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Utility workers challenge fraud allegations

Original post made on Mar 20, 2009

Falsified tests. Conspiring managers. Unqualified workers. The phrases have been repeated in media reports and conversations around Palo Alto since Feb. 6, when federal agents from the Department of Transportation (DOT) seized boxes of documents from the city's utilities department.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 20, 2009, 9:12 AM

Comments (19)

Posted by Felix
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I'm certain the fraud allegations against the Palo Alto Utilities Department will be resolved quickly. This department has served us very well over the years,no department is perfect.


Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Felix, You are sure? Already made your mind up? Felix, Wake up and get a glue. Get that glue fast, before the TAX on it goes up or it is banned from Palo Alto. For not being green enough?

Oh yea and I am a green party member. And PA green world is the wrong green.. It is not CASH green.


Posted by Frank
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Fireman - it's ironic that you accuse Felix of having his mind made up when yours is clearly made up. The report is not done yet; give it time, Whatever you opinion on municipal utilities, our gas rates, transferring money to the general fund.


Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Let's see....we had the Utilities scandal a couple of years ago, fines by the DOT and a couple of houses blow up and/or burn and we sit here and give kudos to this department? Fireman is on to something. Don't dismiss him.


Posted by Larry
a resident of Southgate
on Mar 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Fireman, you must be an upset ex-city employee. You must have been a problem when employed by PAFD. All your posts regarding palo alto are always negative.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Brian Wilson
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Why can't city employees just stand clear and let the feds do their job.Self proclaimed "long time" employees who have worked with utilities for 3 years but feel it is necessary to comment on allegations prior to their employment might want to curtail their personal opinions. Instead of making comments to the media that may make you look like a fool if proven incorrect, follow the example of the city attorney and director of utilities and make the statement "No Comment".To city management who consider whistle blowers as "disgruntled employees",well, good luck in your next employment.I hope the feds can clean up this department as it seems the city management has not succeeded.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The only acceptable solution is to require all welders to re certify with an agency independent of the city.


Posted by Questioning
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2009 at 8:42 pm

There may come a day when the barn needs to be shoveled out at City Hall, depending on the findings of the federal investigation. Should corruption be proven then the clean out should be swift and as wide-ranging as it needs to be in the interest of justice. If this means cleaning out not only Utilities, but also HR and the City Attorney's office, so be it.


Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2009 at 4:44 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

The failure of the Grand Jury to investigate Palo Alto management is an indictment of the Grand Jury.


Posted by John
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2009 at 8:13 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:15 am

John,
Your post suggests that you have inside information about these "bad" employees. If not, what you post is simply hearsay.


Posted by Questioning
a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Fireman makes a good point. The Palo Alto management bonuses are a vestige of the "livin' large" culture in this oountry that crashed and burned with the housing and investment banking busts.

The "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" and "look the other way" organizational culture at City under Frank Benest, Carl Yeats, Emily Harrison, Russ Carlsen, and Gary Baum has revealed itself for what it is in scandal after scandal, although the first three of these managers - not unlike the infamous AIG execs - has gotten out "a step ahaead of the sherrif".


Posted by Brian Wilson
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2009 at 1:54 pm

"John" suggests that those employees who are working with the feds to clean up the mess in the utilities department were involved in "cheating the system"? Well I guess we will find out when the federal investigation concludes. As for management who continue to complain their hands are tied and there is nothing they can do about possible employee corruption within the system than I would suggest the whole system is broken. It would seem that some employees have chosen to trust the feds in cleaning up the possible corruption.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Contract with PG&E to maintain our high pressure gas distribution until all our welders have re-certified through independent agencies.


Posted by Jake
a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm


My comments were removed by Palo Alto Online?

So "fireman" can say whatever he chooses about being given the shaft and I can't mention the fact that he chose to quit his job with the fire department?
I did not make this stuff up, he quit. Plain and simple.


Posted by A Former employee
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Mar 27, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Remember this line when asking questions about the PA fire

Posted by Keith LaHaie, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2008 at 9:42 am

No, CHnCider is not the Fleet Manager, I am. I think it would probably be better to get the facts from the source (me) rather than from anonymous posters who obviously have an axe to grind. My phone and email address are public record. I will not use this forum for the discussion of official City business.




Keith LaHaie


Fleet Manager


City of Palo Alto
PS. these are not the droids you are looking for.

Fireman Is speaking the truth whatever the terms were for leaving the City.


Posted by sickoflies
a resident of another community
on Jul 23, 2009 at 6:58 am

So I guess all of this was just a bunch of lies originating from a disgruntled employee that was fired for DUI.
I feel sorry for the people that have been put thru this at no fault of their own.
Sounds to me that the DOT investigator needs to focus on the disgrunteled employee.


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