Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Badger Keeps Digging Updated

Mecklenburg County Taxpayers are like a hungry Badger, and Harry Jones is about to jump out of his hole and make a run for it.

But the Charlotte Observer, for some reason is going easy on Harry Jones with a short story $33,000.00 Repaid to DSS but overlooked.

A week ago Cedar Posts suggested Why Mecklenburg County Commissioners Will Fire Harry Jones. This week we throw another log or two on the fire, so wait and let's see what happens.

Take a look at audit memo released on November 17, 2009 and see if you decipher all the ass covering double talk.

Clearly DSS is out of control, and Harry Jones lacks the command skills to correct the situation, and the intelligence to even acknowledge the problem.

But the trouble with DSS, Harry Jones and Mecklenburg County Government is deeper than the missing then reappearing "Giving Tree" money.

Back in May Jones told the BOCC that the county "we don't have the money" and that "everyone" will have to face cuts to absorb the 100 million dollar short-fall.

Cuts that not only required reduction of services but also loss of jobs. Still six months later the BOCC rewards Jones with a $38,000.00 bonus. The BOCC in doing so, shows they are out of touch with both the taxpayers they represent and the county employees they hire.

The lack of credibility within our county government comes from more than just the theft of funds, it also involves how Jones and the BOCC have conducted hiring, and personnel issues.

Mary Wilson the current director of DSS had a full time job with Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and had been appointed to the County Parks and Rec Commission by the BOCC.

Then the county awarded the church $2 million dollars in the form of a grant to develop a sports complex.

Keep in mind that Park and Recreation reports directly to Harry Jones' assistant Bobby Shields, who is also member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.

Once Jones appoints Wilson to head the DSS it doesn't take long before DSS employees begin sending letters and emails to County Commissioners blasting Wilson.

One commissioner, Wilma Leake tells the Observer she doesn't consider emails or letters unsigned as really being letters so therefore there are no complaints about DSS manager Wilson.

Mary Wilson Mecklenburg County DSS Head

But wait how did Wilson get the DSS head job?

Harry Jones would just as soon you forget, that Department of Social Services Director Richard "Jake" Jacobsen, Wilson's predecessor, left his DSS post last year after two employees including the former deputy director of the department, filed lawsuits alleging he exhibited poor judgment and inappropriate anger. See DSS Lawsuit Bombshells.

So where is Jacobsen now? Well, his current title is "executive in residence" for Mecklenburg County and he is paid $167,936 a year for doing it. This is oddly the same title he holds at UNCC's Institute for Social Capital. There is no official word about the performance bonus paid to Jacobsen by the BOCC this year.

When the DSS has a Christmas Party costing more the $20,000.00 where do they have it? Not the Westin or Marriott but the Friendship Baptist Church. This is later disputed by saying it was a training conference.

Wilson within weeks of being hired "creates a new job" for Samara Foxx at $100,000 a year, Foxx is of course the wife of new mayor Anthony Foxx.

After DSS Director Wilson hires Samara Foxx, Wilson's husband Cornell donates $4,000.00 to Anthony Foxx's mayoral campaign.

Samara Foxx, His Honor and Family

Once the details broke Samara Foxx was quick to defend her employment, noting that she has a law degree and was a friend of Wilson's long before before her husband decided to run for mayor. The mayor also gets in on the action defending his wife in his own press release.

But a day later Jones pledges to fix job-posting 'ambiguity' and tells WFAE that Wilson was wrong to post the job for only one day. Then in April WFAE aires another story about the Foxx hire.

Wilson also hires the single mother and daughter of police chief Monroe as well as the daughter of Judge Yvonne Mims-Evans.

Public records show DSS hired Hollye Monroe, the daughter of CMPD Police Chief Rodney Monroe, on Jan. 14 as a Management Analyst. Her salary: $46,613.60 per year.

DSS also hired Tracey Evans, the daughter of Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims-Evans, on Feb. 11 as a Social Services Manager at a salary of $57,380.95 per year.

Judge Yvonne Mims-Evans

Mims-Evans, is also a member of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. These hires occur even though the Jones has implemented a hiring freeze.

Talk about having friends in high places and insulating yourself.

