and fertilizer at various schools throughout Hillsborough County. We also learned through the investigation by interviews with employees that school board equipment and supplies were used by Janice Turner Tractor in the completion of the above listed tasks.
Interviews were conducted with Janice Turner and Reese McClelland indicating that Reese McClelland had no licenses to apply any type of chemical to school board property other than common fertilizer.
Janice Tuner Tractor is a company supposedly solely owned by Janice bit Turner of 1016 Baker Street, Plant City, Florida 33566. A report concerning Janice Turner can be found in notebook titled vendors tab, “Janice Turner Tractor” sub tab “Comp Report Janice Turner.” Interviews were accomplished with Janice Turner that were indicative that she owned the company and used Reese McClelland as a subcontractor to complete certain aspects of the work.
Photographs of the Janice Turner Tractor can be found in the photograph section. The Janice
Turner Ti-actor company is located in a residence in Plant City, Florida at the given address of
1016 Baker Street.
Interviews with Reese McClelland were also accomplished in which Mr. McClelland states that he is an employee and associate of Janice Turner Tractor. The documentation produced by Janice Turner Tractor in attempting to win a bid with the school board however indicates in the insurance binder that Janice Turner Tractor is a d/b/a/ of Reese McClelland.
It was further established by interviews with employees, see notebook titled employees tab “Interviews” sub tab “Richard Hall”, that most of the work or a good portion of the work accomplished by Janice Turner Tractor could and should have been accomplished by school board employees.
As to allegations #2 and #3 that work was being given to a relative by James McClelland outside of the bid process by paying that relative with blanket invoice payments and supplying that relative with equipment and supplies to accomplish those jobs and that there was no accounting for the amount of product used by McClelland’s relative Reese McClelland is through interview and lack of documentation substantiated.
It was also established through employees that on many occasions school board equipment was delivered by school board employees to James McClellands relative Reese McClelland so that he could accomplish the work that was billed to the school board by Janice Turner Tractor
It was further learned through interviews that employee Jason Fowler was a relative of Janice
Turner and hired directly, outside the normal process, by James McClelland. The day interviews began, Fowler stated that he quit. Investigations later learned Fowler is on a leave of absence.
As to the allegation #4 that James—McClelland had an on going relation with a known drug dealer, “Sergio”, with whom he participated in the theft and sale of school board property is unsubstantiated.
It was reported to this firm that Sergio was well known in law enforcement circles in the Plant City area and a known drug dealer. This (inn examined that allegation and found it to be unsubstantiated. There is no “Sergio” known to law enforcement in that area. Further computer searches were done using the first name of Sergio in attempts to locate a subject with a drug background these searches were also negative.
As to the next allegation, #5 the lack of accountability of grounds. This firm has examined certain area of the grounds operation including but not limited to its dealing with vendors, its dealing with supplies and equipment; the record keeping as it concerns attendance and payroll, and its use of county vehicles with the following findings.
As to the use of school board vehicles a meeting was held with Hillisborough County School Board security during which this writer was shown photographs and told of surveillances concerning James McClelland’s use of the school board vehicle. Security reported that they had surveilled Mr. McClelland on several occasions finding him to visit not only his Pasco county property and unload unknown product from his vehicle but visits to his ex-wife and other non- school board related activities.
Surveillance was also accomplished by this firm concerning James McClelland finding that Mr. McClelland used his vehicle to visit his attorney’s office, friends, and his Pasco County property during off duty and on duty hours. See notebook employees, tab “McClelland surveillance”. Also see in the same location a copy of chapter 8 of the Hillsborough County School Board policy manual more particularly 8.12 citing automotive equipment, which states that automotive equipment shall be used exclusively for school business, It shall not be used for the operators private use or convenience. The superintendent or designee shall report any unauthorized equipment usage to the School Board. Violation of this rule shall be cause for disciplinary action.
It also might be noted that Mr. McClelland lives in northern Pasco County and commutes in his School Board vehicle presumably using School Board fuel and causing additional wear and tear to his School Board vehicle.
Surveillance of Mr. McClelland would indicate that he generates several miles to his school board vehicle in unauthorized use. Further it should be noted that Mr. McClelland’s residence is eighteen miles front the Hillsborough County line making the round trip daily if just commuting, thirty-six additional miles added to the mileage of his county vehicle each work day.
See surveillance reports at employees notebook, tab “McClelland’.
