The Multnomah County agency charged with coordinating disaster response has for years operated under “flagrant mismanagement and a systematic failure of basic record keeping” that created an environment “ripe for abuse,” says a scathing report released Thursday.Allegations that the Department of Emergency Management’s former director, George Whitney, stole equipment led to a county criminal investigation that sparked the report.
Wait until the bureaucratic expansion that is the heart of the “stimulus” takes off.
But from 2003 to 2007, the department received and spent $12 million in federal grants. It is responsible for buying and distributing equipment that could range from night-vision goggles to Hummers, and contracting with agencies to provide training.Yet its heightened status didn’t bring heightened oversight. According to the report, the department kept no records of how it spent the money, who it contracted with and for how much, what it bought or who got the equipment.
We’re going to be handing out checks right and left, if they just steer the funds to their friends or political supporters they could be in trouble if they got caught. Or could they? The Department of Emergency Management kept no records, so there was nothing to show how the money was spent. No records, no evidence, no crime.
The investigation found no evidence that Whitney committed a crime. He resigned in August amid controversy over his leadership style. He couldn’t be reached for comment.
I’m sure he couldn’t. He’s probably somewhere spending time with Craig Livingstone.