New information has been released on the PWC Office of Information Technology bid rigging scandal in today’s Washington Post. Apparently the story grows day by day.

The Washington Post quotes that 3 employees have been fired and that the amount of money involved in the embezzlement is $9 million. That is a huge amount of money at a time when we can least afford to lose a dime.

The FBI is involved because about $90,000 in funds tied to this wrong-doing is federal grant money. Corey Stewart reveals:

Investigators are looking into “massive false billings,” bid-rigging and collusion between county employees and outside vendors, said Corey A. Stewart (R), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. He said the FBI is involved because about $90,000 in federal grants were allegedly tied into the scheme.

Stewart further elaborated:

At least two local vendors are involved, Stewart said. A former county employee who left public service in January last year has been implicated with the three employees who were recently terminated, he said.

According to the Washington Post:

Maneesh Gupta, former assistant chief information officer, was one of the terminated employees and has been a target of the investigation, sources said. Gupta — who at times served as a contract manager — oversaw the office’s purchase orders, time sheets and invoices, all documents used to track the office’s expenses and services.

“I’m disgusted at the lack of oversight and mismanagement,” Stewart said. “If it is true that one person was in charge of all three oversight functions, then that is clearly mismanagement.”

So the finger-pointing by the county chair begins. It was only a matter of time. Instead of focusing on those who were greedy and embezzled, it appears that the ugly M word is surfacing: Mismanagement.

The Chairman’s insinuations at this point are very predictable. If one looks back at what was written on BVBL several weeks ago, we could all see this coming. If I were a bookie, I know who I would be placing my bets on as a scapegoat.

The Chairman is right to want to get to the bottom of this crime. Those who committed crime should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However, when words like ‘mismanagement’ start to be thrown around, he points back to himself. Are he and the other supervisors not responsible ultimately for what happens in the county?

25 Thoughts to “OIT-gate Updated in Washington Post”

  1. IVAN

    Moon, you know how the game is played. When things are good, step foreward and take credit. When things are bad, step back and look for someone to pin the blame on.

  2. M-H, I would be inclined to write this off as just another case of Corey Stewart preening for media attention. But you are right about one thing: the involvement of Greg Letiecq in Stewart’s plans is a cause for concern.

    Could it be that Mr. Letiecq and Mr. Stewart are seeing each other again after a period of cold turkey separation?

    If so, nothing good can come of it.

    I will not jump to conclusions, but if TheGregNCorey Show is back in business, and if they are targeting the person I think they may be targeting … well, let me just say Corey Stewart will rue the day.

  3. Mom

    Believe me, this is not preening. CYA perhaps but preening, no. I believe the circumstances are very real and quite likely just the tip of the iceberg. MH, you are both right and wrong. Those at the top are equally culpable (and in my mind probably equally responsible), the problem for you is that it is not the BOCS or the chair that shoulder the responsibility, but rather the County Exec. and his staff. On this Red Dot Boy may actually have unwittingly stumbled into the appropriate position. What’s that they say about a stopped clock.

  4. ShellyB

    I’m wondering why the BOCS or the County Exec. should be held responsible and what does that mean exactly? From my casual understanding of political scandals, the politician is only really in trouble if he has the money in the freezer, or if defense contractors bought him a yacht or something like that. This is a crime, and there are victims for sure (us). But aren’t the BOCS and the CE victims too? Or are Gospel Greg and Corey planning to make the accusation that someone actually knew about this and let it go on? Hard to believe.

  5. Mom

    Not hard to believe when the contracts/invoices and the grant reimbursals have different prices and bear the signature of the Exec or his deputy. Does that mean they actually knew about or understood the details, you could make the arguement that they “innocently” signed off. In their positions are they ultimately as responsible, damn straight, that’s why they get paid their well publicized salaries.

  6. Wendy

    Pretty funny Mom. Robert Trout, the attorney named idn the article is the same attorney who defended William Jefferson – of money in the freezer fame!

  7. Moon-howler

    It sounds like Mr. Trout enjoys swimming upstream.

  8. Gainesville Resident

    Ah yes, good old William Jefferson – had a ton of money in the freezer but claimed he was innocent. That’s right, I’m sure lots of innocent people keep a stash of bills in their freezer!

  9. Moon-howler

    All I am saying is there was certainly a lot of information out there before the ‘story’ was released. I found that to be odd.

