Pencil-Whipped: Inspector who falsified hog lagoon tests found guilty

cafonightmare.jpg

The ethical quagmire in this story stinks worse than the hog lagoons themselves:

After a State Bureau of Investigation probe, Houston pleaded guilty to 28 counts of falsifying records, a Class 2 misdemeanor. Yesterday Superior Court Judge Henry L. Stevens, IV, sentenced Houston to two consecutive sentences of 30 days in jail, which were suspended. Houston is on supervised probation for 12 months, must pay a $500 fine plus court costs, and complete 50 hours of community service.

The judge also prohibited Houston from sampling lagoons or doing bookkeeping in the swine industry other than for his family farm.

First of all...could you not find somebody else for the job who wasn't also a hog farmer? Forget about his side-job for a moment; the dude was regulating his competition. As to that "side-job," he wasn't moonlighting, he was daylighting. Charging people for his work, while also drawing a salary from taxpayers. About that headline ^ above: when I was in the military, we had to document *everything*. Equipment inspections, weapons usage, disciplinary actions, you name it. "Pencil-whipping" is when somebody fails to (or forgets to) do something, but signs off that it was done to cover their ass. Sad story continues:

Friday News: Obstructionists

bergermoore.jpg

GOP LEADERS REFUSE TO ACT ON COOPER NOMINEES FOR NCUC: The North Carolina Utilities Commission, which sets electricity and other utility rates, barely has enough members to function. The commission has seven seats, but only four of them are filled. That's the minimum for the quorum the group needs to do anything official. In May, Gov. Roy Cooper nominated three people to fill the empty seats, but the General Assembly hasn't confirmed or rejected them. It's not clear why. The Governor's Office said all three are non-controversial, that they've met with legislators and answered questions and that no one has questioned their qualifications or ability to serve fairly. "There is no reason to delay highly qualified people from sitting on the Utilities Commission that regulates the safety and affordability of water and electricity for all North Carolinians," Cooper's office said in a news release.
https://www.wral.com/five-months-and-counting-for-appointments-to-key-state-commission/18704613/

The International Pricing Index Has Some Flaws

The International Pricing Index (IPI) piece included in Speaker Pelosi's Lower Drug Costs Now Act may seem like the perfect solution to bringing down the price of expensive prescription drugs, but there are some real problems with this model. IPI can potentially hurt the most vulnerable and sick patients when they're at their worst, and take away their ability to get access to treatments. The model would base the price the US pays for prescription drugs off of what six other countries pay.

Major charter school organization leaves 17 NC schools in the lurch

Oregon sugar daddy has apparently turned sour:

An organization that helped set up charter schools in North Carolina and Arizona has lost several of its leaders and cut back on its work, leading two N.C. schools to drop the organization’s services. Now, those schools — which represent about 11,000 students — are wondering what to do next.

The turnover at TeamCFA has created uncertainty around the Charlotte-based nonprofit that provides financial, instructional and management support to 17 charter schools in North Carolina and four schools in Arizona.

I first came a cross John Bryan's name a few years ago during a routine exploration of high-dollar campaign contributions to Republican politicians here in NC, and soon stumbled across the reasons why he had contributed so much. But like many billionaires do, he has apparently lost interest in the cause:

Thursday News: Anti-immigrant extremism

racistwhitewoman.jpg

CHARLOTTE GAS STATION REFUSES TO SERVE GREEN CARD HOLDERS: Emilio Zepeda Cordova and Walter Montano Lopez — who are Salvadoran but living in the country legally — are suing Sam’s Mart LLC after they said a Charlotte-area clerk refused to serve them until they provided “proof of legal citizenship.” In response, Zepeda Cordova and Montano Lopez said they handed her a Central American passport, a North Carolina license, a green card and a Social Security card. “The Sam’s Mart employees working refused to serve plaintiffs and stated, ‘this is not legal,’” according to the complaint. “When plaintiffs persisted, the Sam’s Mart cashier repeatedly yelled, ‘I want to see United States ID’ and then instructed plaintiffs to leave.” A representative for Sam’s Mart did not immediately respond to McClatchy news group’s request for comment Wednesday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/article236322963.html

Constitutional disregard: Trump's emoluments lawsuits move forward

trumpglare.jpg

When you have absolutely no ethical boundaries:

Trump opened the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House, shortly before he was elected in November 2016. Unlike past presidents, he has retained ownership of numerous business interests, including the hotel, while serving as president.

Since his election, the hotel has become a favored lodging and event space for some foreign and state officials visiting the U.S. capital. The lawsuit alleges that, in failing to disengage from the hotel, Trump has made himself vulnerable to inducements by foreign governments seeking to curry favor, violating the Constitution.

Even the lowliest bureaucrat in the Federal government ranks has to be wary of receiving gifts from individuals, lest they be raked over the coals for an ethical misstep. But Trump? He won't give you the time of day unless there's something in it for him. We all remember his declarations in 2016/2017 that he would sever himself from the family businesses, but he's done the exact opposite. Like doubling the annual membership fee at Mar-A-Lago to over $200,000 right after he was elected, then turning it into a shadow Camp David. But the particular case we're looking at today deals with Trump's DC hotel, and a look at the initial subpoenas is an eye-opener:

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed