Thursday, August 20, 2009

Head For The Fence, Again

Below is a public response by former CSD Director, Lisa Schicker, in response to SLO County Counsel, Warren Jensen’s preliminary report concerning allegations of possible conflicts concerning county Public Works director, Paavo Ogren, and the Los Osos Wastewater Project.

Dear Supervisors and members of the press:

The reason I am requesting an independent investigation is because Gail Wilcox, Warren Jensen and Paavo Ogren , working together, created the 2701 implementation strategy in the spring of 2006 which included the recommendation of SOLE SOURCE contracting to the same contractors that were ultimately hired to sit on both sides of the interview table for the Los Osos project; the same contractors who were hired in 2006, WITHOUT the required legal waivers; the same firms and contractors working on the Lopez Lake Project, including Mr. ogren who worked both on the private and public side of the table; and the same firms that both interviewed and selected each other for the Los Osos project.

No one has yet explained how this is NOT a conflict of interest or an indication of bid rigging or a conflict of the design build code.
These are all unanswered questions still requiring an independent investigation (see note below)

THIS version of my statement contains the revised link to the documents: you from Lisa Schicker , Past LOCSD President and Board member 2004-2008

An Additional Response to The Press

An open statement to the press and Warren Jensen:

Here is my written statement to you and to the press:

I will be happy to make comments on your report after the County actually completes a complete review of all of the evidence submitted; this preliminary report states clearly that the review was not comprehensive and is incomplete. Warren Jensen has stated in this preliminary report that:- he doesn't have the time- he hasn't read the actual evidence- that the BOS hasn't reviewed it- that he has still not reviewed any of the source documents submitted or anything submitted after May 2009.

There is nothing in the report that refers to Lopez Lake Dam county project, where all of the same contractors were involved and paid on this project, too - when Paavo served as both a private consultant and a county employee - a very important link to be investigated still.

It is clear that neither Jensen nor his staff have undertaken any investigation of their own.This is far from a complete report. The test for bid rigging is fairly straightforward, and the exact statutes violated were backed up with hard evidence. The DA in 2006 called Ogren's knowledge and direction for the falsification of the CSD contract documents with MWH a serious crime. The rigging of the current contracts, and violation of the design build statutes is "bright-line" law.

To suggest that the complaint was merely "an opinion" suggests an unwillingness to investigate the documented allegations. Was not the firing of Ms. Gail Wilcox and David Edge based on an investigation and the main evidence was hearsay and opinion? This was also called a judgement based on the evidence and it involved an outside investigator.

To the contrary, the complaint against Ogren contains the actual documents and evidence of the violations reported. This brief report by Jensen, also called an "opinion" was one delivered without full review or outside counsel, and incorporates excuses for error in advance. It cannot be taken seriously.

A few of the violations that must be thoroughly investigated - STILL include:

California Public Contract Code section 20133 (Design-Build Procurement)
Penal Code Section 424 and Government Code section 6200
Government Code Section 12650 (False Claims Act)
Sherman Act – “bid-rigging”, undisclosed conflict of interest and “self dealing”.
Violations and conflict of interest related to Assembly Bill 2701
Material Breach of Contract - LOCSD Termination of MWH contract for default.

Over a month ago, I suggested to Warren Jensen that an independent investigator, similar to one hired for the Wilcox investigation, occur, as Mr, Jensen was also directly involved along with Gail Wilcox and Paavo Ogren in the crafting and implementation of AB 2701 and have suggested that he may have a conflict himself.

Considering the plethora of unethical and illegal activities happening at the highest levels of County government, it seems like there is a lack of motivation or ability to self-police staff at this time.

I stand by the actual evidence that has been submitted, which has yet to be evaluated. I request that the County hire and independent investigator in this matter, due to the time constraints and potential conflicts for Mr. Jensen. Here is the link to all of the documents for any who cares to review them.

Thank you from Lisa Schicker
Past LOCSD President and Board member 2004-2008..


Alon Perlman said...

And so it goes...

TCG said...

I just wanted to be on record as absolutely disagreeing with everything Ms. Schicker has stated above, and in the past on this matter. Thank God she no longer represents me in matters relating to the sewer, or anything else.

Watershed Mark said...

Lisa wrote:

"This brief report by Jensen, also called an "opinion" was one delivered without full review or outside counsel, and incorporates excuses for error in advance. It cannot be taken seriously."


"Considering the plethora of unethical and illegal activities happening at the highest levels of County government, it seems like there is a lack of motivation or ability to self-police staff at this time."


Lisa’s very sharp points help to needle the current county conclusions. One can hear the air leaking out of their balloon…
Poor Warren is sooooo con-flicted! It would be a conflict of interest for him to investigate a conflict of interest charge. LOL!

I think Warren will bailout and take his retirement before he would stand up like a man and submit a "final" report.
To address the complaints you raise is to "own" them...

It is heartening to see a citizen who actually understands what her duty actually is.
Kudos Lisa Schicker, May God continue to Bless you and yours.

The “panic” being exhibited by all the anonymous rats is proof positive you are on spot on target. Bombs away!
Your work pulled MIKE little mouse out of his rat hole and so perhaps “r” isn’t far behind him. Sewer rats hate the light of day. Something about sunlight being a disinfectant…

Watershed Mark said...

One more item before the rats start chewing Lisa:

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.
Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.

Winston Churchill
Date of Birth:
November 30, 1874
Date of Death:
January 24, 1965

Watershed Mark said...

While cleaning up my opened web pages from this morning's efforts I found this and thought "why not post it?"

A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization (such as a policeman, lawyer, insurance adjuster, politician, engineer, executive, director of a corporation, medical research scientist, physician, writer, editor, or any other entrusted individual or organization) has an interest that might compromise their actions. The presence of a conflict of interest is independent from the execution of impropriety.

Watershed Mark said...

I have stated previously that because the County will benefit financially from a sewer project built under its control, the Supervisors have a Conflict of Interest.

Perhaps the LOSTDEP will make law.
Perhaps that is why the process is so ugly.

Fortunately, I like sausage and love to make it too.

Watershed Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NewsstandGreg said...

Ann - Added a couple more names: Lisa Schicker and Paavo Ogren to the labels section. Also inserted a Title in the desert Vespa pic. It was a lonnng time ago, but I spent a summer at the Art Center of Design in Pasadena. I was into designing cars for the future. Quite the wonderful design time! --G

Watershed Mark said...

Just for fun-

Live before there was a Zone.

He's the hairy handed gent who ran amok in Kent,
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair.
You better stay away from him,
He'll rip your lungs out, Jim,
Huh! I'd like to meet his tailor.