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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Letter to the Editor of the Record Journal regarding “Woodgate”

As published in the Record Journal Sunday September 2, 2012

Editor: Woodgate investigations over. Conclusion: honest mistake. What a waste of time.

Right? Not so fast. Mr. Mangino, a public employee, had a contract with the town to haul debris, not including wood, to his private dump site. The contract required a permitted site, a million dollar insurance policy and for him to use his own employees and equipment. Consider these investigative findings:

1) Mangino stated in his bid application and his first interview with investigator Terry Sullivan that the address of his site (proven not to be a permitted one) was 1171 S. Broad St. He later stated the address to be 1173, his uncle’s address. The Public Works director who hired Mangino has stated that he himself had driven to the site where the wood was delivered and that address was 1179 S. Broad St. (Question - Who’s on first?),

2) the million dollar policy was never posted

3) town employees, on town time, loaded wood into town vehicles and delivered it to Mangino’s site

4) no proof that all wood delivered was returned to the town

5) Mangino burned wood to heat his garage at 1173 (there’s circumstantial evidence that he burned town wood because he received no financial consideration from the town for picking it up)

6) town employees definitely violated the town code of ethics.
After instructing Terry Sullivan to conduct an investigation and prepare a report a report the council found to be less than thorough - the mayor was presented with the finding he wanted – an honest mistake.

However, that same investigation revealed problems much more troubling than the taking of wood. It’s obvious that contractual requirements are meaningless and no one is held accountable when breaches are discovered. The laissez faire attitude of this administration assures us that these problems will continue.