Friday, January 2, 2015

Tattler Exclusive: Pasadena City Hall Employee Tells All

Parson Danny "Fingers" Wooten
Mod: A little piece of luck here. I have scored a no holds barred interview with someone intimately acquainted with the current woeful goings-on at Pasadena City Hall. Why intimately acquainted? Because our guy worked closely with both Danny Wooten and Melody Jenkins. This started as just an e-mail, but after several exchanges blossomed into a full-fledged interview, one where names get named and those who deserve it get what is coming to them. The one thing that I am honor-bound to do here is protect the anonymity of today's correspondent. A request that The Tattler is always happy to accommodate. Being a blog does have its advantages, you know.

Tattler: So tell us, how well did you know this guy?

Anonymous Informant: I've been agonizing about this since I saw the press release yesterday. This is tragic for his family, for him, and for Melody. Such a foolish, foolish thing. Danny Wooten is a former Navy Seal, a thoroughly likable guy, and was the go to person to get answers and things done in his realm of expertise. Very committed to his faith and his church. We always suspected something was going on between him and Melody, but not embezzlement. He was counseled by his supervisor about his relationship with this young woman (a single mom with four kids). Very, very sad.

Tattler: Do you know what Wooten was dismissed for in 2013?

Anonymous Informant: I don't know what Wooten was dismissed for but from the PSN accounts, it was a "personnel issue". Turns out Wooten was much more than most of us suspected. I have personal knowledge of the financial vehicle he apparently used for much of his check writing game - it's the City of Pasadena's own alternative method (alternative to standard accounting route) and it involves oversight and sign off by a number of people including the Public Works Director, a purchasing manager, and the Finance Director. The check request would have been walked through each step and ultimately taken to the Treasury Department for processing. After the check was processed (usually a 1 or 2 day turnaround) it could be mailed or signed for and picked up by the designated individual (Danny or Melody). Many, many safeguards in place, but if someone understands the system and has the confidence of authorized managers and directors, clearly it can be circumvented. Fund Accounting is a complicated animal - and one that Sierra Madre uses as well.

I processed an estimated $130 million in invoices over the years I was at City Hall, working with the Seismic Retrofit group (watched closely by an Oversight Committee). All of our invoices were scrutinized by the Committee, the Public Works Director, the Accounting, the Finance Departments and ultimately most were paid using standard accounting practices. A fair number of checks were issued using the method Danny apparently utilized. Also bank transfers were paid monthly to the construction management group to the tune of millions of dollars a month. It's amazing how so many dollars can fly out the doors based on the processing ability of clerks and analysts. It ultimately comes down to the personal relationship the invoice processor has with the layers of approvers and Treasury.

Tattler: Why do you think Wooten was able to get away with this level of embezzlement for 11 years?

Anonymous Informant: It seems like the undergrounding project was shared between Muni Services (Pasadena DWP) who owned the $$$ and Public Works (who initiated and monitored the work).  The dollars came into the fund as a result of voter action. No oversight committee monitored the cash flow - in either direction.

Danny Wooten was personable and appeared to be a straight arrow kind of guy - and after all, he was a Pastor! He was also black (as was Melody Jenkins) - you don't have to publish that, but it's significant in the City Hall community. A lot of tippy toe goes on around the black/white staff. A fear of accusations on both sides interferes with a candid exchange in many interactions. Balkanization you could call it. The Treasury group, for whatever reason, is predominately Armenian (or at least it was a few years ago). Process "Under the Dome" is paramount. A "we've always done it like that" ethic prevails. Larry Hammond, the "purchasing manager" is also black and a by the book kind of guy. Everything was done by the book.

But it's like in between the chapters there was room for innovation - like the use of Wite Out, inserting numbers between the $ and amount ($43,750 vs $ 3,750). I suspect that's where Melody came in with her clerical skills. If there had been a step where all cancelled checks returned by the bank were matched up with the approved initiating document, the error would have popped up immediately.

