South Florida Question of the Day
Palm Beach County has had plenty of instances of bad ethics in government of late. Click here, here, and here for just a few examples.
Our neighbors to the south in Broward County are no different. From today's Sun-Sentinel-
A long-standing relationship between the Broward school district and its top technology consultant underscores weaknesses in the school system's ethical safeguards, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has found.Mr. Mack we only have your word the trip didn't influence your decision. You shouldn't been voting or making recommendations in the first place, having taken the trip to Cape Cod. Taking a free gift from a company and then helping supply them with business clearly is a conflict of interest. It doesn't matter if you are elected or not, or a volunteer or not.
Some School Board members now say the district should tighten oversight of its business dealings and reconsider its relationship with CELT Corp., which has been awarded $5.4 million in Broward schools technology projects since 1995.
The newspaper uncovered two CELT deals that district auditors now question:
The first National Education Summit, hosted by CELT, was in 2004 in Brewster, Mass., on Cape Cod. Phillipo said education officials from across the country were invited to share ideas on how technology can improve learning — all expenses paid by CELT and other technology vendors.
"If the vendors didn't pay for it, then the taxpayers would have to pay for it. Every aspect of that national conference is underwritten by people [school boards] do business with," Phillipo said. "You won't find a company more ethical than CELT."
Broward school officials said about a dozen high ranking officials took part in the Cape Cod trip, including Notter and Henry Mack.
Mack's role as chairman of the Audit Committee is to track how well departments throughout the school district are functioning, as well as order audits of any divisions, including technology. He said his trip was "no business of anybody other than my own."
"I'm a volunteer," said Mack, 76. "I don't need approval from the School Board. My attendance in these things is personal."
Two years later, in 2006, Mack was involved in the $128,500 CELT review of the district's technology department. Reilly said Mack pushed CELT to perform the audit.
"I thought it would be good for somebody else do the review," Reilly said. "But that was my opinion."
If Reilly is correct that Mack asked CELT to perform the audit, Kraft said, "it looks suspicious that he is recommending CELT given that CELT paid for him to go to Cape Cod."
Mack says the trip did not influence his recommendation, and noted that he was never acting as an individual when asking for CELT. "Any recommendations that are made for the use of CELT again come from the audit committee as a group," he said.
So what are you Henry Mack? An idiot who doesn't know what a conflict of interest is or a crook out to benefit himself? As I've shown many times at my blog, South Florida has plenty of both.
Linked to- Bright & Early, The World According to Carl,