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Entries in John Justman (9)

Tuesday
Mar222016

EXCLUSIVE: Ombudsman Finds Violations with Mesa County DHS regarding Seriani Family Jurisdictional Overreach!

The story you are about to read should shake you to your core because as the story unfolds you will see exactly how your forceful local federalized government behaves hiding behind the government immunity act! You will also see how you can quickly change the lives of a family if you so desire to call in a false anonymous complaint. The issues that follow culminated from a local resident, Barbara Mathes email to Commissioner John Justman, requesting help regarding a Mesa County employee, who is also her brother-in-law. This unanswered email led to some interesting reactions and revealing documentation of multiple violations within Mesa County government, especially the Department of Human Services (DHS). 

Since there was an insider element to the issues the Seriani family faced by DHS, VetTheGov helped the family with multiple CORA request, filed complaints with county officials and attorney's, met with multiple county officials, and an internal affairs request with the Sheriff's Office. VetTheGov has received permission from the Seriani family to share their horror story especially involving DHS's actions that are far too familiar occurrences in this valley. In the meantime, the Seriani family's daughter is still meeting with therapists over this poorly handled investigation!

VetTheGov and Stacy Seriani both phoned and emailed Ombudsman to investigate the following items: Jurisdictional overreach, criminal violation of releasing anonymous reporter information, reopened case report, field notes by case managers, and the childish text and emails of involved case managers. In Ombudsman letter response, nothing was noted regarding the reopened case file, nor the issue involving the failed redaction criminal violation.

See the below Ombudsman investigation response finding major policy violations within Mesa County DHS. Also keep in mind Ombudsman is not a true third party entity but are assembled and funded by the Colorado state government. If your around government institutions long enough the realization is they protect each others backsides first and foremost.

Here is the full version of Stacy Seriani and VetTheGov meeting with DHS management and county attorney. The audio gives extensive insight of the internal dealings of DHS involving anonymous vindictive complaints and the lengths unprofessional case managers will go to get their reports done on time so the tax payers monies keep flowing in. DHS Director Garcher mentions this never reached his desk and then later states he has zero case management experience. Who is running the show here? Where was the leadership to begin with? Here are the minimum state requirements for county personnel involved in child welfare protective services. Are these requirements enough given the circumstances of this case? Based on the emails and text, it appears business as usual and very little oversight within the walls of DHS!

One of the main issues surrounding this case was the reasoning for sending case manager staff all the way down to Paonia to pull the Seriani kids out of their classes and perform intrusive interrogations without Delta County DHS assisting or anyone else allowed to represent the terrified children. Senior case worker Sarah Evans made first attempt to contact on 11/17/2015 attempted to visit the schools in Palisade to make contact with Seriani kids but was informed they had moved to Paonia by the school secretary Kay Konicek. Several weeks go by and on 12/10/2015, Lynette Overmeyer meets with Sarah Evans to see if any further attempts were made to contact the kids. Based on the report Sarah Evans made no further attempts. On 12/11/2015 Lynette Overmeyer supposedly contacted Delta County DHS employee Anne Gallegos via email and Anne Gallegos responded that Delta County DHS could not interview the kids based on her administrator declining due to low staffing levels.

Based on CORA request by Stacy Seriani, the reasons provided by Mesa County was Delta County DHS was short on staff and unable to assist. However the letter below from the Delta County attorney's office proves no such correspondence ever existed. A text message shown below the Delta County letter was finally provided by Lynette Overmeyer ultimately involved a different family altogether as stated by Delta County. This was further validated by face to face communication between Anne Gallegos and Stacy Seriani where Anne Gallegos had no recollection of any communication from Lynette Overmeyer regarding the Seriani family whatsoever.

The interviews conducted by DHS in Paonia were one on one in which any interpretation given by the case managers could have made life even worse for the Seriani family or quite possibly put the case worker in a difficult situation if any further allegations made against them. No audio or video were used by the DHS case managers during the interrogations! Shockingly Stacy Seriani's daughter when discussing the questions she was subjected to, the first thing she stated was they asked her if anyone in her house specifically brothers touched her inappropriately. This is a far stretch from a supposed drug deal the kids were accused witnesses of between family members but we're from the government and we're here to help!

Another very disturbing action was the Delta County school district allowing unknown out of county case workers to just walk in and remove three kids from their classrooms with no resistance from the school district employees. VetTheGov called the Mesa County D51 secretary for the superintendent and discussed the Seriani scenario and the below conversation took place and not much hope offered by D51 policies. Understand the common theme is that government owns you and your kid's and government will not stop government from violating your kid's rights. They will trust each other but never you! The comment in the conversation most disturbing is that they are with the government and they can take your kids whenever and however they want without a parent's permission!



Here are the unprofessional juvenile text messages from case managers that interrogate our local children. As you often hear, case managers are carrying overloaded cases and finding time to complete task is often difficult due to budget constraints. Yet here when asked to go out of town these tight schedules suddenly have no bearing. See childish text messages below:

In further communication with Mesa County DHS shortly after the Seriani family began asking why they interrogated their children all the way down in Paonia, well let's just say the email strings are just as disturbing as the text.  Take note of all the chiefs (over seven individuals) that are notified in the emails and then read on as the original report is reopened and changed multiple times. To date, the original report closed on 12/23/2015 has not been provided to the Seriani family, so there is no way to confirm what was added or deleted in the original report! It's no doubt a Cover Your Ass moment for all involved. See the email strings below:

Here is a telling confession in an email from DHS Executive Director Tracey Garcher to Commissioner McInnis when his actions were in question and his job was on the line just prior to this event exploding! The most telling part is that the so called leader of this $25 million dollar government organization is an admitted accountant which suggest this portion of local federalized government is driven by the almighty dollar and not at all about the kids!