As to other lack of accountability, the area of attendance & employees of the grounds department was examined by this firm. See notebook titled employees tab “payroll analysis’.
The analysis is continuing, as well as the billing for same. A complete analysis or the budget as it deals with the payment or invoices generated by Mid Florida Tree service is found in the Mid Florida notebook, tabbed “budget’. Although there is a singular report dealing with this it would appear that the School Board has taken funds especially car-marked in a budget for other items and applied those funds to the charges being generated by Mid Florida Tree Service.
It also may be noted in a separate area including the examination of Mid Florida’s invoices that it was not uncommon for Mid Florida invoices to be identical for the same work the same day and have a different invoice number with both invoices being authorized by Mr. McClelland for payment
This firm’s examination of vendor, Mid Florida Tree Service consisted of an examination of payments, invoices, purchase orders blanket purchase orders, interviews and surveilance of this vendor in the work place.
Documentation could be found in the folder titled vendor’A and tabs “surveillance, invoices, payments, background”.
Through an examination of the records of the Hillsborough County School Board it was found that Mid-Florida Tree Service was a bid participant and won the bid for tree work for the Hillsborough County School Beard. The bid consisted of certain criteria outlining the proposed work of this vendor and the price of $120.00 per hour for a six man crew and equipment was awarded. It was found through examination of the documentation of the school board and the grounds department that this vendor was not paid by purchase order and has not been paid by purchase order but rather has been paid by blanket purchase order. An examination of the maintenance requests crossed matched to invoices and the blanket purchase order finds that the majority of the work done by this company is sans maintenance request.
Through interviews with employees it was learned that the unit manager, James McClelland, had communications with the owner of Mid-Florida Tree Service and indicated to that individual to start working with schools whose names begins with ‘a’ and work through schools whose names begins with ‘z’ and then to start over again.
By all observations of this vendor and examinations of their paperwork it is clear that they have followed Mr. MeClelland’s orders. An examination of jobs completed by this vendor, it is found that the vendor has operated outside of the parameters of the bid completing work that is not Bid inclusive.
During the examination of this company this firm also found situations wherein the identical invoices for work done on the same day at the same location were presented to the school board with different invoice numbers. It is suggested that a thorough audit be accomplished to identify whether or these invoices submitted by Mr. McClelland after receipt from Mid Florida were actually paid twice or only entered twice. Although there were not several instances found of this there was only a limited scope of information examined.
After an examinatioil of the records, surveillance of this vendor and interviews with school officials, it is also suspect that this vendor is billing in excess of time worked and/or tasks accomplished. See notebook, vendors tab, “invoices” and vendor
An examination was also completed by this firm concerning grove equipment company. Grove Equipment Company is under bid to the Hilisborough County School Board to supply pans and services for tractors and related ecpflpincnt. Grove Equipment Company is a Massey Ferguson tractor dealer although they have the bid to supply parts to the school board for Ford tractors and John Deere tractors.
Invoices to the school board from Grove Equipment were obtained and reviewed. In reviews of the maintenance invoices prepared by Grove and submitted to the School Board for work accomplished on School Board equipment and after consultation with tractor mechanics it was found that the billings were acceptable in labor and parts prices.
Spot checking invoices for parts only with various vendors, the cost analysis showed that grove was over charging for parts sold to the Hillsborough County School Board regarding Ford tractor parts. This determination was made after numerous ‘phone calls to suppliers asking for parts prices in the retail market.
Documentation concerning Grove Equipment can be found in vendor notebook at tab “Grove Equipment”.
This determination was made by comparing quoted prices to Bid specifications.
In the area of accountability this firm also examined the internal controls used to account for parts and equipment at the Hillsborough County School Board Grounds Department. It was found after examination that there is little or no control concerning parts, equipment and other inventory items throughout the entire department.
There is one limited inventory as it deals with replacement parts for equipment however, the inventory is not based on a structured beginning number nor is the inventory controlled as to parts out. Although the store keeper at the grounds department does an admirable job in attempting to account for parts and equipment, his success is thwarted by the fact that prior to this investigation he worked alone and was sent off premises during the day on numerous occasions while on premises workers removed supplies, parts and/or equipment which was unknown to him.
Further the store keeper locked storerooms containing parts, equipment and supplies and while on vacation left the keys with others. The store keeper returned to find that his locks had been cut from the storerooms. At this point all inventory numbers are negated and exact quantities are unknown. The store keeper also went as far as to keep a secret list of missing items that he knew had been removed and he could not account for. The store keeper kept this list secreted in the bottom of a desk drawer underneath other files. The store keeper reports that while he was on vacation his desk was violated, the keys to the desk are now missing and so is the list. The store keeper indicated to this writer that the only two things missing from his desk were the keys and the list and no other person knew that he kept the list to his knowledge.
