Friday, March 4, 2016

Union Out Of Square And Out Of Plumb

I just opened the following e-mail from the City of Greensboro. You can click on the image to enlarge it:

My reply:

"Ms Carter,
It is not my place to tell you how to do your job, nor do I wish to seem pushy or rude but if I were you I would impress upon City Staff, Supervisors, City Council and Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan the following information lest you be blamed for what could happen because of how this public information has been handled thus far. After all, they are notorious and have a long and storied history of throwing people under the bus.

I will explain.

In October 2015 Attorneys for Mr Eric Robert requested this same said information be provided for a lawsuit in which the City of Greensboro was Plaintiff. The City of Greensboro refused to provide this information to the court.

Because this information is public information under State and Federal Statutes I decided to open an investigation on behalf of, an independent, not for profit media outlet and government watchdog located here in Greensboro, North Carolina.

I first requested this information on December 30, 2015 as PIRT # 5359, titled, Union Out Of Square and documented my efforts to the public at the following web link on Thursday, January 28, 2016:  Should you click on the link you will note that others besides myself were also noted as having asked for information concerning the same subject.

I still have the City of Greensboro confirmation e-mail automatically generated when I submitted PIRT # 5359.

On Monday, February 8, 2016 you replied to PIRT # 5359 with the wrong information. I immediately replied to your e-mail and asked that you reopen PIRT #5359 and documented doing so here: You failed to reopen my PIRT as requested and ignored my e-mail altogether.

 On Tuesday, February 9, 2016 I e-mailed you, Ms Carter, Greensboro City Attorney Thomas Carruthers and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Barakat Vaughan documenting my e-mail publicly here:

All the while I patiently waited, and waited and waited, all the while, documenting and building a case against the City of Greensboro for deliberate and willful obstruction of public records requests.

Now Ms Carter, I realize that you are in-fact a low level employee of the City of Greensboro, doing what you are told to do, trying to keep your job, but please bear in mind that at some point, I'm not sure just when, Judges often look at just doing your job as aiding and abetting no matter what Tom Carruthers might tell you to the contrary. And please, I'm only telling you this for your own good and to document to the public that up until this point you have been stuck in the middle.

Then on Monday, February, 15, 2016 I submitted PIRT # 5489 Union Still Out Of Square. Using the autopost feature at I wrote just about the same time as I submitted the PIRT and set it to automatically post at 5:00 AM, Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

If you will compare PIRT 5489 to PIRT 5359 you will note that both public information requests are in-fact asking for the exact same information.

Saturday, February 27, 2016 I made note of the fact that no less than 4 of my readers had forwarded me your e-mails indicating that they too had requested the same information that I am requesting:

I still have in my possession every e-mail and every document and am just itching to give them to investigators from the SBI, FBI, a State or Federal grand jury or perhaps even the persons who will run against our Mayor and current City Council members come the next election.

So now, On March 4, 2016, going on 5 months after attorneys for Mr Robert first asked for this information and 3 months after I first asked for this information I get the following from the City of Greensboro-- a message I should have gotten 3 months ago if this is in-fact a problem:

"The request for all receipts payable and due for the South Elm Street Redevelopment Project requires the extensive use of information technology resources and extensive clerical assistance by personnel of the City of Greensboro.

Therefore, this request is going to require a substantial amount of time to process.

If there is anything you can do to narrow the scope of your request, it would be greatly appreciated."

Do you, Ms Carter, honestly believe, that considering the amount of time that has passed since October 2015 or even since December, 30, 2015 that anyone in their right mind will believe the City of Greensboro has in any way, shape or form even attempted to comply with the following North Carolina State Statute?

"§ 132-6.  Inspection and examination of records.
(a)        Every custodian of public records shall permit any record in the custodian's custody to be inspected and examined at reasonable times and under reasonable supervision by any person, and shall, as promptly as possible, furnish copies thereof upon payment of any fees as may be prescribed by law."

No? I didn't think so.

The City of Greensboro has already had no less than 5 months to get these records together-- 3 months since I first requested them, and now it very much looks as if you haven't even started. It looks as if the City of Greensboro is deliberately trying to hide something, perhaps hoping that I'll forget or just give up and go away.

Well I won't give up. Nor will I modify my request? It will take as long as it takes but the delays thus far do not fair well for the City of Greensboro in the eyes of the public. Nor should they. If City staff isn't hiding something then we are looking at some of the most inept employees a city could possibly hire. Imagine private sector employees putting something off for months and then using the excuse, well it's going to take a lot of time.

Heads would roll and rightfully so.

As a matter of fact I encourage my readers no matter where you might live to use the City of Greensboro's PIRT request system and ask for the following information then in a few days e-mail Ms Carter's reply to me at so I can keep a record of how many people are waiting for the same information. Ask for the following:

"All receipts, all receipts payable and all receipts due for the South Elm Street Redevelopment Project."

Here's the link:

Thank you Ms Carter, I hope you have a lovely week.