The Seriani family is hoping through this horrible experience with the Mesa County Human Services Gestapo, that these events never happen to another family which has inflicted so much pain to the children involved and has brought embarrassment to this family in a small community. Rest assured the system is at your disposal if you want to wreak havoc on someone you dislike. There are zero repercussions to falsely accuse someone of child abuse or neglect and the main keyword to use when calling in a false report is anything related to "DRUGS" and this local Gestapo group will drive or fly wherever necessary to interrogate the kids involved! VetTheGov must note that the suspected accuser behind this investigation won't be held responsible by the agency since false reporting criminal charges can only be in relation to a police authority. However it did open the eyes to the inside of a government agency behaving badly.

For past related stories click this link http://vetthegov.com/stories/tag/tracey-garchar

Link to Rule 7 mentioned in the Ombudsman letter http://www.colorado.gov/apps/cdhs/rral/volumeTOC.jsf

Monday
Feb082016

President Obama's Climate Change Agenda ushered into Mesa County through FEMA Grant!

In one of the most outrageous yes votes to date by Mesa County Commissioners happened during the February 8, 2016 County Administration Hearing regarding a $2.1 Million FEMA grant. In essence the so called republican conservative Commissioners prostituted Mesa County citizens with President Obama's Climate Change Agenda, the United Nations Climate Agenda, and ICLEI's Climate adaptation and resilience agenda. The vote also proves how local elected's cater to the Washington D.C. psychopaths and criminals along with all the environmental extremist! Mesa County and the western slope kiss your energy economy goodbye! Watch Video below:

In 2002 the below report was drafted for the Colorado Water Board, local governments, and citizens of Mesa County. On page 21 you can read the Recommended Plan and on page 24 it was recommended that the Bureau of Reclamation be contacted to assist in funding of the recommended plan. The recommended plan was valued at $422,000 yet now the non-recommended and most expensive plan being adopted at $2.8 Million.



In the below 2007 report you will read in the very first paragraph that the driver in the incident May have lost control due to hydroplaning causing the drowning death. If you look closely at the pictures of the culvert the high water mark was never reached. No Federal Disaster declared as property damage estimated at $25,000 from this event. You can see here that rainfall amounts since 1962 show the 2006 largest 24-hour rainfall amount was only ranked 16 highest out of the 54 years listed. So why the urgency to sell out to the Feds?

In the Mesa County Hazard Mitigation plan which was born by Resolution last year in order to obtain this grant, it mentions on page 44 the total flood insurance claims for Mesa County since 1978 has only seen 33 claims for a total of $250,652 or $6600 annually. On page 103 of the plan you will notice the Bosley Wash is only rated at a medium in the matrix of critical projects but nothing noted as far as how many structures this project will protect as noted in the other medium level projects. Also notice the 5-2-1 Drainage Authority is the Responsible Agency but during the grant hearings and project details there was not one word from this authority!

Here is the link for the City of Grand Junction Hazard Mitigation plan with all the meeting notes and resolutions pertaining to the FEMA requirements. http://www.codepublishing.com/CO/GrandJunction/frameless/index.pl?path=../html4/GrandJunction42/GrandJunction4208.html#42.08.010

Below is the Mesa County Resolution adopted June 8th, 2015 so the fix was already in to push forward for more Federal money. The County Resolution even has Federal Regulation law written in it. Here is the FEMA guide required to meet 44 CFR 201.6. This was a yes vote all along!

Below are the Federal Mandates and notice #12 Mesa County MUST follow all FEMA regulations.

So what are the FEMA regulations? Well here they are as noted in the following guidelines from FEMA: http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1424983165449-38f5dfc69c0bd4ea8a161e8bb7b79553/HMA_Guidance_022715_508.pdf

FEMA is committed to promoting resilience as expressed in PPD-8: National Preparedness; the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience; the Administrator’s 2011 FEMA Climate Change Adaptation Policy Statement (Administrator Policy 2011-OPPA-01); and the 2014–2018 FEMA Strategic Plan. 

http://www.fema.gov/learn-about-presidential-policy-directive-8

http://www.fema.gov/climate-change

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1424368115734-86cfbaeb456f7c1d57a05d3e8e08a4bd/FINAL_ResilienceClimateChange_JobAid_19FEB15_508_Complete_.pdf

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1919-25045-3330/508_climate_change_policy_statement.pdf

http://cwcb.state.co.us/environment/climate-change/Pages/main.aspx

http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1383153669955-21f970b19e8eaa67087b7da9f4af706e/stafford_act_booklet_042213_508e.pdf

http://www.unep.org/climatechange/adaptation/

http://resilient-cities.iclei.org/resilient-cities-hub-site/resilience-resource-point/resilience-library/urban-resilience-planning/

Strengthen Federalism - http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12372.html

Environmental Justice - http://www.fema.gov/executive-order-12898-environmental-justice-low-income-minority-populations-1994#0