    I don’t know who signed what or what the protocol is. And I would not and should not be privy to that information. On the other hand, I know on a national level, if it happens on your watch, you own the problem.

    WHWN, I am not insinuating anything, just asking questions.

    I don’t know what unholy alliances exist. It sounds like some mighty unholy ones have existed amongst the sticky fingered crowd if 9 million bucks is missing.

  10. Witness Too

    Greg Letiecq, Corey Stewart and John Stirrup have a vendetta against almost everyone in County government for neutering the Immigration Resolution. I honestly don’t know why, because $9 million is a “drop in the bucket” compared to the cost of defending against a gaggle of racial profiling law suits. But I digress.

    I hope that “Mom” is right that Mr. Stewart’s blustering here is just an effort to deflect the blame. It’s kind of like when someone passes gas and then pretends to be outraged by the smell, pointing a finger at someone else and covering his nose. In other words, Stewart is yapping about this so that he won’t be held politically responsible.

    There may be a dozen citizens in this county who remain gullible enough as to take Greg Letiecq’s word on anything of consequence. This scandal is the kind of thing that just might affect an election, and Stewart knows it. I think that’s why he and Letiecq are doing a publicity dance, trying to stay ahead of the news cycle.

    I think perhaps some people who are up on recent PWC history may be worried that this is another plot against Chief Deane. I don’t know. I surely hope not. But even if it is, I have faith that our Board members will not be manipulated by Corey Stewart and Greg Letiecq on an issue of this importance. They didn’t budge and inch the first time Stewart attacked the Chief. The County Executive, who stood by the Chief as well, is respected a good deal more than either Corey Stewart or Greg Letiecq.

    So, even if Letiecq’s followers interpret this scandal in a way that is small minded and reactionary, I don’t see our Board becoming small minded and reactionary. Letiecq and Stewart are just doing what they do best: finding reasons to tell people to be angry, and demonstrating how to be angry themselves.

  11. Alanna

    Very well said, Witness Too.

    And, yes, these incidents (OIT, and the Gainesville Fire Department) seem to reflect poorly on Supervisors as much as anyone else.

  12. Emma

    What if the citizens of PWC are in line with the immigration resolution? Does that matter at all? Or do you still see Corey and Greg pulling the strings here? Is it at all possible that the Board is influenced by what the citizens want?

    This blind allegiance to Chief Deane is laughable. If he were actively enforcing and publicly supporting the Resolution, he would be getting torn apart on these pages. Law enforcement does just that–ENFORCES the law. It is not charged with creative interpretation based on the personal views and biases of the Chief. Deane doesn’t like that aspect of the law? Perhaps he should have considered a career as a Supreme Court justice.

  13. Moon-howler

    What does Chief Deane have to do with OIT-Gate other than his department is investigating it? Don’t tell me someone is trying to hang that on him also?

    Blind allegiance? Those of us who have lived here any length of time have a great deal of respect for the chief. I would not call that blind allegiance. I call it earned respect.

    Emma, you tipped your hand. You tell me what the immigration resolution says. Not much. Tell me how Chief Deane is not enforcing it. You can’t. If he weren’t you can rest assure you would have read about it long before this.

    What citizens are you talking about? Are you speaking of those hundreds of emails generated by NumbersUSA requesting a resolution? Are you speaking of those residents of Oklahoma, Arizona, California, Colorado, etc etc who emailed OUR supervisors? We don’t give a rat’s ass what they wanted.

    Corey and Greg already pulled strings here. They won’t be pulling with such ease again. That opportunity only comes around once in a lifetime. We are watching now. The residents of Prince William County did not all want their police department running around looking for ‘illegals.’

  14. Emma

    No, I’m talking about what the citizens want. I could care less about auto-generated opinions. Does anyone ever ask what the citizens want? Can you assert with any real confidence that the majority don’t want enforcement against illegals? Deane took what amounted to a passive-aggressive stand against the original resolution, and that was not his place to do so. If he supported it completely, you would be skewering him on these pages, admit it, and calling it the Greg-Corey-Deane show.

  15. Emma

    “Letiecq and Stewart are just doing what they do best: finding reasons to tell people to be angry, and demonstrating how to be angry themselves.”

    Again with the “if you’re not with us, you’re just being manipulated” logic. Please.

