Updated for formatting and clarity on 6/25
In my December 15 post, I wrote the paragraph:
And now, things are worse than ever. It’s no longer a matter of bad management. Or I should say, just a matter of bad management. Now we’ve got the OIG investigating monkey business in PWE, a utility billing modernization plan that’s over budget and on course to miss its fourth deadline for deployment, yet another fee about to be charged to utility customers, and $25 million in utility overcharges to the same.
I didn’t explain the OIG comment at the time, because I detest the media’s use of “unnamed sources” to make shit up, and I wanted something more to base it on. So here’s an email I got a while back from a fellow worker at the City of Houston. I had to spend some time vetting it… only it’s worse than it looks here, because I had to delete portions that would positively identify the author. I’ve also added a few comments to clear up points that might not be obvious to an outsider, and then I follow with information from multiple unnamed sources. Yay me. I are media now.
Several years ago, I got assigned to work with (FOR) a contractor, which isn’t supposed to happen, but did anyway. I wasn’t the only one. In theory, I answered to a city manager, but in reality, he (Evil IT Contractor) determined all my work assignments and even where I was officed. It took me a year to twig to it, but this guy was a scammer who didn’t really know jack about IT, but could fake it well and was really skilled at playing people around him. Especially Weak Boss (this is a reference to Tommy McClung, former Assistant Director of Utility Customer Service –ubu), who he had totally snowed. Lesser managers (including mine) were intimidated by his influence, especially after he brought a major project to a “successful” conclusion (Read: Drainage. it didn’t quite blow up in the mayor’s face, but it’s still not working the way it should. –ubu )
So [Evil IT Manager] got put in charge of a billing modernization project, overseeing a different vendor (which he effectively chose). I lasted six months of his stress-inducing crap before [redacted]. After that I decided to challenge him openly, in order to be removed from the project. It nearly got me fired (he tried!), but I got moved. Meanwhile he continued mismanaging the project, running off all the competent people, finding new software to spend money on, and three years later, we are trying to determine our NINTH date for “go-live.” (The first was 7/1/2014 –ubu)
Evil IT Contractor got in tight with the City’s overall IT manager, (Charles Thompson – ubu) was promoted to Acting CTO for all of Public Works IT, while still a contractor. Also, he and Evil Manger divorced their original spouses and shacked up together, while he was still a contractor and she was responsible for oversight of his contract. Talking to a coworker, they’ve got him dead to rights double, triple, even quadruple billing for his hours under different contracts.* And yes, the City’s Inspector General is “investigating”… and doing nothing.
“Evil IT Contractor” is Brian Anderson, of various consulting companies. Evil Manager is Cymel Ashby, COH employee. Brian’s been paid over $1 million by the city since arriving — see the Adi Dajani, a left-wing, virulently anti-Israel Muslim who supports Ben Hall for Mayor. Scroll down to the first March 17 post, and note it says “edited.” It disappeared for over a month shortly after posting, without any mention whatsoever. I’m assuming a lawsuit got threatened, or a DMCA abuse occurred — the new version says nothing of the criminal investigation. Maybe I’ll find out when mine gets hit by a takedown…
One person in UCS procurement has been let go, though it’s not clear if its due to this, and he was only a contractor himself. And Tommy McClung resigned in April. Susan Bandy is resigning at the end of the year, but whether it has anything to do with this or she just decided to call it a day isn’t clear. She and Dale Rudik (Director, PWE) were said to be highly upset over the failure of the project so far (which is about 50% over budget — so far), but nothing has happened; it appears that the Mayor is willing to run out the clock and not provide ammunition for any of her potential successors, such as Bill King or Ben Hall.
By the way, since two of the people questioned are the Evil Manager and Evil IT Manager (according to my multiple unnamed sources!), I’m not revealing anything to the subjects of the investigation that they don’t know.
Edit: Look at Brian Anderson’s LinkedIn page. He’s rarely in a management position for more than two years.
* Ubu: I personally viewed an entry in SAP in which Mr. Anderson submitted FOUR requests for a week’s payment, all dated the same day. Only ONE had the required timesheet attached. Countersigned by Cymel Ashby and Tommy McClung. There are no dates on the three other requests to indicate what the specific days worked were. So just who is minding the store?