Compartmentalization is the bane of auditors and the delight of embezzlers. And where was the fund balance resolution each month? Someone failed miserably in their fiduciary duties to allow Wooten to exploit the gaps. I think he was desperate initially and started out with very small amounts, found it to be an easy process, and became overconfident. He'll (once he starts to plea bargain) admit that the failed bank loan ($3.5 mil) was going to pay back what he'd taken from fund, although he'd have to have been very clever to return the money without raising red flags.

The Departments within City Hall are like mini-fiefdoms, each with personalities reflecting their Directors. Long time employees are likely to have transferred between the organizations during their employment histories. Sons and daughters, even grandsons and granddaughters, follow their parents into City service. Much rivalry, competition, and intense departmental loyalty is apparent. Actually, the overwhelming number of employees are honest, do their jobs to the best of their abilities, and take very seriously the public trust invested in them. I'd go on to say they're grateful for the salaries, benefits, and working conditions they've experienced, for the most part.

If you go on the City's website, Cityofpasadena.net, you can access the organizational chart. It is very interesting. There's even 5-year operating budgets, approved by the City Council, for all the City to view. I bet no more than a half dozen citizens have ever bothered.

I could go on and on about The City of Pasadena, its executive and management staff, and the truly great folks that work there. Danny Wooten is an anomaly and his actions break my heart.

Tattler: Is there anything else you want to share here before we call it a day?

Anonymous Informant: Yes. Before an invoice can be paid a purchase order or contract must be in place. Contracts are subject to bids; the public bidding process is transparent and can be found on line.  Some things had to have happened before the checks were cut. Purchase orders can be issued if the vendor provides a unique product or service not available elsewhere. Chances are $6.4 mil worth of electrical parts could be found not just at Collins Electric.

More will come out as the investigation continues … what follows could actually be even bigger!  There has been speculation for years about the coziness of certain local business owners and the Planning Department, as well as the Mayor's office and the City Council.

One more thing. Link here, scroll down a little and read through the several pages associated with the March 12th, 2013 Municipal Service Committee meeting for a good background on undergrounding utilities. You'll see familiar names and the charts will give you some idea of the magnitude of dollars involved. Also, from the CityofPasadena.net website, using the search function enter: Undergrounding Utilities. Public knowledge is a good thing.

Tattler: Thank you for this. You have been very generous.

Here are a couple of interesting passages from that 3/12/13 Municipal Services meeting:


Why is Terry Tornek deleting reader comments from his Facebook page?
Invoices? What invoices?
Terry Tornek is a member of the Pasadena City Council, and he is running for Mayor. The same lazy daisy fun and crazy City Council that enabled Parson Danny to allegedly (I love that word) embezzle $6.4 million dollars over 11 years. These stalwart elected officials are supposed to review the bills and invoices at each and every City Council meeting, yet Wooten apparently fooled them with his magic tricks over 600 times. My guess is Tornek is concerned that the public is going to place the blame where it belongs, on his back, along with the rest of the PeeDee City Council. To the point where he is now deleting comments made on his Facebook page by folks pointing out these rather troublesome, and I guess more obvious than he really cares to know, suspicions.

And then there is this from the InvoiceGate Pasadena Facebook page (link):

Mayoral Candidate CouncilMember Terry Tornek is a member of both the Finance Committee and the Municipal Services Committee with direct responsibility over the Finance Department, Public Works, and PWP.

Then again, so is Mayor Bill "Wave to the Crowd and Smile" Bogaard. Let's give credit where credit is due.

In a scathing must read Op-Ed piece published in yesterday's Pasadena Star News ("The stink at Pasadena City Hall too strong to ignore" - link here), Frank Girardot asks this question:

What will be the consequences for members of the City Council who blithely approved consent items authorizing payments to an East Villa Street church for electrical work that was never performed?

Tornek is, of course, one of the City Council members Girardot is talking about. And apparently whomever is running Terry's campaign for Mayor is working hard to counter that kind of speculation with talk about how Tough Terry actually helped to bring the crooks to justice. Here is an example of that (link):

As a member of this committee, Terry Tornek has been a vocal and persistent critic of the City’s Underground Utility Program …  As the audio recording of this May 13 meeting reflects, the meeting was contentious.  Tornek repeatedly questioned and criticized the representations being made by City staff describing them as “infuriating”, “irritating” and “disingenuous."  Tornek also stated the following about the UUP Program’s Miscellaneous Projects account: “I call it a slush fund because that’s what it is and I object to it.”

