A couple of stories we have noticed recently in rural Idaho media show just how to run government like a business AND turn a tidy profit for government workers. Some are legal, some are crooked, and some just stink.
–The GUARDIAN detailed how Boise motorcycle coppers make $56 an hour using city equipment to patrol Boise County. It is all legal, but of no benefit to Boise taxpayers.
–The Idaho World in Idaho City has a story of former emergency services employee Gordon Ravenscroft sending a private firm consulting work when he owned the private outfit. The commishes dumped the guy and now he is suing for unlawful termination, claiming former commishes had approved the deal.
“According to Ravenscroft’s filing, the County asserts that Ravenscroft performed grant writing and administration work directly related to his duties as Emergency Management Director. Ravenscroft was a full-time, regular county employee paid $44,773 annually.
It is routine for county department heads to apply for and oversee grants for their departments.
But here’s the kicker: Ravenscroft also billed the County for writing, administering, and inspecting grant projects through his company, MCL Consulting. Those invoices were paid by the County out of grant funds.
The Secretary of State’s business entity database reveals that Ravenscroft is listed as the President of MCL Consulting, LLC. His wife, Theresa, is listed as Treasurer.
According to records obtained from the county clerk, Boise County has paid invoices totaling $94,711.64 to MCL Consulting for grant services since Ravenscroft was hired in April, 2004.”
–Former Idaho Dept.of Environmental Quality staffer Jorge Garcia, 50, and Karen Damberg Garcia, 47, were sentenced Monday in federal court in Boise for conspiring to defraud the DEQ of grant funds that were intended to install diesel emission reduction equipment on school buses. Jorge Garcia was a project manager for the DEQ responsible for the bus diesel emission reduction project. Idaho DEQ paid the couple’s company more than $339,000.
–City of Kuna created an urban renewal district ahead of the July 1 date new laws go into effect in order to avoid a public vote. The tiny city consulted with Boise’s CCDC director Phil Kushlan prior to creation of the district. Now Kushlan, who is being paid $114,000 by Boise’s district as a consultant following his retirement, is a leading contender to direct the Kuna urban renewal program. The other candiate is former Boise City Councilor Jerome Mapp.
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