Friday, August 24, 2007

Unreal, What am I missing here?

Well, this one has about taken the wind out of me.

From the Lewis Audit -contained in the pdf about questions concerning Ms Fench's P Card:

"39. October, 2003-Present Charges per P-card statement Approx.
Club LeConte, Knoxville At the Gold Rate of $130.00 per month ($80 per
month for regular dues, plus an additional $50 per month for Gold Status).
What is the business purpose of this expense? Club LeConte is a private social
club, serving meals and alcohol. According to Sec. 2.3.1, Knox County Travel
Policy, no meals will be allowed unless overnight travel is required, and then only
at prescribed per diem. Does the Knox County Travel Policy Handbook (dated
October 1, 2000) pertain to all Knox County employees, including the Mayor’s

Please. Someone tell me I'm missing something. Maybe I didn't read that right.
Someone tell me that she did NOT think that was a good idea!
For just shy of 4 years now, the tax payers of this county have been paying $130 a month for a Gold Membership to a private club for Ms Fench .

Oh yea, theres other questionable expenses- I haven't added it up but McGee Tyson parking is alot, it seems she was always out there to pick up or drop off on our dime.
Car rentals, travel, it would appear she had alot of catching up to do-at the tax payers expense.

And the trip to DC for who knows what.

"27. September 20-24, 2005 Charges per P-card statement $ 1728.08
US Airways-$361.30
Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, DC $ 161.82
Renaissance Grill, Washington, DC $ 151.92
Renaissance Grill, Washington, DC $ 173.68
Renaissance Hotel, Washington, DC $ 527.37
McGhee Tyson Airport Parking $ 24.00
There are no receipts attached. What is the business purpose of these charges, and
are receipts available for review?
If the claim pertains to attendance of a convention, conference, seminar, or formal
training session, is a copy of the brochure describing the event included, as
required by Section 1.1.2, Knox County Travel Procedures?
Please provide documentation that none of the meals above are in excess
of Level III of the Knox County per diem?

This is unreal. She must have thought it was a gift from us to her to do all this stuff.

(On a side note,
Old Ebbitt Grill is a really great place across the street from the Old Treasury Building-I think thats what it was referred to as- on 15th and G Street. I've been there 3 times. Fresh Raw Bar with oysters -flown in twice daily from Maine- as big as I've ever seen. Wonderful Adult Bev selection from local brewery's ("Clyde's" is a particularly nice one). I ate there 3 times while in the area for business, had many Brews, countless oysters and clams (or "quahog's"), and never remember spending more than $40-$45 a sitting, so round up to $50, thats 3 times for $150. Granted I did sit in the dining area once-Crab Cakes! Mmmmm!- but I never spent that much in there. It seems to be less expensive than some places here.
I'd give it a '2 thumbs up' if you ever have the opportunity.
I'm getting hungry!
See for yourself, how would one spend $161.82 in there!

But I digress!

Of course Ragsdale has a few doosies also.

This one's my fav...

20. August 1, 2006 Charge per P-card statement $ 712.28
Trailhead Restaurant, Townsend, TN The restaurant receipt identifies six
guests being served. The restaurant receipt includes charges for six beverages.
The restaurant receipt does not indicate the business purpose of the meal, or who
attended the meal. Please list the six people covered by this dinner. The
restaurant receipt includes 17 entrees, ranging in price from $ 18.95 (for Alfredo
Chicken/no chicken) to $ 31.95 (10 oz. filet), and 3 appetizers, including the “Big
Shrimp Cocktail” for $26.00. The total charges to the P-card include a gratuity of
$ 203.78, which is approximately 40% of the food bill. The Knox County Travel
Regulations, Sec. 1.1.3, states “County employees, when traveling, should be as
conservative as circumstances permit.” It would appear that this is an average of
approximately 3 entrees per person. The Knox County Travel Regulations do not
address appropriate amounts of tipping, as this is included in the Knox County
travel per diem. Please explain why six people would consume 17 entrees, and how a 40% tip was justified? Please identify whether there was any overnight travel. Please identify the business purpose of this meal. Please explain your
compliance with Sec. 1.1.3 of the Knox County Travel Regulations as it applies to
this entire dinner.