Nice umbrage for sure, but when those hundreds upon hundreds of funny money consent items crossed the collective desk of that City Council, or even those highly pertinent Committees he worked on, did Terry Tornek ever call a single one of them out?

Short answer: No, allegedly he did not. Besides, as InvoiceGate Pasadena so notes:

After the May 13, 2014 meeting of the Municipal Services Committee, no further discussion of the Utility Undergrounding Program (UUP) appears on any agenda of the MSC or the Finance Committee nor anything else in the public record until the City's press conference announcing the arrests on December 30, 2014 … The minutes from May 13, 2014 indicate that the discussion item would be continued to June 2, 2014, but it never was.

My take? The whole rotten mess is going down, and in the most fascinating varieties of ways. As Karen Carpenter once sang, we've only just begun.

Here, take a listen for yourself.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

93 comments:

  1. Like most government officials they apparently have been protected by a bodyguard of LIES.
    Thanks for telling us the truth Tattler.

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    Replies
    1. Just for the record, Danny Wooten was NOT a Navy Seal. He had a dishonorable discharge from the Army. He was always a shady character and a womanizer!! A pathological Lier!!

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    2. he was in the army and his discharge was not dishonorable

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  2. Amazing scoop for the Tattler to get that kind of inside information. That person reveals the cronyism that goes into City Government. What is needed is constant independant audits to keep every one on the straight and narrow. This is what happens when City Hall gets too much cash. Pasadena also is a city where over 70% of its budget goes towards salaries, pensions and benefits for the City Employees. Mayor Bogaard may be good a shaking hands and attending the right parties, but he has done a lousy job of managing the City. Let's see which heads roll on this one. Will the City Manager, Michael Beck, take any responsibility. My guess is that no one will. I also find it very worrisome when this person talks about the black/white divide and how the Armenians seems to control the treasury. This whole focus on race has come down to separating the races and even the Balkanization of City Hall itself. What a mess!

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    1. That kind of Balkanization is the ultimate result of political correctness run amok.

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  3. I suspect this will all be the tip of the iceberg once people dig around a bit at City Hall. In the end, as always, the biggest loser is the taxpayers of Pasadena. This could be bigger than Bell once this is all over.

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    1. I agree. It this guy could steal $6.4 million bucks over the course of 11 years, and nobody in control even suspected it? Then he could;t have been the only one. Pasadena City Hall has been whining about being broke. Gosh, I wonder why.

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    2. If he could do it, others have done it. We need to be alert in Sierra Madre also. With so many big projects these cities are involved in, you can expect corruption in the awarding of contracts.

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  4. This is troubling. When does the UUT Oversight Committee start meeting again?

    "Many, many safeguards in place, but if someone understands the system and has the confidence of authorized managers and directors, clearly it can be circumvented. Fund Accounting is a complicated animal - and one that Sierra Madre uses as well."

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  5. Does anyone know what he did with 6.4 million dollars?

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    1. If you read some of the newspaper accounts there are interviews with the leaders of the Churches this Wooten fellow was associated with. They all profess shock and immense dismay. My guess is they were the recipients of some of that money, and are scared to death that the DA is going to present them with a demand that they pay it all back immediately.

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    2. I heard Wooten went to Disneyland!

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    3. Dear Reverend _______, Pleae send back the $1.5oo,ooo you received from Mr. Wooten.
      Thanks,
      The District Attorney

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  6. A key part of the problem appears to be the Purchasing Dept. which apparently approved issuing Purchase Orders to non-existent companies without doing any type of background check. The City of Pasadena also does not seem to have any limits on the maximum dollar value of PO's that can be issued without City Manager and/or City Council approval. Similar to Sierra Madre's lack of any restrictions on the dollar value and/or scope of contract Change Order work that can be authorized solely on the approval of the Public Works Director or other Dept. Director.

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  7. Thanks Tattler. Now I have that damned Carpenters song stuck in my head.

