For those who have been keeping up, this is probably the funniest news story of the day.
Let’s review. The DOT Board hired Monitor Group to conduct an outside study of the DOT. The Monitor Group, which is run by former State Representative Bob Irvin, found all sorts of disastrous issues within the DOT. The staff at the DOT had recommended against the Monitor Group, but the Board overruled the staff by and large because, in the words of Mike Evans,
Evans told reporters that he wanted the study and he wanted board members to pick the consultant because it would be critiquing the staff. Along with Evans, Vice Chairman Garland Pinholster, who had served with Irvin, and Robert Brown considered the five proposals from the consulting firms seeking the job.
The trio rated Monitor the best, Evans said, despite its having less experience with government than some of the other bidders. Having more of a business orientation was viewed as a plus, he said.
Before the three board members looked over the proposals, a committee of department staffers had rated Monitor as the second-best choice. But Earl Mahfuz, the department treasurer, said it was customary for the board to overrule the staff since the board was the entity requesting the study and knew best what it was looking for.
“We can’t expect the lower-level staff to be as familiar with the requirements of the board as members of the board,” he said.
So, let’s go back. The study found all sorts of problems inside the DOT: lots of incompetence, lots of ineptness, lots of spendthrifts, loads of recklessness, and shoddy work in general.
Now enter Billy Langdale, who has been on the DOT Board for the last twenty-three years. The twenty-three years in which the DOT has suffered under lots of incompetence, lots of ineptness, lots of spendthrifts, loads of recklessness, and shoddy work in general. What does he do? He decides we need the inspector general to find out if the there was some sort of corruption involved in hiring the Monitor Group.
In other words, instead of tackling the problems of incompetence, ineptness, spendthrifts, recklessness, and shoddy work/managemet, let’s tackle the messenger.
Bravo. Thanks for the laugh Mr. Langdale. Glad you won’t be coming back to the Board.