Another former Boise City employee has been charged with criminal activity related to the scandal at the Twenty Mile South “Poop Farm.”
Bradley G. Holmes is charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly “splitting invoices” for eight tractor tires. He has entered a not guilty plea.
City purchasing regulations require bids for items worth more than $1500. It is illegal to split the invoices to avoid the competitive bid law. The alleged purchase was made while an internal audit was being conducted into the farm finances. The auditor has quit and so far the city has not replaced him.
The Poop Farm has caused a big stink for Boise officials who ordered an audit last summer after reports in the GUARDIAN raised concerns about bidding practices and misuse of City owned property.
Similar concerns arose about a tool lending policy at the Boise Public Works Department. Under that policy employes were allowed to “check out” city owned tools and equipment for personal use.
That practice was abruptly curtailed after reports from GUARDIAN readers confirmed it was an official policy.
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Mar 28, 2006, 5:44 pm
“The Poop Farm has caused a big stink for Boise officials who ordered an audit last summer AFTER reports in the GUARDIAN raised concerns about bidding practices and misuse of City owned property.”
Just a little reminder to all that the poop farm audit would not have been done without the Guardian. And just so it doesn’t escape being said: “The ethics policy had nothing to do with the “uncovering” of the wrong-doing at the farm.” Are you listening Team Dave???
I also see that management is actively scrambling to install policies and procedures to address some of the problems. I suspect that only the tip of the iceberg has been glimpsed and the public will never know the full extent of the improprieties of this operation. It is too bad that they can’t do like the Japanese and quit when they make a monumental screw-up like this.
Mar 28, 2006, 8:09 pm
Yay! Another pelt on the wall for Guardian.
Mar 28, 2006, 10:32 pm
Just to set the record straight. A formal PO is not needed for purchased items below $1,500.00 dollars. The bidding process depends on a number of things (cost, purchasing contracts, etc.,). In the case of these tractor tires, the collective cost of those tires would have required a formal PO and either purchased off an already agreed upon purchasing contract or by obtaining three or more bids. The newly installed Public Works purchasing policy also requires written management approval (regardless of cost or reason) for any purchase.
Between the farm (that never seems to quit), the two renegade moonlighting managers who are a story all of their own and other troubling cracks in the Public Works dam requiring high levels of damage control, stress levels are rather high these days. However, it was also totally avoidable.
Thankfully, this appears to be an isolated management problem limited to only a few within Public Works. It is fixable…
The Boise Guardian has made a huge difference for those of us that want things to be right. Government often forgets that employees are tax payers too…