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    Replies
    1. Look on the bright side - at least it's not "Copacabana".

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  8. Interesting that Tornek's Facebook page is getting comments deleted. Who is the administrator? His campaign manager?

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  9. Your statement that elected officals in Pasadena “are supposed to review bills and invoices at each and every City Council meeting” is false. This is the procedure in tiny cities like Sierra Madre but is not the procedure in Pasadena. The City Council does not approve bill and invoices.

    Girardot was apparently falsely told this was the case by former Sierra Madre city councilmember (and Tennessee resident) Chris Koerber because that is how it is done in Sierra Madre and Korber wrongly asserted they followed the same procedure in Pasadena. Girardot was told this was not that case yet he falsely claimed it was in his column.
    As a result, because you have the facts wrong, your conclusion is wrong.

    Tornek deleted a nasty comment from his Facebook page by Tony Brandenberg claiming that Mayor Bogaard or Councilmember McAustin may have been involved. Tornek’s Facebook page is for his friends and supporters. It’s not a venue for someone to make accusations. For the Tatttler, which does not hesitate to edit the comments that it allows to be posted to complain about someone else doing the same thing is laughable.

    It is complely false that any member of the City Council has “direct responsibility” over any city department. Pasadena has city manager government and no councilmember has “direct responsibility” over any city department (by law only the City Manager does. Does Harabedian have “direct responsibility” over Sierra Madre’s public works department? No.
    Again, this entire post is predicted on the false assumption that Pasadena operates like Sierra Madre does . The City council did not “blithely approve” anything in this case.

    Finally, the discussion about the UUP account stopped after the May 13, 2014 meeting because at that meeting Tornek made inquiries that immediately led to the discovery of the embezzlement, the District Arttorney was contacted and the D.A. sent a letter dated May 29, 2014 to the City of Pasadena that stated: “To ensure the success of this investigation and possible prosecution, I am requesting that you maintain strict confidentiality about the existence of the investigation and our involvement. This request would extend to the City Council members as well.”

    You can read the D.A's letter yourself here at http://www.cityofpasadena.net/invoiceinvestigation/

    So you have the facts completely wrong and you should fix your post.

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    1. Sounds like a blame the employees defense to me. That City Council members are totally innocent of how all money is spent in their own city is a little hard to believe. Is there no accountability there for elected officials? And Tony Brandenburg's post was just one word. Here is how he posted it on his Facebook page: "Believe it or not, one word : unbeknownst?" Smearing Tony, like blaming City Hall help, is not going to get you very far.

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    2. Whew! Hit some kind of nerve here. Has the smell of legalize. Did little old Tattler raise the ire of the biggies?

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    3. 8:29, other than the Star-News Editorial Board meeting during the 2012 elections, I've never spoken to Frank Girardot of the Star-News. Scouts Honor.

      Check your facts before you attack.

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    4. Wow. What is Tornek afraid of? Is there something here that we don't know about yet? Sounds like they're circling the wagons at Tornek headquarters.

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    5. (crickets chirping)

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    6. You can't hear the crickets over all of the yelling. Too bad.

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    7. I'd like 8L29 to tell us then whose head should roll for what happened. My guess is that there is going to be alot of finger-pointing but very little accountability. In exchange for a plea bargain, maybe Wooten will tell everything he knows and who enabled him to do it. That probably has some people worried over at City Hall.

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    8. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at Tornek's campaign headquarters.

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    9. I asked a question, 8:29. Everything else you attribute to me is out of your head, not mine. Stop trying to put words into my mouth.

      your paranoia is creating the drama. what a shame.

      you yourself are opening the window that is letting the flies in.

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    10. This post hit too close too home for 8:29 who seems to be afraid that someone like Mr. Tornek will be held accountable for a lengthy and large embezzlement that happened on this watch. People need to ask questions and not walk on "tiptoes" because the employee is black or Armenian or whatever. This is insane.

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  10. Here is the threat issued on Tornek's Facebook page by Tony Brandenberg posing as "Tony Bee":

    "if you are going to shoot down my questions before they are asked, then i will blast the questions from places with traffic that exceeds 20k. again i ask, unbeknownst? it's one thing for you to not know; it's another to assume no one else did."

