The governor signed the bill - and sent back a rare note to the Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review.
Governor Schwarzenegger told them in no uncertain terms to "do more".
He's absolutely, unequivocally right. Good for Governor Schwarzenegger!!!
As the bill stands now, it requires those not on the take forced to certify they are not, and to the very ones who are. With nowhere safe to go to report the scam for design professionals or industry personnel.
The California State Auditor is the only safe place to go to in the state, we proved over the past 13 year-effort. What a beautiful, continuing scam of the taxpayer!
California was given a golden opportunity to stop this massive scam with one penstroke. They didn't do it.
The State Legislature needs to stop those in government and on School Boards and in facilities including the Directors on down taking kickbacks and/or forcing sole-sourced "Cradle to Grave" overpriced contracts - and get those taking kickbacks appropriately charged and exposed.
And the state needs to stop those not licensed to practice architecture and engineering from doing so - making these kind of "purchasing" decisions.
California also needs to protect whistleblowers and stop playing "it's not our duty to protect those who are acting as per the Qui Tam Laws" -in the place of the King, doing in professionals' cases their duties - while using the information - like here - to act like they are doing something when they are acting in a way that effectuates nothing.
You can do a lot better, Legislature, if you wanted and want to.
Also: There are enough retired architects with real detailing experience.....and engineers of the same higher caliber (trained elsewhere) ..... to fill these boards and positions, not trained musicians or housewives running Facilites, Contracts and Purchasing (as was true in my case at UCSF).
And one other thing - Don't believe me about who is involved with the kickbacks - the Key Decision Makers (who shouldn't be making such decisions in the first place)? Try hearing for years from involved Facilities Managers in Education and a former School Board President gloating and laughing over everyone getting payola, or reports of $20,000 boats, leased Mercedes, and $10,000 in cash and coupons to school board members and officials - IN CALIFORNIA. And hearing it from those who gave or got the kickbacks.
So for the disbelievers - look at the Sept. 6th roundup of officals on the take in New Jersey in this scam - and weep.... These are ABC and AP reports, and CNN actually carried the story as well as WABC TV in New York City. Members of one party in New Jersey told those running a roofing contracting sting who to go to next across the state to pay off and get more roofing contracts...that's right, they all knew who else could be paid off.......they caught 2 Mayors, 5 City Councilmembers, and 4 School Board Members, one a President of his School Board, and more: Hmmmm.......
NEW YORK CITY & NEW JERSEY MEDIA REPORTS - Eleven Public Officials caught taking bribes for roofing contracts in Public Works Contracts - See: http://www.nysun.com/national/legislators-mayors-arrested-in-new-jersey-bribery/62077/ http://blog.nj.com/ledgerupdates/2007/09/11_nj_officials_arrested_on_br.html http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=nj&id=5640158 http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2007/10/steele_in_court_today_on_corru.html http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2007/11/former_pleasantville_school_bo.html
From the New York Sun: Legislators, Mayors Arrested in New Jersey Bribery Sting By TOM HESTER Jr., Associated Press September 6, 2007 TRENTON - FBI agents arrested 11 public officials in towns across New Jersey today on charges of taking bribes in exchange for influencing the awarding of public contracts, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Two of those arrested are state lawmakers, two are mayors, three are city councilmen, and several served on the school board in Pleasantville, where the scandal began. All 11, plus a private individual, are accused of taking cash payments of $1,500 to $17,500 to influence who received public contracts, according to criminal complaints. "Today we witnessed another example of the disease that affects the state of New Jersey; the disease of public corruption that spread like wildfire from south to north," the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christopher Christie, said."
From ABClocal.go.com: "Among those arrested this morning: The three-term mayor of Orange, New Jersey and State Assemblyman Mims Hackett, Jr. The mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, Samuel Rivera. Assemblyman Alfred E. Steele of Patterson, who is also a Passaic County under-sheriff and a Baptist minister. Keith Reid the Chief of Staff to the Newark City Council president. As well as, a current and former city councilman from Passaic. The 18 month investigation was a government sting operation. This allegations include bribery. These officials all allegedly, accepted the corrupt payments from companies that offered insurance brokerage or roofing services to school districts and municipalities, according to the criminal complaint. The defendants alleged demanded and accepted payments ranging from $1,500 to $17,500, at any one time. "
From NJ. com: "Former Pleasantville school board member admits accepting bribes Published: Thursday, November 01, 2007, 2:01 PM Updated: Thursday, November 01, 2007, 2:08 PM The Associated Press A former Pleasantville school board member today pleaded guilty to attempted extortion after being arrested in September as part of a federal investigation involving nearly a dozen public officials in North and South Jersey. Maurice "Pete" Callaway, 53, admitted in federal court in Camden to accepting $13,000 in bribes to help a cooperating roofing business and an undercover insurance brokerage company get public contracts. He faces between three years and nearly four years in prison when he's sentenced in February. Pleasantville's former school board president pleaded guilty to the same charge last month."
And from NJ.com: "11 NJ officials arrested on bribery charges Published: Thursday, September 06, 2007, 8:20 PM Updated: Thursday, September 06, 2007, 9:28 PM Jeff S. Whelan Tony Kurdzuk/The Star-Ledger With a tear in his eye and surrounded by reporters, Passaic Mayor Samuel Rivera leaves the federal courthouse in Trenton after his first appearance on bribery charges this afternoon. FBI agents this morning rounded up 11 New Jersey public officials on bribery charges related to roofing and insurance contracts following an 18-month operation that swept the state from south to north, authorities said. The investigation probed nearly every layer of government, beginning with the Pleasantville school board in Atlantic County, and gradually widening to include state assemblymen, mayors and current and former councilmen from Passaic and Essex counties, according U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie.
"I thought I could no longer be surprised by a combination of brazenness, arrogance and stupidity, but the people elected in this state continue to defy description," Christie said at a late-afternoon news conference, warning other politicians: "We will continue to gather you in corrupt bunches and send you to jail.""
Wonder what the now Governor Christie would say about this situation here!