Thank you to the readers who have thanked me for writing the last post, questioning why the newspaper goes hard at minor contract problems, but ignores the widespread graft, nepotism and cronyism by high-level officials in the county.
In today’s Dayton Daily news it was reported that Brian Higgins and GSSP resigned the county contract. They also report that Montgomery County’s purchasing director, Roy Sigritz is now going to “investigate.” Last I checked, that was the job of the Montgomery County Prosecutor, or the Ohio Ethics Commission- not the head buyer:
Sigritz said he would investigate the relationship among Higgins, [Ken] Betz and Dr. Kent Harshbarger, the county coroner.
Harshbarger told the Daily News last week that before he became coroner, he had business dealings with both Higgins and Betz. An Illinois company Harshbarger owned leased one van and sold another to Higgins for use by GSSP during the early to mid-2000s. He said he got permission for the deal from then-county coroner Dr. James H. Davis.
His business dealings with Betz concerned a company the two incorporated in 2004.
“Due to information that has come to light subsequent to the contract extension, I have requested from the coroner’s office any and all information concerning any business relationship between the three parties,” Sigritz said.
Harshbarger could not be reached, but in an interview with the Daily News last week he said, “I don’t want you to blame Ken. Anything that happens in this office is on me. I don’t think there’s anything that happened wrong.”
When will Mr. Sigritz investigate his boss, County Administrator Debbie Feldman for her profiting from the deal to buy the former Sears property from her family at a price of at least 4x more than they had invested? Or, who will investigate the funds handed over to Reverend Trammell, without proper oversight for years. It’s my experience that when deals like this are this easy to expose, we’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg.
If we need more proof that you buy your legislation and legislators in Montgomery County- how else can it be explained that the people most likely to donate to political campaigns, like developer of Austin Landing, Randy Gunlock and the attorneys of Thompson Hine will be exempt from a JEDD personal income tax, while the subsistence wage workers at Kohls, Menards, Wal-Mart and the future Krogers will all pay 2.25%?
Contrast what happened on Bonner Street this morning. As I was putting my trash out in the alley, I saw a white male wearing a hoodie walking down my alley-seemingly out of place I looked again to see “US MARSHAL” on the back of his jacket. Engaging him in conversation, I learn he’s looking for a neighbor. I immediately assume it’s one of the crew of my favorite neighbors. Walking out front, I see two more officers, in full tactical gear right in front of my house- and they ask me if I’ve seen the mope in question. Soon, 4 more officers converge on us. They were from S.O.F.A.S.T. – the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team.
I hadn’t seen said mope- but told them I’d post info on my neighborhood watch group. I thought it’d be easy to find a mugshot online- but, all I could find was a mention of the punk getting caught stealing less than $100 in merchandise from a big box store.
Justice in Montgomery County- 7 officers to recover $100 for “the Man”- while millions in tax dollars are handed out to the friends of those in office without a true investigation by either the press or the prosecutor.
But, don’t worry- purchasing agent Roy Sigritz is on the case of the van sales, you can sleep well at night.