    It's unclear what Brandenberg is raving about he seems to be claiming that other committee memebers (Mayor Bogaard and Councilmember McAustin) may have been involved. Would you let out-of-town people threaten you and make completely unsubstantiated claims about 3rd parties on your own Facebook page?

    Does "Tony Bee"? I think not. He just dishes out the abuse and expects everyone to to watch him perform.

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    1. That was after Tony's original comment was deleted. I know. I was the one that told him.

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    2. Do "out-of-town" threats also apply to Pasadena folk sticking their nose in Sierra Madre affairs? Double standard, methinks.

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    3. I see. So its ok for Tony to use his access to the Tattler to threaten people? In addition, you falsely told Frank Girardot on his Facebook page (posting as "Eric Maundry") "Gotta ask. Doesn't the P'dena City Council review the expenditures every time they meet? Part of the Consent Calendar, correct? That means that Parson Wooten got each and every one of those fake invoices past those knuckleheads since 2003. Hundreds of them totaling $6.4 million dollars. That needs to be discussed. They never did their job."

      Girardot repeated your false observation in his column and you continue to repeat it above as some kind of trophy. Except it's untrue.

      Are you going to acknowledge spreading false information and fix the problem?

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    4. You're right. The fact that the Moderator/Owner of this blog doesn't live in Sierra Madre is a double standard.

      Delete
    5. I think Tony has the right to call you out on censoring his posts. I have also double checked with a few folks about your notion that Pasadena's City Council bears no responsibility to make sure that money gets spent properly and with all the legal safeguards in place. The response has been a unanimous "That's BS." Pasadena government and politics is a sewer. I don't care to defend it in any way.

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    6. If the Pasadena City Council doesn't have the responsibility to verify expenditures are legal, then who does? Wooten?

      Dumb ass.

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    7. 9:55 - yopur accusation that The tattler holds that kind of power over the Editor of three SGV daily newsppaers is an intersting one. Can you offer any details?

      Delete
    8. (crickets continue to chirp)

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    9. a tony by any other nameJanuary 2, 2015 at 2:52 PM

      wow. don't get all butt hurt. i don't care about TT or any one else running for office. i'm sorry if i interfered with your op. i know you pride yourself on winning, not on whether or not you believe in the messenger. that's cool, i don't care either. but i don't get paid to pretend that i do. that's a scab's job. not mine.

      tony bee? uh. it's tony b. nothing especially clever or spytacular there.

      i don't use the tattler to threaten anyone. you give me too much say, and assume that john buys in to my nonsense. as for the numbers, i have my own little world where I can amplify issues as they arise. what i find intriguing is tht it only matters to you now- but hasn't mattered when it supported someone you were paid to promote. did i make a boo boo on the carpet this time? are you rubbing my nose in it?

      my question was based on the opening credit in the vid that used the word "unbeknownst" to the entire City Council. I stand by what I asked. Is TT suggesting that the others had no idea? How does he know this? Does he know this? How can any one council member know what their colleagues know? And yes, I will ask the question elsewhere else if I choose.

      I ASKED A QUESTION- I DID NOT IMPLY OR SUGGEST ANYTHING.

      I don't know who those people are you babbled about. The mayor? Cheeseburger? The other name you dropped? Who is that? Someone you have an opinion about, not me.

      anyone who has spent time in a school board or city council meeting knows what a yawn fest they are. when budgets and invoices go through they are generally abridged and abbreviated to the point of ridiculous. over a few years, could 6 million dollars worth of them slip buy a bunch of guys who are bored to tears and fatigued beyond belief by the sheer mundaneness of their posts? probably.

      the real question is, do i care?

      Go run your op. f/o.

      Delete
  11. Are you actually claiming that the employees/accomplices who are in jail at this moment aren't responsible?