Dang. This sounds pretty good to.

Not only does this have to stop it cannot ever happen again.
We need some $$ back and some checks and balances to make sure this never happens again.

At this point, I'm sure that with an responsible, accountable Government, that 'Wheel Tax' is entirely unnecessary.

For 4 years, the woman that reminded Ragsdale of Jesus, has been living it up at a privite club with a Gold Membership paid for by the Tax Payers of Knox County.

And by the way, anyone who trys to say this is "racist', can't read.

If this doesn't result in some really bad 'hillbilly' jokes, I'll be surprised.
And I really dislike those.

I'm hungry and I doubt if Captain D's is gonna do it for me tonight.

Over and Out.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Look for this tomorrow. Quicksand.

It's like quicksand. The harder they try, the deeper they get.

Things are heating up!!! (Old but I hadn;t seen it)

Link to website here

The following is a copy from the .PDF file on the Website.
Its older but still has some interesting information.
I posted this way for people who don't have Adobe to view it.
I haven't read it yet but will be in a few.
Your comments are welcome.

Angry taxpayer questions Knox County Mayor about spending:

Jim Martin, Photographer
Kay Watson, Reporter
Last Updated: 7/31/2007 9:34:29 PM

A Knox County taxpayer is taking on Mayor Mike Ragsdale, asking
the Knox County leader dozens of questions about spending.
Lewis Cosby is an inactive CPA who at one time professionally
audited Knox County.
Cosby says he's not playing politics. He says he has no political
ambitions of his own and isn't asking Mayor Ragsdale to resign.
However, he says he couldn't ignore what he read and saw in the
news about taxpayer-funded travel and entertainment costs.
Cosby had to see for himself who bought what with their county
credit cards.
"In all my career, these records, as to expenditures and lack of
documentation, is some of the worst I've ever seen," Cosby
An exchange with Mayor Ragsdale that was broadcast on Hallerin
Hill's morning radio show on WNOX-FM 100.3 earlier in July made
Cosby take action.
"I was listening and Mayor Ragsdale said some things I didn't think
were correct," Cosby explained.
Cosby had been on the show the previous week. He decided to call
in and question Mayor Ragsdale, who was a guest on the show that
Lewis pressed Mayor Ragsdale, who said it would have cost
taxpayers more, if his staff members had claimed per diem.
"Knox County would have owed them money in most cases," Mayor
Ragsdale explained to listeners.
"Do you have details on that? Is that available for review?" Cosby
asked the Mayor.
Mayor Ragsdale responded to Cosby, "Come on up anytime. I've
never met you, I'd like to have a chance to talk with you."
"I'll do it," Lewis finished the 4-5 minute exchange. "I'll be there next
Cosby kept his word. He spent hours at Knox County's Purchasing
Office, reviewing pages of documents.
"Records are missing, receipts are missing, entire statements for
certain people are missing," Cosby explained his findings.
He also says the Mayor's Office wasn't following purchasing card
rules or the Knox County travel policy.
So far, he's given the mayor a list of 59 questions about credit
cards. And Cosby says his review isn't complete.

