Year in Review: Busy signal

COSA and Bexar County DA Reed get: a lump of coal

What the paper trail will show when John Foddrill gets his day in court (scheduled for early February, if justice can spare a judge): The former City Telecommunications Manager tried to blow the whistle on contract fraud and a department slush fund that other managers used to pad their careers. And the City’s Office of Municipal Integrity worked to bury those shenanigans — documented by the City’s Contract Services Department and their own review — giving Foddrill’s supervisors the ammo and tacit permission to run him out of his job.

Foddrill has spent the two-and-three-quarter years since the City marched him out of the building in spring 2006 trying to convince a succession of law-enforcement agencies to investigate. The DA’s office at first declined, telling the Current (much later) that it didn’t want to get involved while Foddrill’s wrongful-termination civil suit is under way (they have since told Foddrill that they might be looking into his case). Foddrill says the Texas Rangers agreed that it looked like his old employer doctored some of his federal time sheets (a crime, under the circumstances), but has not requested that the DA open an investigation. The Rangers told the Current that it’s up to the DA’s office or the City to investigate internal fraud issues. Foddrill says both agencies were only interested in whether he could prove that someone diverted public resources for direct personal gain, not in your run-of-the-mill internal waste of taxpayer dollars.

What remains to be discovered: Why the City won’t investigate (Council has the power to look into damn near anything it wants to, according to the Charter; although maybe our CMs haven’t read that, either ... see “Keep the bums in,” this page), and why the DA’s office was forwarding materials Foddrill sent them alleging ongoing wrongdoing to the City Attorney’s office long after he had filed his civil suit against COSA. As one veteran plaintiff’s attorney told the Current, “Yes, that seems odd to me.”

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