    The fact is the investigation report (which cost $375,000 by the way) credits a City Council subcommittee consisting of Tornek, McAustin and Bogaard with making inquiries that led to the discovery of the embezzlement. An embezzlement that the City Manager and the rest of the senior city employees had missed.

    http://www.cityofpasadena.net/Department.aspx?theme=Navy&pageid=8589938720

    KPMG Report Memorandum - Appendix A, Page 7

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  12. Tornek has the same campaign manager as Rachelle Arizmendi -- Martin Truitt...

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  13. Michael Beck said he takes full responsibility as City Manager for actions of city employees. Then Mr. Beck needs to either be fired ot resign. This is bigger than Bell.

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    1. Don;t forget the Rizzos!

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    2. Someone should resign or be fired over this. I'm angry and I don't even live in Pasadena. If it was my tax money that disappeared like that, I'd be over at city hall leading a group with torches and pitch folks. Pasadena is a mess and will only get worse. The only reason Bogaard has been around so long is because he doesn't do anything but pose for pictures. The City Employees love his approach.

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    3. Staff in city hall pushes the city council around. There isn't a man among them.

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  14. The City Biggies are lining up like Radio City Rockettes! I sense the hand of Bill Boyer directed by Michelle Bagneris...

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  15. not an auspicious start to mr tornek's campaign, i'd say

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    1. Not the fiorst time someone has blamed city staff. Won't be the last.

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    2. How much you wanna bet Tornek gets the City Manager thrown under the bus?

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    3. It's not "thrown under the bus", 9:42.

      Its "the ends justify the means" Chicago-style politics.

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    4. Nobody needs to throw the City Manager "under the bus." The fact is Michael Beck is the one responsible for all city departments and employees. He needs to go.

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    5. Blame the help. Pasadena is apparently ruled by a Royal Family.

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    6. I figure Tornek and Robinson can get Beck fired and thus save their respective Mayoral campaigns. Pretty clean, huh?

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    7. Beck should be fired.

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    8. I'm guessing the voters will fire Tornek when the election comes. Iceberg dead ahead!

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  16. Great interview Tattler. And I especially appreciated hearing the obviously intelligent and ethical source defend the majority of people who work at City Hall. Now if a judge could somehow figure out how to make the Pastor make amends to them - but instead, their reputations will be ruined. He is guilty of a lot more than taking money.

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  17. Typical politicians. the finger pointing is everywhere except at themselves. Tornek can't be exposed as culpable because he is busy running for Mayor of Pasadena and this could put a damper on his chances. my prediction : the City Manager will soon be sacrificed and things will proceed as usual.

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    1. Michael Beck as Pasadena City Manager is responsible. The weak media didn't take him to task at the press conference, but it's obvious that he is incompetent.

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    2. Beck should not be the fall guy for a lazy and incompetent city council. They need to be shown the door as well.

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    3. Beck runs all city departments. Of course he should. He said he takes full responsibilty. The guy has been the City Manager since 2008. He's incompetent.

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    4. Of course he's taking full responsibility. That is what he was told to do. He's trying to save his ass.

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  18. Michael Beck makes nearly $300,000 a year in salary plus benefits/pension. Does anyone on the Pasadena City Council make that much? If you're paying a City Manager that amount of money you would think he would do his job correctly. I am not excusing the CC, but Beck is making the big bucks and he failed. He has to go.

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  19. so what kind of audits were/were not happening in Pasadena?

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  20. It seems like Beck has lost control of city hall. The informant talks about kids and grandkids getting into City Hall and riding the gravy train. Its all based on who you know and not competence.

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    Replies
    1. I agree. Beck needs to be fired for not doing the job, but also because he is a distraction. Once he is out of the way we can start looking at those whose responsibility it was to safeguard the taxpayers from embezzlement and corruption. The elected officials.

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  21. Pasadena City Hall is not vetting properly the people who work in the Finance Department. One example is David Georkyan whose fraudulent background was exposed recently in the Los Angeles Times: http://www.glendalenewspress.com/news/tn-gnp-blogger-raises-resume-query-regarding-former-glendale-committee-member-20141114,0,866572.story

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    Replies
    1. 12:16 you misspelled his last name.

      Accuracy counts, especially in accounting.

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    2. sholud probably check the finances for the Armenian monument for Pasadena too.