As to the area housing the parts and equipment for repairing of tractors and other equipment This facility was found to be open on each visit by investigators with open access to one and all.
As to bid procedures the allegation is that bid procedures are not followed within the grounds department. There are several parts to the bid procedure that were examined by this firm.
it was found through interviews (see Hall interview employees notebook) that indicated that prior to the arrival of Dougwin that a majority of the bids for (the grounds departments were fixed or believed to be fixed by unit manager James McClelland. Hull explains that he as a
supervisor would obtain two bids and after he would obtain and turn in his two bids, a third bid would be submitted to Mr. MeClelland from another source. Hall indicates that third bid would be the winner and would be lower of the other two bids. Hub further states that when trying to deal with these bid winners they would continually tell him that they needed to talk La Jim, meaning James MeClelland.
Bid procedures as to bid parameters were also examined by this firm and found to be violated on several different levels. It was found that vendors were not working within the parameters of their bid (see vendors notebook tab “Mid-Florida TreeSeryice) and there was no accountability for the work which was billed as accomplished.
As an example, Mid-Florida Tree Company is paid solely by blanket purchase order. Blanket purchase orders arc purchase orders drawn for that particular company in a certain amount of money for instances $20,000.00. As invoices are received by the grounds department from that company the amount of the invoice is deducted from the blanket purchase order. As the blanket purchase order gross amount becomes small it is increased by a clerk in grounds through communications with the payables department and further invoices are drawn from this blanket purchase order. The first problem with this system is that there is no particular purchase order for any specific job done so that it can be later traced or at the time supervised to ensure that that particular work was done according to the bid and its parameters as to the amount of work, price and other qualifications. The blanket purchase order more or less gives the vendor an open opportunity to do and bill for what ever they please.
In the case aC Mid Florida Tree Company and its billing procedures to the Hillsborough County School Board during this fiscal year at $420,000.00 plus dollars it is noticeable that the majority or these jobs are jobs that were not requested by anyone in the School Board other than a blanket request from James McClelland for the tree company to visit all the schools. Since there are no maintenance requests involved in this work, no one at the School Board or at any of its branches or facilities has knowledge that the jobs are even being done.
It has been our experience that some jobs are called in to the grounds department clerical staff on a day to day basis by the vendor. We have seen during our inquiry and examination no log or other written documentation kept concerning these calls. Therefore Mid Florida Tree Service works at its own pleasure where they decide to work on that given day doing what they decide to do whether it is inside or outside the parameters of their bid. An examination and comparison of their bid parameters and their invoicing clearly shows that they did not remain within the parameters of their bids.
Because of the situation of the blanket purchase order and the lack of maintenance requests the jobs done by this company, Mid Florida Tree Scrvice, it is impossible for any School Board authority to have verified the work accomplished by this company. As seen in the School interviews found in the vendors notebook at tab “Mid Florida Tree Service,” at several of the locations the tree company just showed up and worked and left with no contact with any school board official.
In retrospect and in examing the nature of the business performed by Mid Florida Tree Service it is unique to the business that in many cases no residual proof of the work is available for examination.
For instance if a dead- tree is removed and the stump is ground out there is no longer any evidence that the Iree existed to start with therefore the lack of initial supervision and verification of work being done was crucial to the School Board being treated flirly by this vendor.
In interviews with School Board employees it was evident that a great majority of the work done by Mid Florida could have been done by School Board employees and has been in the past done by School Board employees.
It was also [earned during the investigation that copies of the blanket purchase orders were supplied to the vendor and that the vendor would call the grounds department and tell the employees at grounds when to increase the money in their blanket putchase order.
As to other allegations, during a meeting with the Hillsborough County School Board Security Department a list of allegations were presented to the writer as follows:
1. That James MeClelland was leaving work going to his property in Pasco County where ho was building a home while on school board time. This allegation has been earlier addressed.
2. Mr. McCleLland takes time off from work and is not charged for it such as vacation and/or personal time. I believe this allegation has probably been addressed in the examination of the payroll and attendance. Although the hard copy documents probably show that McClelland’s’ attendance is accurate it was learned through interviews with employees particularly Beverly Spano that McClelland takes off a great deal of time and does not report it as vacation, personal leave at sick leave.
