"It's not My Fault–Don't Blame Me–I Was Just Following Orders………"
Once again the taxpayer has been cheated. We’ve paid for competent and professional oversight and gotten more grade school recordkeeping!
The Nuremberg trials are widely regarded as the most important of the 20th century. The unequivocal rejection of the Nuremberg defense ” I was following orders ” or ” my boss told me to do it ” by American judges in favor of the simple standard ” did the accused know their wrongful actions caused harm ” will likely be a guiding legal principle for generations more to come.
While the Nuremberg defense is dead as a door nail in legal proceedings throughout most of the free world, it is alive and well in ICMA controlled cities such as Port Orange.
Recently in Port Orange several licensed professional engineers who were employed to safeguard taxpayer interests failed to do so, such that taxpayers have no way of knowing if they were overcharged for work performed or deleted because recordkeeping for the contract in question was sloppily administered and poorly documented. This is not just my opinion It is the written opinion of Manager Harden.
Having recognized that taxpayer interests suffered from mis-feasant actions on the part of those experienced P.E.’s whose professional training and ethical standards and the many years of experience they each had in administering Port Orange contracts, THE logical and required action for Manager Harden to take would have been to discipline those P.E.’s appropriately.
BUT NO THAT DID NOT HAPPEN, AND if Manager Harden’s decision is not overridden by Council they will never be disciplined because Manager Harden has invoked the “Nuremberg defense ” on their behalf.
That is right Manager Harden is exonerating them because those P.E.’s told him they were doing what former Manager Kisela told them to do. They were just following orders.
Assume for a minute that is the case and that their statements are not totally serving and un-verifiable. Even assume that Kisela would be stupid enough to admit under oath in a recorded deposition that he told those engineers to NOT adequately safeguard taxpayer interests. Does that excuse their actions ?? Not according to the principles established at Nuremberg ?
According to those Nuremberg principles they would need to receive some measure of sanction for actions they knew to be mis-feasant and harmful to taxpayer interests.
Now it becomes what will Council do …… Or more precisely what will Councilmen Bastian and Stiltner do, because while it is widely understood that Councilman Ford favors appropriate sanctions be levied, it is likewise widely understood that the Mayor and his planned successor Councilman Burnette could care less about holding anyone responsible or accountable for anything.
What say you Councilmen Bastian and Stiltner – Hold those P.E.’s accountable OR give them another pass ??
for responsible government – 2016
7 thoughts on “"It's not My Fault–Don't Blame Me–I Was Just Following Orders………"”
Did someone tell them not to disclose the berm deletion? Who ordered that? Makes you wonder. How was the berm deletion discovered?
R. Woodman–Good questions.
To the best of my knowledge I was the first person OUTSIDE OF CITY INSIDERS to find the berm deletion. The engineers at QLH, Mayor Green, and Fred Griffith all knew about it at the time it was deleted. It still p****s me off that they all kept quiet at the City Council meeting when my neighbor, Paul Rozar, stood up and said in layman’s terms that a berm would solve the flooding problem. Definitely a lack of human decency on their part.
I am betting that the only one up on council who even knows what the Nuremberg defense is… is Dr. Bob Ford.
The other 4 are not students of history nor do they seek to proceed from any philosophical construct. Jeez Ted. Who do you think you are talking to here son? Need to really dumb it down for these guys.
Unfortunately in the Port Orange workforce there has been a number of perfunctory employees that are supposed to be professionals in key positions that have either rubber stamped things by directive of the city manager or mayor or simply looked the other way and neglected their professional fiduciary responsibility. That is why they have done so well in this organization. The mayor has been known to bypass the city manager and the department head to communicate directly with his rubber stampers and issue directives without informing the administrative order of command. They are not fast to reprimand or dismiss these employees because they themselves are complicit and the employee in question could out the powers that be if they scapegoat them.
The antithesis of this situation that also exists in this administrative culture is the scapegoating and blacklisting of many long term employees who have a history of integrity, competence, and unwillingness to obey any directives from the mayor or city manager’s office that involves a violation of their professional fiduciary responsibility. Employees with this kind of integrity have on numerous occasions had to threaten to invoke higher authority outside the organization to protect them in standing firm in their fiduciary responsibility. This does not come without a price and many have been driven out of the organization while many have become an enemy of the State and effectively blacklisted. If truth be told there have been many honest employees that served the citizens throughout their career that have gotten the shaft by city hall. Until we stop rebuilding this dirty administrative/political culture in Port Orange there will always be perfunctory incompetents ready to line up to be the mayor and city manager’s lackeys for assurances of a bright future with the city. New lackeys are being cultivated on an ongoing basis and are replacing the older ones that are exiting the organization.
I know that you would like to see one of these lackeys disciplined or dismissed but that is not the answer. The answer is that someone has to have the cojones to keep the Parker’s, Shelley’s, Kisela’s, Saunder’s, Lewis’s. and Harden’s from making it out the door with their pensions and reputations in tact and holding them accountable for their decisions and the utilization and reward of these lackeys to professionally rubber stamp their directives.
Their is another one of these that will be retiring soon and make it out the door without being responsible for all the collateral damage throughout the city during her career. I bet you know who I am talking about. You have to somehow get beyond these lackeys and reach the root of the problem because until you do, if the lackey is dismissed the mayor and the city manager will simply find another lackey.
We are lucky to have Ted take the interest he has in changing the culture that exists in City hall compliments of Green and his minions. I am not aware of one person besides Ted who has both the cojones and the smarts who has not been compromised to some degree by the Green machine. I hope he runs in 2016
I too hope Ted will run and I believe he will. And should he prevail, I believe there will be two sounds emitting from city hall and the various departments: a collective sigh of relief accompanied by a wail of stark terror.
Because by God Ted Noftall is going to want things done right. And he will use that bully pulpit as mayor to lobby, exhort and engage his colleagues up on the dais in vigorous debate to move them toward clean open responsive functional government. And he knows what “right” looks like because of his accounting background and serious business acumen.
And staff and vendors will have to make some serious modifications in mindset and methods as that “doing it right from now on” sifts downward to them through the city manager as instructed by a newly “responsible to the taxpayer” council.
I do think Stiltner, Bastian and Burnette are typically followers rather than natural leaders, but perhaps with someone to encourage them to do the right thing without fear of reprisal they can be saved. With Ted aided and abetted by Dr. Bob Ford of course as the other thinker on council.
Right now we are drowning in mediocrity and actions by moral idiots like Pegleg and QLH principals that border on fraud. Guess they think of themselves as “pragmatic”. So did all those “wronged” guys in the dock at Nuremberg.
I ask myself constantly how those 3 up on the dais sleep nights in view of these various “mistakes” that are repeatedly exposed and yet they take no actions to stop. I know the mayor is sleeping just fine.
But someone told me a long time ago: most of us think well of ourselves because we judge ourselves by our motives, while the world judges us by our actions. Big cognitive disconnect.
So Ted, those of us out here who are desperate for truth, justice and yes dammit, for the American Way to prevail, await your election.
And on that theme, what can the average Joe out here do to further that goal?
Lets be honest here Pegleg is a useful idiot and QLH are a bunch of liars for hire. As long as the Mayor finds both of them to be useful Harden will continue to defend them. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Bastian and Stiltner to find a backbone. cause it ain’t going to happen. Both of these lemmings are followers and right now they are following the Mayor and Manager.