All of the above links fit President Obama and the UN Climate Change Agenda of Mother Nature gone Terrorist! Watch as Trillions of your hard earned money is prostituted to pay for more Fraud & Corruption to very close friends on the inside! But as Commissioner McInnis advised you couldn't build your business or be employed without the Interstates, the Hospitals, the Airports, and the Internet, because government built it for you and therefore built your business or the company you work for! Commissioner McInnis proves in his defense of Federal dollars that Mesa County is owned and operated by the Feds. Now please bow down and worship the alter of the golden calf in Washington D.C. for without Big Nanny you couldn't be a SLAVE! Please don't forget on April 15th your taxes aren't considered building anything because only government produces in the USA! All Praise, honor, and glory go to the almighty savior government who without their awesome contribution to society you would be and could be nothing.

 

Saturday
Jan092016

BREAKING: Battered Spouse Seeks Help from Commissioner Justman Via Email with No Response

In what seems like a movie headline Fifty Shades of Corruption within Mesa County government this story will leave you speechless yet wondering how these events continue to happen. Situations like these leaves VetTheGov asking why local citizens come to a blog writer for help. Shameful really that local citizens must rely on an independent blog for help when they pay for these expected services from the County. So please pay close attention on how and why the local system is not designed for the average citizen.

In the email presented below you will read a battered wife's call for help from Commissioner John Justman via an email on November 17, 2015. The emails title alone County Employee Complaint should have left no doubt the email was valid and needed a response for action. Commissioner Jutman to date has never responded to this delivered email not passed it on to the county administrator for further investigation. The author of the email Barbara Mathes had just recently filed a restraining order against her husband Jerry Mathes for fear of more violence against her. As you will see Jerry had a connection to Mesa County government via his brother Pete Mathes current Mesa County Road & Bridge Construction Manager. In Barbara's call for help she mentions Pete's continued driving to her property in order to intimidate her so her son Wade set up cameras to document the continued harassment, terror, and intimidation by Pete and Jerry as noted in the email below to Commissioner Justman. 

With multiple complaints lodged with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office there has been very little performed to stop this harassment and intimidation by Pete and Jerry Mathes. Instead it appears because of Pete's influence within the county government they are receiving favored decisions by road deputies. For instance on December 1, 2015 Barbara stopped by her home around 4 PM to pick up the mail and found Jerry, Pete, and multiple others at the house going through everything at the house. Barbara called 911 again since the final mediation order had not yet been signed properly for Jerry to return to the house. Upon the deputy arriving and meeting Pete and Jerry at the residence the deputy apparently knew Pete and they shook hands. After the meeting with Jerry and Pete the deputy went back to Barbara and told her she needed to leave immediately. Barbara was adamant about the status of the order and asked the deputy to call the court house to verify. Ultimately Barbara was still required to leave. The courts have also requested twice for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office to collect Jerry Mathes' guns to no avail and Barbara suspects Pete is in possession and so the Sheriff's Office's won't pursue the order due to the relationship Pete has with other county employees within this department.

In yet another twist, Jerry & Barbara's daughter Stacy Seriani who lives in Paonia, CO had all three of her kids removed from school around December 14, 2015 and interrogated by Mesa County Department of Human Services workers one being a Sarah Evans Senior Case Manager and another unidentified DHS employee. The investigation and interrogation arose from an anonymous complaint stating that Stacy and her husband Jon F. Seriani, both Paonia High School coaches, were using methamphetamines. No local authorities such as the Delta County Sheriff or Delta County DHS were notified prior to this contact of the kids by Mesa County DHS. The parents are stating their kids ages 7, 10, and 16 are receiving therapy after the questioning they had to endure and let's just say they were very intrusive. Interesting to note in the questioning of the kids were several references and concerns regarding their Grandmother Barbara Mathes. Upon Stacy contacting Mesa County DHS and speaking to Sarah Evan's supervisor Lynette Overmeyer requesting a report of the situation which was unfounded to determine who made the wrongful allegations. Lynette offered the report to Stacy and called her to confirm it was ready but when Stacy arrived to gather the report she was told it would not be available for another 60 days. In the meantime Stacy has had to get her own restraining order against her father Jerry for continued harassment by phone.

VetTheGov has many concerns regarding the government side of this equation. First and foremost is the no response from Commissioner Justman regarding a plea for help. VetTheGov isn't surprised as many emails have gone unanswered from Commissioner Justman in the recent past as well. But what if Barbara Mathes was harmed after sending out this plea? It places massive blame and liability on the county taxpayers for the inability of a county commissioner to respond to constituents especially an email whose subject stated: COUNTY EMPLOYEE COMPLAINT. VetTheGov will pursue county records proving the email was opened and viewed and will update as soon as the information becomes available. VetTheGov will also attempt to contact Commissioner Justman and ask if he recalls the email. VetTheGov has set an appointment with Frank Whidden to discuss the original complaint to make sure it moves forward. Again stay tuned as VetTheGov will keep you updated.

VetTheGov will also be setting appointments with the Sheriff to discuss why so much inaction from this county department regarding this case. If the citizens of Mesa County are to have any trust in matters where there are conflicts of interest with Mesa County employees then the public needs reassuring they can count on fairness and equal protection with no signs of favoritism displayed or used.