Further indications from Spano would be that she only reported absences by McClelland if she was explicitly told by MeClelland to report same. Spano indicates that she reported those absences to Doug Erwin’s seereuuy, Diane. In interviewing Diane, it was found that Diane actually filled out the leave slips and/or vacation slips for MeClelland on advice from Spano. Spano indicates that on numerous occasions over the years MeCleilaud has been off when she has not reported his absences to Diane and therefore his payroll has not been affected.
3. That McClelland purthased a hay bailer which the District does not need, the hay bailer can not be found. Conversations with an employee indicate that a hay bailer was purchased by grounds and it was on the Ellicon property for some period of time and has now vanished. No bailer is listed on the B.P.T. inventory.
4. A winch from the grounds department was stolen and it is on MClelland’s nephew’s truck, Reese McClelland. Investigation establishes that a winch was missing from the grounds department however the identity of such is not able to be made.
DIETZEN & ASSOCIATESINC 813 223 9717
5. That MeClel land is using his nephew Reese as a contractor doing work for the Distr jet. This is previously been addressed and sijbstantiated.
6. That Reese MoCleiland was using his own trailer to move School District equipment and equipment was not always returned that night. There is no way to back track this alleflation, Certainly it was established that Reese McClelland was using School Board equipment and moving ii. from place to place however the exact hvurs of its return arc unknown and unbie to be reconstructed.
7. That a former secretary with which MeClelland was having a relationship with was able to leave work early frequently.
This allegation has been substantiated by interviews with School Board employees particularly Beverly Spano. Spano also tells of an occasion when this employee resigned and then came back to work and un-resigned. Spano indicated that this was due to some disagreement between the boyfriend and girlfriend, the employee and Mr. MeClelland.
That Mr. MeClelland submits three bills for work done by Mid ‘Florida Tree Service because the jobs exceed the bid limits. There is no hid in place and Larry Subdlla’s involved.
I believe at this point Mid- Florida Tree Service has been examined to an extent to understand what has transpired. Since there is no bid limit and the services are paid by blanket invoice allegation #8 does not apply.
9. That a sprayer seen on MeClelland’s Pasco County property was purchased at 3. Powder Enterprises by the School Board. An examination of that sprayer on the property of MeClelland does not distinguish that sprayer from any other and this writer is unable to confirm by any acceptable manner whether or not this sprayer ever b1onged to or was purchased by the School Board.
10, That McClelland took a set of torches from the grounds department to his Pasco County property. Regarding this allegation no torches were observed at the time of the examination of McClelland’s property and contents.
11. That there was Illegal dumping or diesel fuel truck parts and equipment on the Ellieot grounds site buried deep hi the ground. This allegation is not within the scope of the investigation conpleted by this firm and further investigators with the School Board indicate that they had checked the site and were not able to find any evidence other than disturbed dirt to confirm this theory.
It seems that Mr. McClelland not file comflict of interest forms for his nephew working for the School District. This allegation has been substantiated.
13. That Mr. MeClelland had School District palm trees planted at an assistant superintendent’s home as well as a school board members residence. This allegation was addressed in an earlier report and was unsubstantiated.
14. That sometime during the week of October 2 - 6, 2000, Joe Newsome contacted McCIelland and warned him that he was being investigated. This allegation was discussed with School Board Employee Beverly Spano. Spano indicates that at the time that McClelland was accused of wrong doing concerning the trees by Mr. Erwin that he, McClelland returned to his office quite agitated and made two phone calls, one to Joe Newsoxne and one to Sam Rampello.
Spano indicates that Rmnpello was on site within the next fifteen minutes and left with the file concerning those trees. This information was passed on to an informant who then passed the information on to Doug Erwin who then passed it to the Hilishorough County School Board Security.
There is no information evident that any cover up happened or that anybody was warned of pending investigation or that any actions were taken to cover wrongdoing.
The allegation that during the period of divorce from his wife, the estranged wife called the Hillshorough County School Board Grounds Depathnent demanding to speak to Mr. McClelland. When she could not, she threatened, the School Board employee answering the phone that if he did not return her call she would report all of the School Board equipment that he had on his property.
Mrs. MeClelland was interviewed by this writer concerning that allegation and denied making any such phone call and further denied any knowledge that there was any School Board property on the McClelland property at the time.
