Saturday, June 27, 2015

City of Greensboro Cites EzGreensboro As Official Source Of Information

I would have never thought in a million years that the City of Greensboro would cite this website as an official source of information but on Wednesday June 24, 2015 I watched the impossible unfold.

For months now George Hartzman has been embroiled in a bitter battle with John Hammer of the Rhino Times who in his newspaper publicly accused Mr Hartzman of attempting to get the City to change it's 457 Employee Retirement Savings Plan so that Mr Hartzman might profit when in-fact Mr Hartzman was showing the City how to cut out any and all middlemen including himself.

Time after time after time George encouraged friends and associates to contact the City with PIRT (Public Information) requests and demand to see his presentation online so that they might verify Mr Hartzman's claims for themselves and time after time they were told the City had no such information online. George would then forward their e-mails to me.

Enter team member Jackie Billeci, who started the ball rolling on the UNCG3 outcry, the downfall of UNCG Chancellor Linda Brady. Jackie O, as I've known her for the past 24 years, is as smart as they come and no stranger to PIRT requests having filled more than a few herself in her previous positions working in the UNC system.

On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 9:51 AM, Carter, Katherine <> wrote:

Dear Ms. Billeci,

Thank you for your public records request for a copy of Mr. Hartzman’s presentation.

I have attached a link to the document.  Please let me know if you have any problems viewing the file, and I can try sending it to you via an alternative method.


Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator

Communications and Marketing Department - 336-373-3282

City of Greensboro

PO Box 3136, Greensboro, NC 27402-3136

All seems normal but Jackie O. has spotted an anomaly:

Thank you, Ms. Carter,

I was able to open this as a .pdf and it seems to be a pretty clear read.

I am wondering why this doesn't show up on the website as a request with update per the email acknowledgement of the request on June 20 (copy appended).

Displaying image001.png

I don't see it as either an open or a closed request.

With warm regards,


What's that? There's no record of Jackie O's PIRT request on City servers? I checked for myself, it's not there. You can look for yourself if you wish. Ms Carter responds:

On Wednesday, June 24, 2015, Carter, Katherine <> wrote:
"Dear Ms. Billeci,

I’m glad you were able to read the information provided.

Pursuant to the City’s Public Records Policy, attached above, “If the information is readily available, it will be given to the requestor the same business day without being logged into the PIRT system.”  As you noted in your email below, your request was made on Saturday, June 20, 2015, and you received my response on Monday, June 22, 2015, the first business day following the submission of your request. Therefore, it was not added to the PIRT system, in accordance with our policy.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator" 

 Now wait a gall durned minute. North Carolina State Statute § 132-1 "Public records" defined clearly states:

"(a)        "Public record" or "public records" shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic data-processing records, artifacts, or other documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions. Agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall mean and include every public office, public officer or official (State or local, elected or appointed), institution, board, commission, bureau, council, department, authority or other unit of government of the State or of any county, unit, special district or other political subdivision of government.

(b)        The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are the property of the people. Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically provided by law. As used herein, "minimal cost" shall mean the actual cost of reproducing the public record or public information. (1935, c. 265, s. 1; 1975, c. 787, s. 1; 1995, c. 388, s. 1.)"

In other words, there is no time limit, short or long, on PIRT requests. All PIRT requests themselves are themselves public documents and were it not for this post here at there would be no public record of this PIRT request anywhere in the whole wide world of sports.

The City of Greensboro is missing hundreds of PIRT requests in the last year alone. To be honest, I've known about this problem for a very long time as the previous Public Records Administrator, Sarah Healy explained this policy to me many months ago and I just let it go knowing the numbers would grow and grow and grow... until the shit hits the fan like it is about to do. And the City of Greensboro has no means available of reconstructing many of the "lost" same day PIRTs. Was this by choice so that some PIRT requests could be kept hidden as was city policy before the PIRT system went online?

Hey, nobody listens to Billy's warnings anyway, might as well let them find out for themselves.

Jackie O continues:

"Good morning. 

Thank you for sharing the policy. I'm new to your system and appreciate your guidance. I'm kind of surprised that it was readily available as it hasn't been posted any where on the city website that I could find or else I would've have had to ask for it. Hope you can get it up soon

With kind regards,


Kind of unassuming, isn't she? Don't be fooled, this Jackie O. raised 3 kids in East Greensboro, she can kill you with a feather while leaving no trace. Ms Carter replies with a mind blowing reply:

"On Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 10:08 AM, Carter, Katherine <> wrote:
My pleasure, Ms. Billeci.  I was able to find the document via Google search.  I placed the link below.