VetheGov is very disappointed in the behavior of Mesa County DHS in that powers granted to agents that can simply take kids and interrogate them in any jurisdiction without any form of due process or notification in other jurisdictions is beyond belief and should be independently investigated immediately by a third party entity!

Stay tuned as VetTheGov will keep you updated on any other documents received as well as after meetings are attended.

Monday
Nov022015

Exclusive: Mesa County DHS Executive Director Drains Budget with Raises & Bonuses

In recent local news the Executive Director DHS Tracey Garchar was under fire for overspending his budget by almost $1.5 Million. VetTheGov through CORA request has discovered several email exchanges between Commissioner Pugliese and Director Garchar that prove beyond disturbing for We the Tax Slaves. In the emails shown below you will notice that only Commissioner Pugliese catches the fact that Director Garchar's sudden ask for more money was because he overspent his Child Welfare budget by a mere $1,492,428.00. Upon closer examination, the Director also handed out over $265,000.00 in raises for 2015 alone and an additional $19,266.52 in 2015 Bonuses. A majority of the raises and bonuses came at the beginning of the year in which no County Commissioner even had any knowledge the above took place. Now at least you know the rest of the story.

Mesa County tax slaves with this type of take care of me mentality and open checkbook writing even if the checks bounce, it appears many changes are needed in the accountability department! However chances are the County Commissioners have zero control of the budget and department heads and therefore status quo Bankruptcy and Too Big To Fail bailouts will continue. In the current Big Government designed system, Mesa County is on the hook for 20% of the funding for DHS and so when the Director decides to overspend there are no worries because another bailout will be provided and the mess continues on towards future generations. What comes next of course is the continued justification of jobs and the forever addition of more services so that paychecks, raises, bonuses, and retirement benefits are secured and less and less freedoms and liberties for the tax slaves. Above all else you will never be able to achieve above and beyond because you are a SLAVE to this broken evil system. What's so crazy are the folks defending and supporting this out of control monster often do so at their very own peril because sooner or later another government created bubble burst and government bankruptcy looms.



VetTheGov took the time to watch the public pleadings by Tracey Garchar and his subordinates most of who received a raise or bonus along with the Hilltop CEO whose 279K in 2013 total benefits package and the Millions in services contracted by the Mesa County which comes directly from the inflow of local, state, & federal Tax monies open checkbook. How many more local organizations are on the dole is a to be continued once all CORA request are delivered. Towards the end of the video you will also see two of your county commissioners Scott McInnis & John Justman completely APPROVE of the open checkbook Executive Director by only agreeing to an extension of time to correct the issues of his spending and transparency by January 12, 2016. This action without a doubt reflects Commissioner McInnis & Justman's ulterior motives to protect the pockets of the Exclusive stakeholders in the valley, their own preparations for future political offices and retirement accounts, and of course no problems taking the $72,500.00 tax slaves monies for rubber stamping more Big Government. Mesa County with this type of leadership we are surely doomed unless of course you are inside the club receiving mutual benefits from the large trough of public funds! See the BOCC comment video below and take notice of the many who were recipients of Garchar's charity on We the Tax Slaves dime:

This is Part 1 of a series on one of many local Mesa County non-transparent government agencies hiding behind the veil of redistribution for a paycheck. For Part 2, VetTheGov is awaiting a CORA request for line-by-line P-Card and total spending for Mesa County Department of Human Services (DHS) since it appears the Executive Director doesn't need permission to exhaust the open taxpayer provided checkbook. Stay tuned as VetTheGov continues to bring you transparency from behind Big Government's smoke and mirrors game of catch me if you can!

Thursday
Oct012015

BREAKING: Mesa U.S. County Commissioners Make Deal with the Devil and give up Local Control to the Feds!

VetTheGov has been tracking Federal Grant monies being authorized by your local Mesa U.S. County Commissioners (USBOCC) since around 2010 and a trend has developed.  Our so called local government and USBOCC is really nothing more then an extension of the Federal Government redistribution "depend on them plan!"  When We the Tax Slaves vote for local County officials they immediately begin the business for the largest stakeholder, the Feds.  This was proven this week when all three Mesa County Commissioners voted to approve two Federal Grants from the Federal Government.  When your local USBOCC can't afford a position, program, or stuff, they call on the Feds for help and in this case they didn't ask if the position was necessary or if the program could be streamlined they just simply voted unanimously Yes to the federal money.  Watch the sickening Yes votes in the below video!

Mesa County Commissioners were told regarding the emergency manager grant that it helped with training and compliance to the overall state and federal plan.  What they weren't told is that the grant paid half of Andy Martsolf's salary.  The second grant accepted by the USBOCC was for Federal Tasers and on the cover letters from the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) it was addressed to Chairman Rose Pugliese and the address was the Sheriff's Office located on Rice Street.  Very interesting because as you study the county's Emergency Operating Plan (EOP) on page 9 you will notice during an emergency event the Chairman of the USBOCC is the Chief Executive Officer of the county and the only one who can beckon federal help.  The DOJ knows the Chairman of the BOCC is the only one who can take the federal money and not the local sheriff because the sheriff is now neutered when an emergency situation arises and the feds come strolling in! Be sure to Thank your USBOCC the next time you see one of them.

