Open Thread For August 13, 2017

Filed in Delaware, Featured, National by on August 13, 2017 9 Comments

Massive Embezzlement From DHSS Sparks Changes.  One little tidbit I took away from the story–the embezzlement of $1.3 mill wasnn’t revealed to the public until a year after the crime was discovered.  BTW, isn’t this something the State Auditor could/should have identified if he was merely doing his job? BTWBTW, nice convenient weekend news dump on the story.

Park City Kathy Reelected In Rehoboth Beach. A new mayor as well. Paul Kuhns. Apparently voters didn’t like the $22 mill Town Hall/Palace that Cooper saddled the taxpayers with.

Gee, You Think The White Supremacists Took A Cue From This?  Trump seeking to dramatically cut counterterrorism budget.

How Trump’s Bluster Could Prop Up Venezuelan Strongman.  BTW, that ‘stache is so…Stalinesque.

The Atlantic: What Obama Could Teach Trump About Charlottesville.  Actually, Trump can’t learn so Obama can’t teach. But the contrast is palpable.

Why Elizabeth Warren Should Be President.  Calls out the cowardly corporate ‘center’ of the Democratic Party. Run, Liz, Run!

What do you want to talk about?

 

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  1. SussexWatcher says:

    Cheap shot at DHSS based on a lousy story from TNJ. Disclosing the details earlier could have jeopardized the investigation and prosecution building its case. The problem was announced by the Department of Justice AFTER the indictments, when details are required to be made public as part of court records. An agency or company has to listen to its attorneys in something like this. If you want to bang on someone, go after Matt Denn and his DAGs for doing what every other attorney in the country would advise. DHSS was being told to keep quiet or the prosecution might be damaged. Would you rather have people get off?

  2. SussexWatcher says:

    “BTWBTW, nice convenient weekend news dump on the story.”

    What are you talking about? This is a year-later follow-up, not a news dump by an agency trying to hide its misdeeds. They seemed very forthright. The timing was entirely in the hands of Karl Baker.

  3. jason330 says:

    It really sucks how this story seems to confirm every lazy wing nut stereotype about how terrible government is.

  4. With all due respect, SW, spare me.

    When $1.3 mill is embezzled from a state agency and that embezzlement is discovered, the public has a right to know about it. Then.

    In Delaware, however, public disclosure is selective regardless of FOIA requirements.

    Your assertion that disclosing this would somehow have imperiled an investigation is just that–an assertion. And any suggestion that DHSS wanted this story out but were told by the AG not to release it goes against my decades of seeing how state government operates.

  5. SussexWatcher says:

    The Delaware Department of Justice, which provides legal advice to state agencies, routinely tells agencies not to publicly disclose the existence of an ongoing investigation. That is a fact. You’re saying that DHSS should have rejected the advice of its legal counsel. Why?

    Is it smart government to show the targets of an investigation what you know on Day One by announcing it in the newspaper? Does any other agency publicly announce when an employee is disciplined or terminated? (What do the Merit Rules say about that?)

    The public does not have the right to know everything at every moment. There are protocols and procedures, and when your attorney says something, you damn well listen.

  6. $1.3 mill in state funds was embezzled from a state agency. That is news by anyone’s definition.

    The fact that there are Those Who Profess To Know Better who routinely hide such information from the public has been a matter of course. Especially law enforcement agencies, especially the police.

    You keep saying that earlier disclosure ‘could’ have imperiled an investigation, but you haven’t demonstrated whether in fact the AG’s office instructed this information to be withheld from the public and what was their justification.

    Any state agency that withholds information based on a prospective outcome has made the decision to not share information that impacts the public with the public.

    I believe that agencies have the responsibility to err on the side of keeping the public informed. I’m tired of word games that serve to protect excessive secrecy.

  7. Jab says:

    From an Article June, 2016.

    Seven Delaware Department of Health and Social Services case workers have been indicted on charges they created fake food stamp benefits accounts for personal use or to sell, state officials announced Tuesday.

    A months-long investigation by state and federal agencies revealed that the former case workers defrauded the U.S. government of more than $959,000.

  8. mouse says:

    And you can bet they will steal from every program budget to make up the shortfall

  9. alby says:

    “You’re saying that DHSS should have rejected the advice of its legal counsel. Why?”

    Because the agency’s unelected lawyers don’t run the government. Lawyers want you to shut up so they control the narrative. That runs counter to open government.

    “Is it smart government to show the targets of an investigation what you know on Day One by announcing it in the newspaper?”

    Depends. Once the money has been stolen, do these people have the ability to erase the paper trail? If they do, why would they wait until they know they’re under investigation to do it?

    “The public does not have the right to know everything at every moment.”

    The government does not have the right to hide things. And, unlike your declaration, mine has the law behind it. The exceptions to that law must be spelled out.

    In this case, it appears the outgoing administration didn’t want to acknowledge this while it was in office, as there is no other legitimate reason to hide the fact that money is missing. You can say that without saying anything about where you think it went.

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