Thursday, April 14, 2011

Now This Could Get Interesting!

The county has had two years since Jones departed to make a start on cleaning up the damage done by Jones and themselves. Racial discrimination has been an on-going issue with DeKalb government. Three weeks ago, the county released the EEO-4 employee racial demographics after years of efforts to get them released. After crunching the numbers I asked for an interview with the HR director to fix the problem. Director Ransom has not answered my request in the last two weeks.

Over the last decade, the DeKalb CEO and BOC have ruled employees by vindictive intimidation, deceit, and refusal to even discuss the issues with county employees. Is it too much to ask the commissioners to sit down and ask the employees what the issues are and address them?

Most of the BOC support the poor, deprived Wisconsin union educators that make double what most merit system employees in DeKalb make. The CEO, BOC and political staff is well paid and benefited.

DeKalb employees’ want the playing field leveled.

Most employees understand that the county hiring and purchasing policy is afro-centric.
In three weeks unless I get an interview with a certain director, events are going to get a lot more complex and expensive in county politics.

In one week I will release a summary of the 2009 EEO-4 DeKalb employee demographic report.

Unless I receive an interview, on May 1 I will release the full report. The lawsuits will probably reach into the tens of millions for the thousands of employees wronged by the county. A class-action racial discrimination suit would probably net an easy hundred million for the lawyers and perhaps 10 million for the complainants. This is the last thing the county needs at this time.

Director Ransom, the CEO and the BOC. We can do this easy or we can do this hard. We are going to fix this problem one-way or other. The choice is yours.

Best of luck mates!

Ken Choate


Anonymous said...

Rock on!

Anonymous said...

Go for it Ken....maybe some of us who are already gone can get some retro out of this also...

Anonymous said...

Get em! You're in a good position to make a difference, as a former employee they really can't do anything to you. The reason the employees have been unable to stand up for themselves is as you have said intimidation, discrimination, etc. Good luck!

Anonymous said...


Was the report released to the public or just to you through an Open Records request? I would not mind looking over a copy of it if possible.

Good luck on the meeting with the HR Director. Assuming you do get a meeting they will simply lie, obfuscate the truth and trick you into thinking they are just as concerned about the "possibility" of illegal actions as you are. You will then leave the meeting happy and they will do nothing to follow up, ever. Then they will try to string you along until you get tired and give up (like I did, I quit DeKalb and moved on to a new job).

That is always what happened to me in my dealings with the BOC and CEO. They never once told me to my face or in writing that I was wrong or mistaken about any of the issues I brought to them. They could not be so bold as to lie about it when the problem was so clear cut and obvious to anyone who looked at the numbers. The illegality had to do with large sums of money ($100k plus) being paid to specific contractors for work not performed. It was very clear what was going on and they did nothing but "oooh and ahhh" and thank me for bring it to their attention.

Throw race and politics into the picture, like what you are talking about, and I really wish you luck.

I am sure you are familiar with the outcome of Bryant v. Jones in 2009 and the County's official response to it? Basically the County lost a high profile racial discrimination/hostile work environment lawsuit and the current CEO and Chief of Staff called it a "win" for the County simply because the money the County had to pay out was low. It seems that being found guilty was not a problem as long as the monetary penalty was small.

Which brings up my final point and bit of advice. At the upper levels in DeKalb Government the issue of 'race' (for both black and white) is almost always a red herring used to distract from the real issue by getting the masses of one racial group stirred up at the "terrible behavior" of the other. When in reality the only color that really matters to the corrupt politicians is $$$ GREEN. All other issues of color are simply a means to achieve this end. I know it sounds foolish and cliche, but 'follow the money' is really the best way to begin to sort things out.

I wish you good luck and would certainly like to read over the raw numbers in the report you have if possible.


Anonymous said...

I am mulling over allowing access to the summary immediately, I see little reason to delay publishing the summary if I am going to release them in a week anyway.
The DeKalb employee demographics have always been a touchy subject, in the late 80's the employee demographics were routinely released as proof of the county's continued racism against blacks. Those of us that actually studied the reports released quickly realized that blacks were overrepresented in every category except management. Then something odd happened. The employee demographic reports were no longer being released. Inquiries into the reports were deflected and knowledge of the reports kept secret.
Around 2002 the payroll system migrated to the Oracle data base and the information became even easier to obtain. If you knew the system, the reports could be generated in a matter of minutes. Around 2004-5 two IT directors, Amato and Robinson were fired after refusing Joe Stones illegal orders to not cooperate with J Tom Morgan in legal discovery proceedings. Last spring Joe Stone, Richard Stognar and Vernon Jones were all convicted in federal court of "creating a hostile work environment".
For the last decade and a half DeKalb officials have conspired to keep the employee demographics secret to avoid the obvious questions of why blacks were highly overrepresented in the county workforce and every other race, Asians, whites, Hispanics and every other race was underrepresented.

Hargh! The cat's out of the bag, mates!

Anonymous said...

Mr Choate, I know its premature, but can you recommend a great attorney for this possible suit. The last one that Dekalb officers used screwed us over.