He also submitted a list of questions about the hospitality account.
The mayor controls that fund, and donors contribute to it to cover
special events.
"The hospitality account is negative," Cosby says.
As 10News reported, that account is now technically in the red.
A $5,000 bill that was supposed to be taken out of the Hospitality
Account wasn't. The Mayor's Printing budget actually covered the
bill for the Homeland Security Brochure.
That left money in the hospitality fund that has since covered meals
and alcohol at high-end restaurants.
The Mayor's Office says the current balance is $3,344.11.
However, if the cost of the brochure is subtracted from the
hospitality account now, the fund will be $1,655.89 in the hole.
Cosby says that based on the dates of those transactions, the fund
has actually been overdrawn for two years.
He can't understand why the Mayor's Office kept spending.
"I shouldn't have to figure this out," Cosby explains. "And I think
anybody that kept a checkbook would have figured this out, but the
records weren't kept. I'm not the only person upset about this. I
think the average taxpayer is upset about this."
Cosby still hasn't met with Mayor Ragsdale, but the Mayor's Office
is supposed to reply in 10 to 15 working days.
Spokesman Dwight Van de Vate released this statement this
"At this point, the records in the Mayor's Office are probably the
most closely scrutinized records ever maintained by Knox County
and everyone recognizes that there are places where improvement
is needed. Obviously we don't shy away from scrutiny."
Note: Cosby also ran a number of TV and radio stations in
Knoxville, but he never had a business relationship with WBIR.

Oh my! Thats gonna leave a mark!

This is rich.

(Copy/paste from my last post at )

From the Story linked:

“I did not ask the sheriff to do anything,” Moore said.

Ok, Does that also include "told him to" or "suggested he do" or is this Clinton-speak for 'depending on what your definition of 'told' is'?
According to the payroll records, Lorie Moore began taking maternity leave on June 2, 2004.
Her unpaid leave should have begun July 2, 2004, records show, when she took the last of the sick leave and vacation days she’d earned. The records show she returned to duty five weeks later, on Aug. 9, 2004.
An undated, handwritten note at the bottom of one of her payroll sheets indicates that Assistant Chief Deputy Rodney Bivens, who is in charge of corrections and personnel, authorized that she receive family leave with pay.
Bivens declined an interview request made through Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Martha Dooley. Lorie Moore also declined to be interviewed for this story, Dooley said.
Of course Bivins declined, he's been caught.

Dooley said Hutchison authorized Bivens to change Lorie Moore’s status.
Not a shocker. Hutch!

Hutchison, who lost his office in January after the state Supreme Court upheld term limits in Knox County, retired as an assistant chief deputy in July.
In a statement sent by e-mail through Dooley, Hutchison said his policy was “to try to assist good employees if they were sick and out of (paid leave) time and needed some additional days fronted to them or as in Lorie’s case they were able to work from home for a short period of time.”
Good employees? Who decides who's 'good'? Could this be another lawsuit for people not judged to be good?

Dooley offered another explanation for Lorie Moore’s receiving checks for $1,138.85 every two weeks while on leave.
“She worked from home during that time,” Dooley said.
In his statement, Hutchison also said Lorie Moore worked from home.
THEN WHY WAS SHE ON LEAVE? Why not a re-assignment to home duty to do her job?

This story is full of zingers. I'll skip to the last.

Hutchison said in his statement he helped “numerous people that were hard working government employees” the same way he helped Lorie Moore.

'Numerous 'good people' . Ok lets take a look at those numerous "good" people and see how/how long/how much/how many family members were Knox Co employees also. That looks like a challenge to me.

Hutchison said he’s known Lorie Moore and her family — her father is Property Assessor John Whitehead — longer than he’s known Scott Moore. He also took a swipe at the News Sentinel’s reporting on County Commission issues. Three commissioners work for the county and 10 others have relatives who do.
“They are hard working folks,” he said of Lorie Moore’s family, “and certainly do not deserve the attacks they are receiving from the News Sentinel because of its political agenda.”
Hutch has known them so long Scott didn't have to 'ask'- it was an old family favor?

I don't know their family but dang. Everyone is 'hard working'. This is about the "Hardly Working".

I'm sure you can't give preferential treatment to people on the County payroll. I bet Hutch's lawyers are poopin' twinkies after the info he's divulged. Don't be surprised if
isn't already at work on that, looking for more 'good' people.
Unless The former sheriff just said that as a reaction-without thinking. They could just as easily find more or or less. Maybe none. None could be worse than a few. None would mean it was a good deal for her.
This is a unique story because its putting Moore against the Sheriff- or at least is pushing them apart. IF that results in anymore 'dirt', only time and the will tell.