So how does your so called local government give up local control? Simple they accept Federal grant monies and now the Feds own the county government even if the granted amounts are small in size. However the special conditions in these grants are large as ever.  Here is the stunning list of compliances and what they mean to you as a local tax slave stakeholder:

DOJ Taser Grant-$18,141.00

1. Ensuring Access to Federally Assisted Programs http://ojp.gov/about/ocr/pdfs/vawafaqs.pdf

2. Enforcing Federal Civil Rights Laws http://www.justice.gov/crt/title-vi-civil-rights-act-1964-42-usc-2000d-et-seq

3. Providing Services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Individuals http://www.lep.gov/

4. Ensuring Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Organizations http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/01/how-rfra-works-explained-in-one-chart/

5. Using Arrest and Conviction Records in Making Employment Decisions http://ojp.gov/about/ocr/pdfs/UseofConviction_Advisory.pdf

6. Complying with Nondiscrimination portions of the Safe Streets Act http://ojp.gov/about/ocr/statutes.htm

7. Meet EEOP Requirements train Subreceipients and file assurances every Three years http://ojp.gov/about/ocr/faq_eeop.htm

8. Part 200 Uniform Requirements http://ojp.gov/funding/Apply/Resources/2CFR200_2013.pdf

9. Comply with DOJ Financial Guide http://ojp.gov/financialguide/DOJ/pdfs/2015_DOJ_FinancialGuide.pdf

10. Comply with SAMS https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/

11. Adopt & Enforce Executive Order 13513 No Texting or Distracted Driving which could make for interesting policies with laptops in patrol vehicles https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-federal-leadership-reducing-text-messaging-while-driving  

12. Training Must Adhere OJP Principles http://ojp.gov/funding/Implement/TrainingPrinciplesForGrantees-Subgrantees.htm

13. Collect & Provide Data according to GPRA Modernization Act http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr2142enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr2142enr.pdf

14. Cooperate with BJA OCFO

15. Monitor Subrecipients compliance with Civil Rights Laws and submit MOA within 90 days to OJP http://ojp.gov/funding/Explore/SolicitationRequirements/CivilRightsRequirements.htm

16. Comply with DOJ Global Justice Information Sharing https://www.it.ojp.gov/global

17. Comply with 28 CFR Part 23 https://www.iir.com/28CFR_Program/28CFR_Resources/Executive_Order/

18. Comply with 28 CFR Part 46 http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/commonrule/

19. Comply with Confidentiality Requirements 42 USC section 3789g and 28 CFR Part 22 and submit a Privacy Certificate https://it.ojp.gov/PrivacyLiberty/authorities/regulations

20. Law Enforcement Personnel to Complete Required online training wthin 120 days or fund receipts https://www.ctfli.org/

21. Participate in BJA trainings or conferences if required https://www.bja.gov/events.aspx

22. Submit Quarterly Financial Report (SF-425) https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/grants/approved_forms/SF-425.pdf

23. Funds must not supplant State or Local Funds but must be used to Grow the Law Enforcement budget!

24. Establish a Trust Fund Account

25. Comply with NEPA-The Grantee understands that this special condition applies to its following new activities whether or not they are specifically funded with these grant funds http://www2.epa.gov/nepa

26. Submit annual JAG Success Stories https://www.bja.gov/SuccessStoryList.aspx

View the Breakdown of the Approved Emergency Management Manager Funding Grant in previous VetTheGov story here.  Below you will find the Taser Grant Cover letter sent to U.S. Commissioner Pugliese from the DOJ.  

Why do we need a USBOCC if we are going to allow the Feds to trample every bit of local control via accepting their nickels and dimes?  This Mesa County Tax Slaves is what you get for $72,500.00 per each USBOCC.  Mesa County is now at the mercy of the Feds and any future Dictator in Chief ushering in the New World Order!  Welcome to the Federal Police State Mesa County!!!

Saturday
Aug292015

Did Commissioner's Scott McInnis & John Justman Violate Open Meeting Law?

In a previous VetTheGov exclusive story regarding an undaunted $250 Million plus stormwater bailout it appears the best way forward is to change the rules when they don't fit your agenda. Commissioner Scott McInnis is very familiar with this playbook after his years in Washington D.C. and along with his protege city councilman Duncan MacArthur, the federal fix is in. Instead of a weekly schedule full of business meetings regarding jobs, the local economy, and the BLM overreach, two of our county commissioners decide to play the smoke & mirror game at the monthly GOP men's meeting on August 25, 2015 with the entire agenda being an elected or appointed GVDD board. 

The most interesting piece to this is that no public announcement was made or posted on the Mesa County website or in the Commissioners calendars shown below. The monthly republicans men's meeting for August not located on the website calendar either as in previous months. Why is a hot potato topic having non-disclosed public meetings with no following of the Open Meeting LAW? Interesting to note the GVDD manager was asked to attend with the intention to discredit the GVDD board structure rather than discuss a positive way forward. Upon entering the room there were the terms Elected vs Appointed on the white board as those in attendance were being versed as to the best way forward. You see Commissioner McGinnis has got this under his direct control and you can see the manipulation and Law violations that he learned in D.C. are working well.  Yet no one in the GOP good ole boy club stepped up and pointed out the law breaking by their local officials occuring in front of their very eyes.  Surely this isn't the first time such an occurrence has happened!  See the unfilled days on the Commissioner's Calendar below. VetTheGov wonders what these elected do during these slow weeks. One thing for sure their government paychecks get cashed!