Please let me know if you have any further requests.

Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator"

That's right, there you have the City of Greensboro pointing you to this very website as the source of public information concerning the $Millions upon $Millions of dollars invested in the City of Greensboro's 457 Employee Retirement Account. Jackie O. seeks to clarify:

"Wow, and thank you again, Ms. Carter.

I didn't know that the city cited blogs as creditable information resources. I guess I should pay  more attention to them.

Kind regards,

It is true that blogs will publish all sorts of factual information that traditional media outlets haven't the balls to print. Ms Carter covers her now very bare ass:
"Ms. Billeci,

Just to clarify, my email below does not address the validity of the blog referenced as a credible information resource.  I was simply pointing out where the document you requested could be found.  In my capacity as a City employee, I cannot speak to the credibility of this source, as it is not operated and maintained by the City. 

Should you have questions in this regard, you may wish to reach out to the blog’s administrator.   

Best wishes,

Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator"

Ms Carter's clarification still doesn't address the validity of the document in question. I assure you I never tampered with the document before posting it online but does Ms Carter and the City of Greensboro know that to be true? Beyond the shadow of a doubt? 

Ms Carter thought it ended there, Jackie O still has cards to play:

"Ms. Carter,

 Forgive me, now I am really confused. Please don't hesitate to communicate with me like a second grader. This is probably really obvious to you but I am afraid that this doesn't make sense to me.
I requested public information regarding materials from a presentation to the city because I couldn't find it on the city website. You sent me a document that looks legitimate. Then you referred me to a blog which you say may or may not be a credible source. Does that mean that the document that you sent me may or may not be the materials from Mr. Hartzman's presentation? What is the source of the document that you sent me?
With kind regards,

And Jackie O plays her trump card by forwarding the entire conversation to me. My reply to Ms Carter, Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan and most of the Greensboro City Council along with selected other individuals including Mr Hartzman's accuser, John Hammer of the Rhino Times.
"So let me get this straight. Jackie Billeci is asking for a copy of George Hartzman's Feb 24th presentation at the Greensboro City Council business meeting in which I attended and Rhino Times Editor John Hammer publicly accused Mr Hartzman, saying Mr Hartzman was trying to broker a deal for himself.
Ms Carter replies to Ms Billeci with a link to the following website as the place where Mr Hartzman's presentation can be found:
Full disclosure: I manage both of those sites.
Now what is really interesting is that the documents Ms Carter is presenting on behalf of the City of Greensboro are not on city owned servers. What happens if I chose to pull down my records? Oops!
Of course I'll never do that because there we have proof backed up by the City of Greensboro (Ms Carter said so) that John Hammer lied when he wrote that George Hartzman was pushing for changes in the City's retirement plans for his own benefit. (Kinda sucks, don't it John.) And the fact that no one on City Council ever stood up for Mr Hartzman against John Hammer/Roy Carroll tells us who butters your bread.
Or maybe the records were intentionally removed/left off of the City website to protect John Hammer or certain city employees who have an interest in the current policy provider? I know, I know, Billy sees conspiracy theories behind everything but if not conspiracies then you are the sloppiest workers in the world for me to find so much with so little effort.

Mr Barber, I know you weren't there but perhaps this will come in handy when you run against Nancy for mayor.
Ms Carter, sorry to introduce myself to you this way, it's not your fault, you're just a victim of circumstance-- the circumstance being a corrupt city council.
-Billy Jones, your friendly freelance, neighborhood Tyrannicide"

Don't believe the shit hit the fan? Read yesterday's post Hartzman's Retirement Plan Whistle; City of Greensboro Edition, located on the City's Server. It took the City of Greensboro less than 2 days after they realized they'd been trapped in a lie to post Mr Hartzman's plan from February on City Servers and prove John Hammer a liar.

But they've still got the problem of those hundreds of missing PIRT requests. Anyone know any good lawyers who might want to get involved in a class action law suit?

Again, this isn't Ms Carter's fault. The policies existed before she was hired and she doesn't have the authority to change City policies. She has bosses who do bad things. 99.9% of the employees of the City of Greensboro are good people who give an honest days work for an honest day's pay... Well, maybe the pay isn't that great for many but you know what I mean-- they're good people stuck in politics with no way out.