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Adam Cate Disciplined
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
John Briggs over at the Free Press is reporting today that Adam Cate, the city's waterfront manager who has been suspended with pay since June for God-Knows-What, is appealing Parks Director Wayne Gross's disciplinary decision.

What that decision is, we don't know. We only know that Cate is appealing it to the Parks and Recreation Commission. From the Burlington Free Press:
Gross declined to discuss the nature of the charges against Cate, the scope of the investigation or his recommendation for discipline. He described the investigation as focusing on "a series of different issues related to the operation of the (Community) Boathouse and access to e-mail accounts."

The hearing before the commission has not been scheduled. Gross said it would be a closed hearing unless Cate asks that the public be admitted.

Cate's attorney couldn't be reached Monday for comment. Earlier, lawyer Sheldon Katz confirmed that the city had hired two private investigators. At least part of that investigation focused on Cate's possession of an e-mail from Ben Pacy of the Clerk-Treasurer's Office to the top union official in the Parks Department.

Pacy formerly was a Parks Department supervisor.
This kind of thing is infuriating. It's not right. It's not right. It's not right. Good government is transparent. It's open. I have been a pretty strong supporter of Bob Kiss throughout his term, but I have to be honest here. That support is eroding. There is no reason for everything to be so secretive. City Hall belongs to the people of Burlington. Not Ben Pacy. Not Johnathon Leopold.

One comment on this story at the the Free Press website is interesting. From "Sabin:"
Ben Pacy couldn’t get Gross’s job so he transfers to the treasurer’s office and starts romancing King Leopold on the idea of combining Public Works & Parks Department. Maybe a good idea, who knows. Cate breaks into Pacy’s e-mail and finds an invitation to a union official to meet off the record. Cate brings the e-mail to Gross who presents it to Kiss. Four days later Cate is suspended on the pretense of embezzlement. What are the chances that they realized Cate was stealing four days after the e-mail? Then the drama begins, Burlington Police is asked to investigate – no luck. Kiss not happy with the outcome hires the P.I. firm – batted zero. Shocker. Now what?

Labels: ,

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 8:49 AM  
11 Comments:
  • At October 21, 2008 10:12 AM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Yeah, this is brilliant. There are seemingly two options of what's happening: 1) Whatever Cate did (or, is thought to have done) is actually quite a bit more serious than they're letting on, or 2) the city really, really is doing everything they can to look remarkably inept and Kiss is passing out shovels for a "this way to my political career burial party."

    If someone is stealing money, they get fired. And quickly. But we see there's some hint of union-involved reorganization push behind this. That generally involves managers and sometimes elected folks. Soooo, maybe something small turned into something big: someone scratched off the thin layer of Krylon and found something more serious.

    Then again, maybe we're just witnessing the general incompetence of a small town bureaucracy...

     
  • At October 21, 2008 1:59 PM, Anonymous Ivan Jacobs said…

    That comment is pretty interesting.

    I have a very serious question:
    How the hell did you wade through the muck in the BFP comments to find it?

    Nice Job.

     
  • At October 21, 2008 2:12 PM, Blogger istech said…

    or could it be that a public investigation goes all through the entire administration? Personally, this is not at all what I expected from a Kiss admin.

    This is far from incompetence, its a full blown cover-up, and I think its closed to the public because it will implicate far more than Cate himself.

     
  • At October 21, 2008 5:34 PM, Anonymous jonas said…

    Yeah, "Sabin" seems to have some inside info, eh? Cuz he's certainly not pulling that out of the articles from the BFP. Yeah, I think we're in general agreement: we gotta think this is something more serious than accusations of embezzlement. Oh, and if it turns out to be something simple and stupid, y'all should be DEMANDING your tax money back.

     
  • At October 21, 2008 6:05 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    How are we gonna get it back? Sue Adam Cate?

     
  • At October 21, 2008 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    could be something as simple as taking money from boaters for favors such as slip placements, no?

     
  • At October 22, 2008 8:50 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    could be something as simple as taking money from boaters for favors such as slip placements, no?

    I suppose it could. But if that were the case then it's a systems issue. The system should be altered to prevent the possibility of such corrupt actions. Like a slip placement log book that requires more than one signature per transaction, for example. Something like that.

    It's silly to expect corrupt deeds won't happen if they are easy to do and hard to detect. Systems need to ensure that they are hard to do and easy to detect.

    Also, if it were something like that, the city needs the testimony of a witness as a basis for action against Cate. Then they could fire Cate. Without that, they just have suspicion, which should only serve as the impetus for fixing the systems as I mentioned.

    Hiring a PI on the taxpayer's dime is ridiculous. I would hope Cate asks for an open hearing before the Parks and Rec commission. Or somebody forces it to be public somehow.

     
  • At October 22, 2008 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As someone who spent their college years working on the waterfront, I can tell you that there are plenty of opportunities to collect revenues, yet there is very little accountability for A/R. Hourly dockage-fees can represent a huge chunk of revenues, and rates/fees are often left to negotiation. Nightly dockage can be subject to negotiation as well (arrival/departure times involved). Guess who "negotiates" -- very easy to see how monies could have been skimmed with little/no way to prove it.

    That this looks like garden-variety embezzlement blown out of proportion should tell you something.

    Frankly, you start to solve this problem by incentivizing P&L -- a public entity has very little incentive for accountability of revenues it collects.

     
  • At October 22, 2008 11:05 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Hourly dockage-fees can represent a huge chunk of revenues, and rates/fees are often left to negotiation. Nightly dockage can be subject to negotiation as well (arrival/departure times involved). Guess who "negotiates" -- very easy to see how monies could have been skimmed with little/no way to prove it.

    Yeah. That sounds like a problem. Fees should be static and accounted for. It would be smarter to focus on the environment that fosters bad behavior over the behavior itself.

    Giving Cate a four month paid vacation and hiring a PI is just throwing good money after bad without addressing the root cause of the problem.

     
  • At October 22, 2008 11:17 AM, Blogger istech said…

    Why doesn't BPD subcontract the docking fees to a private firm for a cut? A guarantee that a private firm wouldn't "negotiate" docking fees, and would have a hell of a lot more accountability for making and documenting a profit margin.

    At a time when the city is trying to spend Millions for the Moran (moron) plant project, it seems that their own accounting practices are less than sound. Also, if its happening at the waterfront, whose to say it inst happening in other areas of cash revenue.

     
  • At November 21, 2009 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

     
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