VetTheGov will breakdown of the Colorado Open Meeting law C.R.S. 24-6-402 using just a couple of paragraphs from the statute:

(1) For the purposes of this section:

(a) "Local public body" means any board, committee, commission, authority, or other advisory, policy-making, rule-making, or formally constituted body of any political subdivision of the state and any public or private entity to which a political subdivision, or an official thereof, has delegated a governmental decision-making function but does not include persons on the administrative staff of the local public body.

(b) "Meeting" means any kind of gathering, convened to discuss public business, in person, by telephone, electronically, or by other means of communication.

(c) "Political subdivision of the state" includes, but is not limited to, any county, city, city and county, town, home rule city, home rule county, home rule city and county, school district, special district, local improvement district, special improvement district, or service district.

(d) "State public body" means any board, committee, commission, or other advisory, policy-making, rule-making, decision-making, or formally constituted body of any state agency, state authority, governing board of a state institution of higher education including the regents of the university of Colorado, a nonprofit corporation incorporated pursuant to section 23-5-121 (2), C.R.S., or the general assembly, and any public or private entity to which the state, or an official thereof, has delegated a governmental decision-making function but does not include persons on the administrative staff of the state public body.

(2) (a) All meetings of two or more members of any state public body at which any public business is discussed or at which any formal action may be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times.

(b) All meetings of a quorum or three or more members of any local public body, whichever is fewer, at which any public business is discussed or at which any formal action may be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times.

(c) Any meetings at which the adoption of any proposed policy, position, resolution, rule, regulation, or formal action occurs or at which a majority or quorum of the body is in attendance, or is expected to be in attendance, shall be held only after full and timely notice to the public. In addition to any other means of full and timely notice, a local public body shall be deemed to have given full and timely notice if the notice of the meeting is posted in a designated public place within the boundaries of the local public body no less than twenty-four hours prior to the holding of the meeting. The public place or places for posting such notice shall be designated annually at the local public body's first regular meeting of each calendar year. The posting shall include specific agenda information where possible.

(d) (I) Minutes of any meeting of a state public body shall be taken and promptly recorded, and such records shall be open to public inspection. The minutes of a meeting during which an executive session authorized under subsection (3) of this section is held shall reflect the topic of the discussion at the executive session.

You are beginning to get a glimpse into the local power elites game and how they work and it doesn't include following the Law! Not a surprise to many but it's simply the truth of how government and the cronies work in the shadows. Stay tuned for surely more to come on this misadventure in the shadows.

Friday
Sep262014

Breaking News: Mesa County Insurance Funds being Depleted. Commissioners Ignore!

Mesa County taxpayers VetTheGov has been made aware by a local citizen Dennis Simpson who has kept tabs on the local County Budget over the last several years has once again located some very concerning inconsistencies in the Mesa County Insurance Fund. 

Today VetTheGov received the following email from Dennis and he asked it to be shared as his concern moving forward will effect all Mesa County tax paying stakeholders.

Commissioners:

As you may recall, I attended your August 11 meeting and made a presentation regarding the rapid decline of the fund balance in your Insurance Fund.  As I explained at the meeting, my entire financial analysis used data that is available on your website as my source. 

Six weeks have now passed and the problems I identified have not been discussed with you by your staff.  I found this odd so I sent a CORA request to Angela asking for all Emails on this subject.  Today she sent the attached  email  from Frank to the three of you.  It is now more clear why you have not felt any urgency to address this issue.   Frank's statement that "it is clear that the fund is much healthier than stated in public hearing this morning"   has apparently  led you to believe that this is a back-burner issue.

At my presentation, I pointed out that the fund balance in the insurance fund had plummeted from $2.7 million to $1 million in 2013.  I also pointed out that the projections for 2014 (PREPARED BY COUNTY STAFF) showed that 12/31/14 fund balance would drop to below $100,000. 

So Frank visited Eleanor who told him that the fund balance on 8/11/14 was 2.2 million.  He mentions that Eleanor had provided some caveats to publishing that number but did not bother to provide any specifics of  what these caveats were.    There are many ways that an unadjusted fund balance in the middle of a month may be very misleading.    Almost no private company or public body publishes financial information in the middle of the month and there is good reason.  The accounting staff needs time to make sure all entries for a month are posted before things like "fund balance" are meaningful.

If you take the time to look at the financial statements on your website you will see that the fund balance on June 30, 2014 was $967,705 and that the fund balance on July 31 was $1,073,609.  Neither of these numbers are anywhere near $2.2 million  Using Frank's logic, the fund balance more than doubled in 7 business days.  While it is possible that some magic windfall occurred,  Frank should have recognized and explained what magical event occurred.  I have attached a copy of the July report so you can see how the actual July 31 fund balance is calculated. I have drawn arrows to three number which are: fund balance January 1, 2013-$1,005,806,  2014 revenue through July 31, 2014-$5,030,806, and 2014 expenditures through July 31, 2014-$4,963,033.  If you add the first two numbers and subtract the third,  the total comes to $1,073,609.

