Thursday, October 14, 2010

14 OCT 10: Rec-Gate II?

A recent e-mail asked us if the rumors about the Enrichment Services Program "could be the next Rec-Gate." Since we almost completely debunked those rumors last week, that answer is no. Besides, city officials already may have been planning the next Rec-Gate - and saving money, by keeping it in the city Parks Department.

Various media reports indicate Tony Adams's assistant at Columbus Parks and Recreation now is on suspension, and could be fired next week. If this trend continues, the director's job may have to be awarded to the winner of a Gallops Senior Center bingo game.

The first report of Cammie Currie's suspension came from the Ledger-Enquirer website. Some of us were relieved to know Chuck Williams has regained his form, in finding leaks at the Government Center.

The exact reason for Cammie Currie's suspension was unclear Wednesday night. Assistant District Attorney Alonso Whitaker told WRBL to his knowledge, it is NOT connected to the arrest of former Parks Director Tony Adams. And you thought Columbus wasn't big enough to have two scandals at the same time....

Mayor Jim Wetherington said Cammie Currie is accused of making some sort of "false statements." That could be almost anything. Did Currie claim to have a grand slam at a bridge table or something?

It should be noted Cammie Currie is under an administrative investigation - which apparently means the police department is NOT involved. I guess that also means there were no false statements to police officers. I wouldn't lie to any officer right now, even if he asked if I knew how fast I was going.

Mayor Wetherington says Cammie Currie has five days to reply to the accusations against her, or she'll be fired. That deadline shouldn't be a problem for the Assistant Parks Director - as long as she has the same secretary Tony Adams had.

There's already plenty of online speculation about the Cammie Currie case. I won't get into that, but one thing is sure - some Columbus activists will watch very closely, to see if Currie is treated differently from Tony Adams. Currie can make the comparison much easier, by hiring Stacey Jackson as her attorney.

I've already spotted one difference in the two cases. Tony Adams was given three weeks to respond to the Parks and Recreation Department audit [9 Jun]. Cammie Currie has only five days. The "assistant" always seems to get second-rate treatment in the office, doesn't she?

Even if Cammie Currie is cleared of the complaint, this accusation makes a bad year for Columbus Parks and Recreation even worse. In fact, I've decided only one man has the wisdom and managerial skill to help this department come back and be successful. Would Bobby Cox be interested in moving from Atlanta, to start a new career?

-> Wednesday night brought yet ANOTHER thrilling moment in online poker. Read what happened at our other blog, "On the Flop!" <-

E-MAIL UPDATE: I wondered how long it would take for this to happen - what might be called a thin line between "Brother Love" and hate....

If you are going to keep allowing your blog to be a platform for Brother Blather's rantings I am going to have to switch to the River City Report for my serious journalism.

Bill Mason

The key phrase in this message is "serious journalism." Yes, there's a little "journalism" here every once in a while. It only gets downright serious when upset readers vent to us.

C.A. "Brother Love" Hardmon is not the first person to send a series of "rantings" to this blog. When Brent Rollins was a Columbus Police officer, he sent all sorts of e-mails under an assumed name against then-Mayor Bob Poydasheff. And I haven't heard from Hurtsboro's Robert Schweiger in so long, the town may have folded while nobody was looking.

That wasn't the only e-mail Wednesday about C.A. Hardmon's crusade against City Hall....

I wonder what cause Brother Love will take up when Wetherington is no longer mayor? I wonder if I will think as much of Wayne Anthony after his remarks about Tomlinson's salary when she worked a yr for no pay? I will be glad when this election is over and Columbus can settle back down to street crime reporting and your blog can once again poke playful fun at situations in Columbus..

I think I already know what Hardmon will do next. District Attorney Julia Slater is up for re-election in 2012 -- and if she's investigating the Columbus Fire Department, it's more "undercover" than any drug bust.

This writer also brings up the Columbus mayor's race -- and a statement from MidTown Inc. says Wayne Anthony's accusations of mismanagement by Teresa Tomlinson are "totally false." We'll see if the Tomlinson campaign responds, by investigating the last time Anthony gave a sermon on not "bearing false witness."

We checked federal tax forms for MidTown Inc. online Wednesday night. Not only did Teresa Tomlinson report no salary for 2007 - none of the executives took any pay, even though the nonprofit wound up with a $295,000 "excess" in revenues. If this much money sat in a Congressional fund, that could never happen....

The 2008 federal tax return indeed shows Teresa Tomlinson was paid $80,442 as Executive Director of MidTown Inc. Yet while a deficit for the year was reported, the organization ended 2008 with a balance of $700,000. I'm not sure which business owner hit the lottery jackpot, to make this possible.

As it happens, MidTown Inc. is sponsoring one more forum for the mayoral candidates next Tuesday night. How do you think Wayne Anthony will be treated at that meeting? Tuesday may be the perfect time to start working on a "House of Heroes" project.

Oh yes -- C.A. Hardmon wrote a reply to us Wednesday as well. But I'm putting a hold on that, because I suspect he'll want to file an update to what he's read here. So you might say for today, we're putting "Love on the rocks."

But there are other items to talk about from Wednesday....

+ GPB Radio reported Rep. Sanford Bishop's re-election campaign raised about $500,000 between July and September. Challenger Mike Keown's campaign estimates it raised $377,000. With so much money to spend by 2 November, who needs another federal stimulus bill?

(I heard a Sanford Bishop commercial on WKZJ-FM Wednesday, which suggested he's single-handedly responsible for all the new jobs at Fort Benning. Last time I checked, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission was part of the Defense Department.)

+ WRBL discovered a strange case in the LaGrange Police blotter. A woman called 911 from her car, to report a sport utility vehicle was following her. But the SUV driver ALSO was dialing 911, reporting the woman ahead of her for possible misconduct! On city streets, this is unusual. At NASCAR tracks, I suspect it happens almost every weekend.

+ Atlanta police reported rap star T.I. went to a high-rise building, and talked a man out of committing suicide. That's truly a compassionate thing to do - and T.I. could speak from experience, since he's almost killed his career through run-ins with the law.

+ Atlanta's baseball team named Fredi Gonzalez as the manager to succeed Bobby Cox. If you're wondering what Edward DuBose's next cause might be, it could be this one - as Gonzalez was hired ahead of Hank Aaron.

+ Instant Message to J.D. Kinders Furniture: I remember that singer with the big hat and poncho. He sang about another Columbus store with "furniture to burn" several years ago. So I suppose I should commend you for recycling.

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