Anonymous said...

Im on board lets get the show started and the media involved.

Anonymous said...

I think it is safe to say if you have been on a promotional list the last few times you will be in the class action suit due to OBVIOUS county manipulation.

Anonymous said...

Ken Choat,
This is exactly why you and only you should run for the retiree position on the pension board. PLEASE run for the pension board retiree rep position.

Anonymous said...

Charles McAleer is an honest hard charger with an excellent win record regarding such issues.

Anonymous said...

The EEO-4 documents were obtained via a FOIA request. Anyone wishing the EEO-4 report can contact me at and I will return a copy in PDF(Adobe) format. Your emails will be held in strict confidentiality and your emails and addresses deleted unless otherwise directed.
I am going to stick with my word on this one. Next Wednesday I will release the summary. As far as the the full report is concerned, I only stated I would not publish until May 1 unless I receive an interview. Personal copies sent to any employees wishing the information is my perogitive and not covered by my statement. What y'all do with the information is your own business. We are all adults here and I expect y'all to make the best use of the information to benefit the county. The objective is not to provide cash for the lawyers, but to right the wrongs that has been obvious for over a decade.
JW, You are dead-on target. Follow the money. As for the obstruction, deflections, lies and deceit to be expected from county officials, they don't know any other way of dealing with the issues. Unfortunately I don't frack around. I would gladly work with county officials to quietly change policy and avoid the cost of lawsuits to fix the problem.
If Director Ransom cared to discuss the issue she has had two weeks to answer. I don't think any DeKalb official has the slightest desire to actually discuss the decade of employee mistreatment with an ex-employee who knows what is going on, much less do a damn thing about fixing it.
Best of luck guys!

Anonymous said...

Stand by for an e-mail.... I want some retro out of this as well. Those of us who worked there and held the line against these worms were all cheated out of our careers and they need to pay for not following thier own rules.


Anonymous said...

I also have the 2005 EEO-4 reports, I looked at the numbers and they appear similar to the 2009 EEO-4 reports so I didn't bother with working the 2005 report.
When I got home yesterday, I found a message from HR requesting an interview next Wednesday. I did not expect the blog to make my comment an entire thread and undoubtedly the interview was provoked by the blogs publishing my comment.
So If I was to get an interview with the HR director what do y'all think we should discuss besides the EEO-4 numbers, the ramifications and solutions to the disparity.
Here is my wish list to discuss with the director. I am sure many of y'all have your own ideas on the subject. I would like to hear them.

(1) Attention by HR to the employee demographics to balance the current ratio of employee racial demographics to county citizen demographics.
A salary study that would provide incentive for all races to apply for DeKalb government employment.

(2) Employment policy and contracts to be consistent for all employees. No special transportation allowances, contracts, or promotions to political staff.

(3) On-call staff to receive compensation for time and personal vehicles usage when performing on-call tasks.

(4) Rescinding the collage requirements for advancement in professional promotions. Currently requirements are listed as collage degree or time and experience. HR enforces the collage requirement and ignores the time and experience requirement. I have personally interviewed blithering idiots with collage degrees and no knowledge of the job requirements. Chief O'Brien was sidelined for nearly a year when he was desperately needed by DKPD as he completed the collage requirements for his position. He had the experience and knowledge to do the job.

(5) Professional job certifications to be allowed instead of collage degrees for technical/professional positions. Testing for current employee certification to be paid by the county.

(6) A standing committee to foster better communication between employees and the BOC. The committee should be as a small as possible to develop a consensus. 2-3 employees and 1 or 2 commissioners seem about right. The employees should be selected by a sealed vote by the employees. The Committee would schedule tours and discussions between the CEO, the commissioners, the departments and ALL employees. Ground rules for discussions is that no retaliation against employees is allowed for their thoughts and opinions expressed at the meetings.

Thanks mates! Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

great plan, threaten to release unless they give you an interview,
If it is that big go ahead and release it.
Trying to extort them into having a meeitn makes great sense. I am sure they are shivering in their boots

Anonymous said...

Listen, I am all for equal rights to everyone, however I would hate to see a divide amoung black and white officers at DeKalb and lets face it the disparity has not always been more blacks than whites. Is the issue race now for DeKalb or strictly mamgement issues? When there was more whites than blacks I didnt hear any complaining from the white side. Let's just make sure we all see blue as we walk the streets and if there is a black and white dispartiy then sure lets fix it but keep our eyes on the larger picture.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:32. Extortion? Extortion is two DeKalb employees shaking down a parolee for 25 grand to remain out of jail.
There is no financial gain for me in this affair. Lawyers stand to make millions out of this, all I want out of this is a fair and square deal for ALL the employees.
No one is shaking in their boots but I understand that HR management was rather surprised with the EEO-4 numbers and the new HR management team is willing to honestly deal with the issue.
I will have more to report on this subject by next Thursday.

Anonymous said...

I see that you are going for the big picture Ken. Keep up the great work and comments on this blog...from another real Dekalb police for the pension board. We need you. The Chigago White Sox are in another league, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

so what happened?