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  22. I was checking the news and saw the Girardot opinion piece on Pasadena, ran over here and happy to see you were on top of it. But a scoop! Wow...

    Found a story with a bit more juicy bits.... http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_27236882/who-are-pasadena-embezzlement-suspects-danny-wooten-melody

    Happy New Year..

    Kim Goddard

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    Replies
    1. Hey Okie...how y'all doing.
      Nice to see your post.
      Happy New Year

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    2. Hey back, I am okay, far away from developers..There are some videos of the pastor on youtube NewCO Church, was just watching one and wondering if the lady singing was Jenkins???? You okay and John?

      Lordy, Lordy... LOL...

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    3. I'll bet they're singing a different tune now.

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  23. Just read the LA Times article above about the person with a fraudulent background working in the Pasadena Finance Department. Looks like he was part of the "Armenian group" in the Finance Department mentioned in your article. The strange thing is that he was also a Glendale Commissioner before he resigned.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully, in that department you have to have better qualifications than just being Armenian. Have we really come to that? God help us.

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    2. Sorry to say but it looks like we have. City Treasurer is the former Chair of the Armenian National Commitee of Pasadena. He brought on Gevorkyan, the Treasuer of the Armenian National Commitee, who it turns out has a fraudulent background which finally got exposed after he got appointed as a Glendale Audit Commissioner and they did a background check on him. But even though he falsified his professional credentials, the Pasadena City Treasurer still stands up for him.

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  24. Funny that Tornek is a supposed Republican. He voted against a Chick-Fil-A for Pasadena.

    http://www.sgvtribune.com/business/20140409/plans-to-build-chick-fil-a-in-pasadena-delayed-after-council-vote

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  25. Funny, Tornek voted against Chick-Fil-A because of "non-conforming use" but he got that deal for his building:

    http://pasadenasubrosa.typepad.com/pasadena_sub_rosa/2009/03/terry-tornek-is-a-real-estate-developer.html

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  26. Pastor Wooten is on you tube, his church site is being networked out but found a cached page...link for youtube..
    under NewCO Church, in case you have to search https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPoDGgt_iLw#t=22, the website is down but this is the cached page as of 12/13/2014 http://98.139.21.31/search/srpcache?p=danny+wooten+new+covenant+church&fr=ie8&ei=UTF-8&u=http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=danny+wooten+new+covenant+church&d=4936074124666454&mkt=en-US&setlang=en-US&w=CG6a8GlcIYTEqtbsaeLnD__4InW2eM5a&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=xHbp1HAyM413gOrkrzOTAQ--

    KG

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    Replies
    1. What terrible hypocrisy. "I'm locked and loaded in the Anointing"

      Delete
    2. Reverend Bling.

      Delete
  27. Quite a little New Years surprise Pasadena City Hall cooked up. I am sure the inconvenient timing was just a coincidence. But if not, should we blame the typing pool?

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  28. I will say this again. Once the public employees were allowed to unionize, a monster was created. That is why their salaries, benefits and pensions have gone through the roof. One of the most powerful unions in California is the prison guard union. I am near San Louis Obispo right now but I pass the "Men's Colony" every time I get off of the 101 and head on Highway One to Morro bay. That prison is a testament to the power of that union. Prisons used to be located in god forsaken areas like Yuma or Vacaville and other areas like that. This Men's Colony is located near the Central Coast in a beautiful and environmentally sensitive areas. The only reason it got built there is because the guards didn't want to work in a place like Yuma. Because of the union's stranglehold over Democratic politicians in California, it is able to get built. Its really awful what's happening now with these public employee unions. We now work for them and, in fact, the taxpayers have to work longer and retire later to the age of 65 if even that early so that our "public servants" can retire at 50 or 55 with cost of living increases every year and full medical benefits. Its the biggest scam going. Which is why the post today mentions how the jobs keep getting passed along to sons, daughters, grandkids and other cronies who can then also ride the gravy train on the backs of the taxpayers through ever higher taxes. When over 70% of a city's budget goes towards salaries and benefits, is it any wonder that cities are going broke and public services are being reduced. City Councils are usually of no help because often times they are elected by the public employee unions who then get payback for their campagin contributions in the form of ever greater salaries and beneifts. People need to wake up and roll back all the inexorable gains of the unions. I digress a bit but all this cronyism with who gets hired at City Hall inevitably leads to corruption and a lack of checks and balances. I'm sure there are so many incestuous relationships like this at Pasadena City Hall that no one is watching the taxpayers' money.