  16. Juturna

    Hunting down illegals is not a local government mission. Even if citizens want it. It’s expensive, time consuming and drains resources. I’ll bet any Chief would do it if they have the resources. Several Police Officer positions were eliminated this year. You can’t get blood from a turnip Emma. I don’t think Deane is a scofflaw – I think he is practical and forthright. I think those that didn’t understand the point he was making just got angry – generally accepted human behavior when adults don’t understand something.

  17. Juturna

    By the way the entire BOCS approved cutting those Police Officer positions last September. If I were running for office I’d point THAT out. Betcha they wouldn’t have done that in an election year?!

  18. Gainesville Resident

    Speaking of that Gainesville Fire Department stuff – I haven’t heard much more about it – maybe the firing of the chief and then the taking over of that fire dept. pretty much was it. But seemed to me a lot of corruption going on there. Maybe I’m just not looking in the right places for any updates on that mess. What an embarrassment, that it was allowed to go on for so long. Unbelievable.

  19. Gainesville Resident

    By “chief” I mean the guy that was living at the Gainesville Fire Dept. house with his family – in case there’s any confusion – did not mean PWC Fire Chief (I guess there is such a post).

  20. Juturna

    I wonder how many jurisdictions the size of PWC rely so heavily on Volunteers-for services AND election? Isn’t that putting the community at risk for political gain? So why did the BOCS not approve 24 hour paid supervision? For our benefit as taxpayer or theirs?

  21. Moon-howler

    Juturna I expect that the volunteers hollered about it. Didn’t they just get their tail-feathers plucked a bit? It is very hard for me to understand how some of the firefighters are paid and some do it for free. It is even more difficult to understand how the county just gives them the money from the fire levee and waves good bye to it. Talk about no oversight!

    I hope the board of supervisors has learned its lesson and is reining in the firefighter situation somewhat. They sure wouldn’t want to be accused of mismanagement!

  22. Moon-howler

    Emma, how do you determine what the citizens want? And which citizens do you listen to? I expect citizens want a variety of different things.

    Most of our supervisors don’t have the staff to check every email they get and verify that it is someone living in the county.

    The county doesn’t have the resources to have their police force doing the feds job. I know, I know, lots of people big-assed about they would pay more taxes blah blah blah. When it came time, taxes were cut. So much for the bluster.

  23. Witness Too

    Emma, I believe the Immigration Resolution was oversold to you and others who believe in Greg Letiecq and Corey Stewart more than they believe in Chief Deane. To your credit, you are doggedly devoted to this point of view. But I assure you it is not the mainstream view in this county. I can respect the fact that you believed the Immigration Resolution would roll back time, or something of that nature, and you are disappointed now. I can even understand if you supported Letiecq and Stewart in trying to maintain “Probable Cause” as a standard even though the County Attorney and the U.S. Justice Department were preparing for very, very expensive law suits that taxpayers would have to pay for. “Raise my taxes” so many of you said at the time. I’ll never forget how many of you blogged it, or even said at Citizens Time. “Raise my taxes.”

    These are all reasonable positions to take. “Raise my taxes,” cut services, reduce our police and fire department’s ability to keep us safe from harm, and please please go after those “illegals.”

    All Chief Deane was saying was, if you’re going to transform my department from a public safety directive to an immigration suspicion directive, you need to give me the tools to protect my officers from racial profiling law suits. He wasn’t bringing up the cost of the law suits, but he did mention the damage the bad reputation would do to his department’s ability to keep us safe. That’s his job, and he did it well.

    It was the Supervisors who voted to not provide those tools to protect our police officers, and instead neuter the Immigration Resolution. ALL EIGHT BOARD MEMBERS VOTED FOR THIS. I am sick and tired of people blaming Cheif Deane, in particular those who are blindly devoted to Letiecq and Stewart. Stewart voted with the majority. If he is so 100 percent a Letiecq man, then he should have voted against it.

    So you should be taking your frustration out on Corey Stewart, Emma; NOT on Chief Deane.

  24. Moon-howler

    Witness brings up an excellent point. The entire board of supervisors voted for the snip job–all 8 of them. They knew they couldn’t afford to pay what it would cost to fully enforce the immigration resolution.

    Chief Deane was just the messenger–yet some would still have his head on the silver platter. The man did his job.

  25. Elena

    I’ve missed you Juturna! Great points, as usual.

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