During this investigation all employees of the grounds department were cooperative, helpful and answered any questions posed by investigators except James MeClelland who told this writer that he would refuse to be interviewed because his attorney had advised him not to talk to investigators.
Suggested areas for further attention concerning the workings of the School Board Grounds
Department are as follows:
1. An item by item inventory of parts, tools, property and equipment assigned to the
Hillsborough Cotmty Board grounds division is accomplished.
2. A thorough and complete audit of the payroll leave balances and sick leave balances of all employees with Hillsborough County grounds department.
3, An implementation of a superior system to track employee attendance, particularly mowing employees.
4. A thorough and complete examination of each existing vendor doing business with the grounds department.
5. A thorough examination of each vendor bid and an examination of the work accomplished by that vendor to ascertain whether that vendor is in compliance with their bid specification.
6. A working inventory system for parLc, equipment and other items belonging to the school board housed at the grounds department and staff members assigned exclusively to maintain the parts and equipment and inventory of same.
7. A competent system by which to ensure that vendors are not paid on a regular basis from blanket purchase orders.
8. A system put into place by which the work accomplished by vendors is at least visited and
supervised by a school board employee.
9. A computerized check list implementation added to the payroll transmittal procedure that
would require an actual review of the information prior to it being transmitted.
10. A changing password for the transmittal of payroll information.
11. A system by which the payables department can identify whether or not the vendor is authorized and that the work the vendor is billing for is authorized prior to a warrant being issued.
12. A standardized filing system far each year’s vendor invoices, maintenance requests, purchase orders, payroll files including vacation & illness that can be cross referenced quickly and easily.
I have delivered a copy of this letter including the entire contents of the investigative file to School Board Member Carol Bricklemeyer with the understanding that after review it will be properly disseminated.
It has been a pleasure working with you during the entire time of this investigation. [look
forward to being involved in other matters of mutual interest.
if we can he of any further assistance in this matter please do not hesitate to contact my office.
R.W. (Bill) GIETZEN
cc: Carol Brieklemeyer
June 1 2001.doc
Monday, April 28, 2008
I have good news on Debra Satchel's court cases. The one that I posted as dismissed was the federal case for retaliation and hostile work environment.
The other case is a state-court case and still viable. Sis boom bah! It's for conspiracy and 13 other torts. It's against teachers' pin-up girl Linda Kipley and Dr. Earl the Pearl Lennard for conspiracy.
I love the word "conspiracy"; it sounds so glamourously evil. Pray, pray that this case gets certiori. lee
Ms. Heidi Brewer
651 East Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300
April 28, 1908
Dear Ms. Brewer:
I have received the bar notice that the Florida bar has rejected my complaints against Tom Gonzalez for the following:
· Violating the equal-employment-opportunity laws in getting his job;
· Suppressing citizens’ free-speech rights as Hillsborough County School Board attorney;
· Threatening to sue a citizen despite the Florida SLAPP law, which protects citizens against law suits to shut them up, for criticizing the school board’s government;
· Gonzalez’s refusal to give me public-information files on the Erwin trial.
Mr. Gonzalez mangles grammar and punctuation as well, but the bar would not believe trashing the English language is athwart the bar’s protocols if it does not believe the preceding barbarisms are not.
I do not for a minute believe that the Florida bar clan was protecting a member of the bar priesthood. My gracious, no. I believe instead that the Florida Bar follows the legal protocols extant circa The Crucible era.
This Florida-bar turn-down does not discourage me from filing again. The bar may have updated its criterion by the time I want to complain about Mr. Gonzalez’s behavior anew.
If Le Gonzalez Esquire does any of the following more serious infractions than the four listed above and turned down as too flimsy for punishment by the Florida Bar, expect to get another complaint if Mr Gonzalez descends to the following barbarisms:
· Chews gum when he adorns the school-board podium in his official capacity;
· Parks a wad of it under his chair at recess;
· Flirts with the head of Professional Standards, one beguiling Ms. Linda Kipley, Mata Hari’s Hillsborough County semblable;
· Invades the board-room women’s bathroom to lipstick naughty suggestions on the mirror.
Very, very respectfully yours,
Lee Drury De Cesare
C: The National Bar Association
Mr. Tom Gonzalez
Ms. Rosemary Goudreau, Tampa Tribune
Mr. Paul Tash, St. Petersburg Times
Letitia Stein, St. Petersburg Times
Marilyn Brown, Tampa Tribune
Hillsborough County Bar
Lots and lots of other people who may find these data edifying or amusing