As bad as it was for Frank to conclude, without explanation, that fund balance had doubled in 7 days, the bigger issue is that he totally ignored the comments I made regarding the projection of fund balance on December 31, 2014.  One of the most important factors in the development of the 2015 budget is to apply the best logic available to projecting what will happen in the remainder of 2014.  The comment that seems to have totally escaped Frank was that I had stated that COUNTY STAFF had projected the fund balance on December 31, 2014 to be $85,370 (down from the $2.7 million of 1/1/13). When the July statements were published, this projection changed to be $355,452 (circled on attached report).   Either projected number should have caused immediate corrective action. 

Worse yet, the staff projections may be too optimistic.  As I pointed out, the staff seriously underestimated the 2013 claims expenditures when the 2014 budget was being developed.  The fund balance projected for 12/31/13 on  6/30/13 was $2.6 million. The actual 12/31/13 fund balance was $1 million.  No explanation has been provided for how the staff was so far off in 2013 and no evidence has been presented. that the 2014 projection methods have been changed.  if 2013 history repeats itself in 2014, it is very possible  that the insurance fund balance with be totally depleted by the end of the year.

Frank's email states that "management is well aware of the health care issue".    While it is true that the existence of the problem has been recognized,  it is obvious that management has not recognized the severity of the problem.  At a recent meeting Steve  stated that they my presentation was not a surprise and that almost all of what I said had been previously presented to the Commissioners.  Rose stated that most of my information was news to her.  Steve then said that Rose must have missed the meetings where this data was shared.  Rose disagreed that she had missed such important meetings.  The fact that the staff obviously does not comprehend how deep of a hole has been dug should make it obvious which Commissioner spoke the truth.

I am even more concerned that you are relying too heavily on Frank for advice.  While he may be very knowledgeable about data processing, he has demonstrated no competency in supervising the financial affairs of the County.  At a minimum, you should explain to the taxpayers why it is that you believe he has sufficient experience in financial management to have such a large impact on the decision-making process.  I attended your recent unrecorded meeting discussing the budget for 2015 Capital Expenditures.   I also attended the June meeting where the 2015 budget was discussed.   Evelyn attended the June meeting but it was obvious that she was not able to speak her mind.  No one from accounting attended the more recent budget meeting.   It is obvious that Frank and Tom intend to filter all information that you receive and that they intend to limit the need for you to make any decisions by controlling what information is provided to you and when it is provided.

I hope you totally change the process for development of the 2015 budget before it is too late.  If you don't actively seek input from your accounting staff and knowledgeable community members, the results could be very unpleasant.

Dennis

Stay Tuned as VetTheGov through recent CORA request regarding the 2013 Insurance payouts to see if the Brickey v. Sgt. Matt Lewis 4th Amendment settlement has affected the Funds Balance!  The Brickey Settlement occurred in 2013 and if you look at the fund balances you will see it went almost 900K in the negative direction.  2014 Insurance Fund half way through not looking much better! 

It is the hope of VetTheGov that the County Commissioners will see a history of public employee insiders withholding Public Information and demand a full investigation for the reasons why!!!  Once again where is the TRANSPARENCY?

Mesa County the time is now to have those being paid by your hard earned tax dollars to stop flushing these dollars down the toilet with zero accountability and begin to grapple with the realities of a local government that has become TOO BIG TO FAIL and Unable to hold itself accountable to the people that fund it.  Enough is Enough! 

Sunday
Sep212014

Someone Lying in Mesa County Government over 4th Amendment Settlement.

Mesa County citizens it is becoming increasingly troubling when your supposed transparent county government can't and won't keep itself accountable.  Since the VetTheGov story hit regarding Mesa County Sheriff candidate Sgt. Matt Lewis and the settlement of a 4th Amendment violation, illegal arrest, and excessive force civil lawsuit, fingers are pointing and the cover up continues with one or both parties LYING.

On August 14th, 2014 VetTheGov requested via CORA the settlement amount regarding Travis Brickey civil lawsuit settlement with Mesa County via its contracted attorney Alan Hassler regarding Case # 11-cv-2175.  On August 18th, 2014 a letter in response to the CORA request by Mesa County Asst. Attorney Angela Barnes stated that there are no documents responsive to the request and that Mesa County was not a party to the case even though five Mesa County deputies were named in the suit and a contracted county attorney represented the Mesa County deputies on the case.  On face value there is already a conflict of interest if Mesa County was not named in the suit and the deputies used a Mesa County contracted attorney.  See Colorado Bar Rule 1.7.

Since the CORA  request, Sgt. Matt Lewis responded to the media regarding the civil case in which he stated he was bound by a confidentiality letter placed on his behalf by Mesa County and that the County decided to settle an undisclosed amount to Travis Brickey.  It was also learned that the attorney for Travis Brickey confirmed Mesa County in fact did settle and could not disclose the amount.  After Sgt. Matt Lewis confidentiality agreement BREACH of discussing the case with local reporter Jesse Nelson representing West Slope Watchdog, VetTheGov initiated another CORA request on September 8th, 2014 to Mesa County Asst. Attorney Angela Barnes in which all County Commissioners were copied and included the audio interview with Sgt. Lewis and requested the following:

  • The Settlement amount?
  • If the County indeed filed a Confidentiality Agreement on behalf of Sgt. Matt Lewis
  • If Mesa County hired Alan Hassler for the named defendants and if not wouldn't this hiring be a conflict of interest?
  • If Alan Hassler was hired by the County, what was the County billed for his services?

