Is there a whistle blower in our county government? A "deep throat light"?

Today’s article by Register reporter Ronald Campbell’s entitled “about $318,000 in contracts for Treasurer Chris Street were divided into 42 orders” warrants further review. While a spending authorization cap set at $5,000 is not very high, county government is not the private sector. We do not cut corners for expediency or favoritism. Ordinances are created to establish policy that must be followed without exception. Management must surely know that there are Ordinances in place relating to procurement. Some years ago I questioned a similar action in Mission Viejo.

There are a few questions that I would like to ask such as: when were these contracts awarded? I say that as it appears the cap was increased to $15,000 in late March.

Who allowed this to occur? Which department or manager reviews these contracts?
Do we have a “deep throat light” in county government? Is there an “unnamed source” providing this information to Ron or did he discover this on his own by reviewing check registers as we have done in my city.

I can understand multiple contracts if you need product “A” from one vendor and get product “B” from another. However, to award 14 contracts in such a short period of time, to the same vendor simply to be below the multiple bid requirement, should end up with someone getting a pink slip. I would like to see the Grand Jury conduct an investigation of this new chapter involving the treasurer’s department. From what I understand this remodel should really fall under one CIP. That being the case my guess is that there is no valid explanation for the multiple contract awards to the same source.

And now it’s your turn. Is this smoke, or simple a smoke screen to place a cloud over Chris Streets office?


About Larry Gilbert