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    Replies
    1. The CMC was built in 1954. the only reason it was built is because the guards wanted a prison there? What's your source? The CPOA did not exist at that time and did not start flexing its muscle until the big prison building boom of the 1980's and 90's. I agree it has wielded way too much power over the years, but its not fair to put city clerical employees in the same pool as safety employees like the prison guards. Their benefits and pensions aren't nearly as good.

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  29. Once again, the Tattler has done a remarkable job of exposing public corruption and hypocracy. I also love it when the Tattler hits a nerve that causes a defense that only makes me know that there is further corruption that will be unearthed. The City should do a full independant audit of all its departments to see if the tentacles of this corruption lead any where else. You have to believe that if Wooten and Jenkins could figure it out, others have too. Unless their is a cover-up, more corruption will undoubtedly be found.

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  30. We've Only Just Began
    Song by The Carpenters

    We've only just begun to live
    White lace and promises
    A kiss for luck and we're on our way
    We've only begun
    Before the risin' sun, we fly
    So many roads to choose
    We'll start out walkin' and learn to run
    And yes, we've just begun
    Sharing horizons that are new to us
    Watching the signs along the way
    Talkin' it over, just the two of us
    Workin' together day to day, together
    And when the evening comes, we smile
    So much of life ahead
    We'll find a place where there's room to grow
    And yes, we've just begun
    Sharing horizons that are new to us
    Watching the signs along the way
    Talkin' it over, just the two of us
    Workin' together day to day, together, together
    And when the evening comes, we smile
    So much of life ahead
    We'll find a place where there's room to grow
    And yes,…

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  31. Danny Wooten's embezzlement total added up to less than 1% of Pasadena's annual budget, a 1% spread over 11 years. Taken from InvoiceGate the following:

    MICHAEL J. BECK: CITY MANAGER
    Michael J. Beck has been the Pasadena City Manager since October 2008. His responsibilities include the overall operation of the city’s government, including development of the annual operating and capital budget, more than $776 million in Fiscal Year 2012. Mr. Beck also manages 14 departments within the city, including Pasadena Water and Power, full service police and fire departments, a Department of Health and management of almost 2,000 employees. He is also a member of the Rose Bowl Operating Company. Under his leadership, Pasadena has maintained its well-deserved reputation for excellence in the delivery of municipal services to its 137,000 residents.
    Mr. Beck’s initiatives have included the development of a five-year fiscal program to resolve a General Fund deficit brought on by the recent economic downturn with cumulative savings of more than $150 million; streamlining the city’s governmental functions and processes ; increasing the use of technology to better serve residents; developing a financial solution to an unfunded liability in the closed Fire and Police Retirement System; creating a strategic investment plan to fund at least $100 million in renovations to public facilities; and implementing a strategic planning process for the city. In addition, he has provided leadership to Pasadena’s General Plan update and the Rose Bowl Stadium renovation project.

    They aren't going to dump Michael Beck, but they may jettison some folks from the Finance and Public Works departments, and maybe an Assistant City Manager or two.

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    Replies
    1. Michael Beck is going to be dumped.

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    2. Who will the PeeDee City Council hide behind after that? Or will they just go and find more bodies to throw into the street?

      There is no bigger punk than a paid apologist for incompetence and corruption. And you pal are just that.

      Delete
  32. The real cronyism has yet to rear its ugly head. Keep your eyes on Steve Madison, known for courting the NFL. All after his constituents voted overwhelmingly against the NFL in Pasadena- short term or otherwise. What is worse? The LAW FIRM he works for REPRESENTS the NFL.

    Never seen a conflict of interest more textbook than this.

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  33. As my dear old dad used to put it, it's time to flush the pot.

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  34. something stinks

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