Sunday, December 07, 2008

One Wayne County Commissioner's Hiring Practice - Why Wait

Until someone has been charged with a felony and remove them from office?

Instead hire them with felony records at public expense.

Ware defends felony hires as filling need
Wayne County Commission Chairwoman Jewel Ware is speaking out and standing behind her controversial practice of giving former felons a second chance on the taxpayers' dime.
At least they come ready to work while in office right?
Ware has carte blanche on hiring staffers for the panel. Since becoming commission chairwoman in 2004, Ware has hired seven people who are convicted felons, records provided to The Detroit News show. None still work for the commission or her staff.

Most did not cause problems, but others were a thorn in Ware's side, including one staffer whose contract was not renewed after allegations arose of missing checks from the commissioner,.
An interesting list of those she hired is on the Detroit News' webpage - charges range from larceny - an important qualification to have before taking public office, to multiple appointments for violent offenders including those convicted of 2nd degree murder, assault with intent to murder and other similar charges.

Of course there is likely more to the story since the article reports that
Ware said Terrance Dortch and Kwasi Akwamu -- the central figures in the controversy, who also spent time in jail with her husband -- are being singled out for unfair treatment.
It goes on that these two are the center of an audit investigation -
Ware faces ,an auditor general probe of claims that Dortch and Akwamu were no-show employees who collected county salaries to work for her husband, Jesse Long-Bey, at his resort in Idlewild in northern Michigan. The investigation -- which will scrutinize payroll records of the commission's 72 staffers -- emerged after an anonymous letter was widely circulated that included the claims.

Ware denies wrongdoing, saying some workers pitched in at the resort, Morton's Motel, on their own time.

Apparently you don't need to be a felon to work in Wayne County (The County where Detroit is located), but it helps. Humorously enough, her platform page at the Wayne County website still says
The Commission also pledges to support Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on the city's new neighborhood re-development program.
It goes on to say:
Wayne County will build on its many stregnths (sic), including its oustanding transportation network, its tremendous diversity and its strong work ethic.

This looks good for Kwame, since he is now a convicted felon (with a strong work ethic), he can probably sign on to get a job with Ware and the County Commission once he's out.

Oh, we can also play name that party, because nowhere in the article does it mention that she is a Democrat, but you probably guessed that by now.

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