VetTheGov received a letter dated September 8th, 2014 that reads as follows and VetTheGov must add NO RESPONSE from any elected County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca, Rose Pugliese, or John Justman:

"The Colorado Open Records Act (C.R.S. 24-72-200.1, et seq.) governs how governmental agencies in Colorado are to comply with citizen request for information.  The "CORA" contemplates, and only contemplates, records.  it is a detailed act governing record release circumstances.  If you are seeking records, your email letter does not set forth those that you are seeking."

What gets interesting is that an attached document to the letter shows an email from Commissioner Steve Acquafresca on September 8th, 2014 referring to an earlier conversation with Tom Fisher Mesa County Administrator that states:

"Tom - this is exactly what we were talking about this morning.  Please assist Angela with her response. SA"

The County Commissioners cannot play dumb now since that Commissioner Aquafresca copied in the other two Commissioners in his email to Tom.  They are all privy to the issue and let's see who will rise above partisan politics in order to demand complete transparency with OUR government.  If the Commissioners play safe then we must demand a complete investigation into our entire local government and then it's time for them all to go!

The dilemma now set forth is that either the County is LYING that they were involved in such settlement with Travis Brickey or Sgt. Matt Lewis in his professional position as a deputy sheriff for Mesa County is LYING.  Whoever is found to be UNTRUTHFUL you can rest assured VetTheGov will demand resolution and termination. 

VetTheGov has since sent another CORA request on September 15th, 2014 requesting the following and no response yet received:

  • Sgt. Matt Lewis signed confidentiality agreement by Mesa County regarding his civil case settlement involving Travis Brickey and Mesa County provided council Alan Hassler.
  • Contract and payments between Mesa County and Alan Hassler for representing Sgt. Matt Lewis regarding Travis Brickey 4th Amendment excessive force civil case.
  • Total Mesa County settlement amount paid to Travis Brickey in the form of check or money transfer receipt.

It will be interesting as events unfold and information released of who actually paid the settlement along with the amount and who is LYING to Mesa County citizens.  Either way it puts a Sheriff Candidate in the hot seat as an out of control COST to County taxpayers willing to LIE for the position or it exposes a County government that is unwilling to be open and transparent with its tax paying citizens by hiding the Truth for the sake of partisan politics right before your very eyes.  Who will step up and be the light of TRUTH?  Stay tuned...

Sunday
Mar252012

NO TO HENRY! Fruita Mayor Ken Henry is the POSER & WANNABE! 

VetTheGov loves it when true colors begin appearing from Wannabe political candidates. This weekend proved once again for Fruita Mayor Ken Henry a very colorful Wannabe commissioner in Poser fashion on display for all to see. VetTheGov would really like to see Mayor Henry's success rate in the private sector selling real estate and I bet it's the reason he needs a paying public sector job! Why else would he start the mudslinging against another strong conservative at the Mesa County republican convention??? Maybe it's to keep his throne or feeling of power and authority over the People??? VetTheGov believes it's both of the above!

Let VetTheGov give you a little background on the arrogant Obama like attitude from Mayor Henry who looks down upon the People in order to prop his righteous self upwards. Mayor Henry was an adamant supporter of Bob Hislop during Bob's campaign run for house District 54. Just in case you have a short memory, Hislop was under close scrutiny over his RID statement on an Obama related website. During a debate between Bob and the eventual winner Ray Scott in the Fruita chambers, Mayor Henry verbally attacked the individual that uncovered the Obama relationship of the candidate that Mayor Henry supported and officially endorsed! During the verbal altercation Mayor Henry in front of a large gathering yelled out loud the words to this individual, "AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN?" Mayor Henry yelled this twice and it was later learned Mayor Henry had never met this individual. So it leaves the question of Mayor Henry's God like judgement throne that he knows the conditions of people's spiritual hearts well enough that in his public chamber he alone has the authority to question ones spiritual condition without ever knowing them. VetTheGov has learned there were over 15 witnesses to this judgmental outburst by Mayor Henry, yet his chosen personally endorsed candidate lost by a large margin. Well maybe Mayor Henry can sit up high and question peoples faith but he sure can't pick political winners.

Let's look closer at the remark Mayor "holier than thou" Henry made to the The Sentinel after the convention, "the difference between someone who has made hard decisions and a wannabe." Do you notice his pattern of behavior is that of an arrogant status quo POSER who will tell you want you want to hear in order to keep his self righteous throne! John Justman was taken back by a desparate Henry willing to do whatever it takes for a 70,000.00 salary and to maintain his power broker position over the People! How does Mayor "holier than thou" Henry know that John Justman hasn't ever made any hard decisions??? VetTheGov wants you to understand that Henry will attack anyone in his way even a strong community leader and strong conservative like John Justman. Do you see the similarities of his outburst towards the individual during the Hislop campaign and his comments towards John Justman??? VetTheGov does and if Henry is elected as Commissioner he will continue to feel invincible on his throne! 

When Mayor Henry believes he is right please don't disagree as you will soon enter his judgement throne and be publicly disciplined for not only your Faith but just the fact that you disagreed with his holiness! VetTheGov knows Mayor Henry if elected as a County Commissioner will continue with this behavior since it continues to show up in plain view and in the press during the republican convention for all to see his glory! For this reason, VetTheGov says NO TO HENRY for he truly is the POSER and WANNABE!