But there is more, did you know that our county is big on social networking? Yep social as in MySpace, FaceBook and even a Mecklenburg County Flickr account! Want to see how your tax dollars are being spent, browse the photos. Mecklenburg County at Flickr

From the Charlotte Observer: "In June, county auditors said they'd collected about $138,978 in receipts related to the Giving Tree.

But the county said they couldn't provide complete assurance that the money was spent properly because more than 99 percent of the receipts had problems, including information that had been altered or whited out."

Why in the world do we have county employees with check made payable to them on the promise they will bring back either the money or a receipt showing they spent the money properly?

DSS Also Mishandled Social Security Money Mecklenburg County officials paid for "various programs" out of an account for recipients of Social Security benefits, according to an audit of the Department of Social Services.

The practice, auditors say, is a violation of Social Security Administration regulations.

According to the report:"The non-guardianship expenditures made from the account are in an inappropriate use of the guardianship funds and may be in violation of North Carolina general statutes."

Cedar Posts believes we have a right to have our tax dollars spent wisely, transparently and above all else properly.

That kidos is not being very wise, proper or transparent. What the county auditors are saying is we have a real mess on our hands, and if you think this is bad wait to you see how we handle the real money!

More soon stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

No surprise here, never trust a man with a beard!

Anonymous said...

Jones said he was, and I QUOTE, "DAMNED EMBARRASSED".

No, really, that was his reaction.

Really, "Damned embarrassed"???????
So "embarrassed" he will give back any "bonus" he supposedly "earned"?

WTF kind of thing is that to say, for someone in his position to say.
Embarrassment should be the very LEAST of his worries or concerns.

Honestly, there needs to be a CRIMINAL investigation into all of the crap going on at DSS.

And someone "repaid" the money??
Again, WTF? If it wasn't misspent, why would someone have to REPAY it?

Just wait, CMPD will have similiar stories....

Do we never learn?? If it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, then it's a freaking DUCK.

When will our elected "officials" get their heads out of their butts and really investigate and hold responsible people RESPONSIBLE for their unethical, if not criminal behavior????

Anonymous said...

Cedar you got more on Harry Jones, I know you do.

Come on man give it up!

Anonymous said...

There are clear links between Missionary Baptist Church and many, many, many "favors".....also at CMPD.......check out the members of the "church" and the links to CMPD.

Quid Pro Quo seems to be the modus operandi at MBC.....cronyism at its' worse.

Just wait until all the corruption sees the light of day at CMPD.

Although romo has been slyer about his "paper" and email trail.....but you can't cover up bogus numbers forever.

People are just so tired of the way he is turning CMPD into his own very personal police department with no regard for protocol, ethics, integrity.

Much the way Harry runs DSS, and with the same sense of being untouchable.

No one is we have seen so much recently.

Greed, ego, delusions of grandeur....overinflated feeling of invincibility, feeling of being "above the law" lack of oversight, no one to rein in the huge egos.

PS: CEDAR, I think CURT WALTON got a BONUS.....check it out!

Anonymous said...

Curt got a bonus as well, $16,000.00 but compared to Jones he got robbed!

Speaking of crooks, Harry Jones, Jr. is racking up points 3 DUI and 2 Drug Charges this year.

Of Course that is only in Mecklenburg County.

You'd think he'd get three strikes and get a life sentence?

Anonymous said...

Wow! Cedar looks like you are doing some serious digging of your own.

I never knew this was going on!

Keep up the good work!

Paul Pagliaro said...

Government just doesn't get it; stop wasting taxpayer money

It's time local, state and federal government start feeling the pain all of us in the private sector have felt the past two years. Accepting bonuses when we are all getting pay cuts, loss of benefits or loss of jobs is outrageous.

The fact that the county manager has not resigned from his job after this DSS scandal shows what a disconnect there is in government. All those involved should be charged accordingly.

Our tax money cannot continue to be wasted and stolen.

Anonymous said...

Good God, who writes this drivel? If you are going to be a pretend journalist, do some research. It's Bobbie Shields, not Bobby. It's Vilma leake, not Wilma. And Harry Jones isn't a member of Friendship, although the pastor is black, has a beard, and is named Jones. Pathetic.