Friday, February 19, 2010
The Smoking Gun...
On May 2, 2009 Sam Kooiker sent an email to Rapid City Public Works Director Robert Ellis regarding irregularities at the Landfill, see below.
On Monday, May 4 at 9:17 Mr. Ellis replied to Sam that the employees in question were loyal and scolded Kooiker for "throwing around in the public domain without any evidence of wrong-doing." Hanks is included in email. See below.
At 12:48 that same day, Mr. Ellis fired off another email saying that he wanted to make it clear (before his exhaustive 1 day investigation) "I needed to be very clear there is not any evidence that we have found to substantiate this at this time. Someone making an incorrect assumption or jumping to conclusions on this matter could very seriously damage the reputation of the City and our staff members. See Below. It also says, "I felt I needed to state that because if some outside party were to read the e-mail, they may assume there is an inside job simply because a citizen made the accusation. Hanks is included in email.
Finally, on May 6, after an exhaustive one-day investigation, the public works director informs Kooiker and others (including the mayor) that his investigation has revealed no wrong-doing at the Landfill.
What does all this mean? Well, it means that after receiving the May 6 email, Alderman Kooiker and Alderman Weifenbach went to the mayor and insisted on a real investigation, which we now know has resulted in Fish Garbage Service facing a civil lawsuit, significant security changes at the landfill, an employee who has been dismissed, and an on-going criminial investigation of the entire matter with the investigation going back seven years (statute of limitations), indicating that the situation at the landfill had been going on for many years and costing the citizens of Rapid City many dollars.
When Alderman Weifenbach asked about the problem years prior, he did not have an email evidence trail. And, so when he was told there was nothing going on at the landfill, he had no evidence other than his word that he brought it up. Enter Alderman Sam Kooiker who hears from a different source and makes the email inquiry.
This, of course, makes the public works director and the mayor look very bad, since this has been going on under their noses for years. And, they chose to do a half fast investigation by asking the (now fired) employee if he was a crook, and took his word for it when he said "nope."
Note in the May 6 email from Ellis that he urges people with questions to contact him "directly." That email trail of evidence of his and the mayor's negligence is extremely inconvenient and looks really really bad.
So, what to do about these pesky emails? Let's censure Kooiker, which will divert attention from the real problem, smear the guy who has blown this up, and maybe nobody will know how utterly incompetent we've been.
Problem with the plan? Kooiker's pesky attorney kept demanding those thousand pages of emails described in the resolution to censure him. Why did it take so long to actually provide them? The reasons are clear, when you read the emails above.
Posted by Michael Sanborn at 12:11 PM