Monday, January 9, 2012

County Arrogance Cost Taxpayers Money

Congratulations to fire Captain Sell Caldwell for not laying down and let this county continue to get away with doing employees wrong. We hope he can get punitive damages out of this arrogant hierarchy.
"The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that a former DeKalb County fire captain should be reinstated to his job.

Sell Caldwell III was fired after a February 2010 fire in Dunwoody left 74-year-old Ann Bartlett dead.

In the Supreme Court ruling released Monday, justices said Caldwell was fired after authorities said he failed to locate the dispatch address and failed to take command of the scene.

Caldwell appealed to authorities in DeKalb County, where a hearing officer determined the fire department made factual errors in firing Caldwell.

A DeKalb County Superior Court Judge then ordered the county to give Caldwell his old job back. The Supreme Court said in its ruling Monday that Caldwell should be reinstated".
AJC story

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

DeKalb County makes the rash decisions in effort to divert liability and in the end it costs them triple. This was a sham from the beginning when the county concocted a plan to cover the real problems with the whole system. They hope employees will roll over and go away, congrats to this man for staying in the fight. The county is the one that puts a hearing in place to gather the facts and have third party review. Then when all t he facts are heard and it doesn't go their way they continue wasting taxpayers money grasping for a victory. This is the third victory in this case, how many outside parties does it take to hear the facts once they are not twisted the way the county wants them to be. Once again, congratulations and we need to stick together in these abuses that we all are subject to face when the politicians want to scapegoat!

Anonymous said...

Caldwell should've been gone. Long time a go. This aint the man you should be standing up for.

Anonymous said...

This is just another example of how the current administration waste money over their personal addenda to run over the employees.

The only thing they understand is if the money comes out of their own pockets not taxpayers money.

These taxpayers pay for more frivolous expenses.

We are becoming more and more just like Atlanta and you thought Bill Campbell was corrupt look at the current leader and airports deals.

Just a revolving door of paybacks for ones who gave money to get them elected.

Anonymous said...

Standing up for gross incompetence (and apparently a history of one) is not where you need to spend your waining equity. I guess the blue line turns red for lazy firemen...

Anonymous said...

WHAT were the factual errors made that resulted in the dismissal?? This was a complicated scenario, and this lame AJC article is nothing more than a headline.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't live in Dekalb, work in Dekalb, or give ONE RED CENT in tax revenue to those manipulative corrupt fools.

Anonymous said...

I agree. If you work, live, etc in a community then you condone it, same as voting.

Anonymous said...

It isn't only arrogance, but sheer stupidity. This parasite of a county will do whatever it takes to line the pockets of corrupt officials at the cost to the taxpayers.

The above is nothing new and will not change til the entire bunch is removed from office, either by vote or indictment.

Anonymous said...

Come on guys, get excited this new year about creating a new career and life for yourself and family in a suitable community. Leave that ridiculous hellhole while you are still sane, healthy, and viable as a human being.

Anonymous said...

If the media thinks this watershed scandal distraction is news, wait until the facts of the PD promotional testing manipulation is exposed shortly.

Anonymous said...

Dont make Caldwell your thing to crow about. He is a piece of trash that was going to be fired for other things then Houghton Court came up. This man is an incompetant fool at best.

DCFR said...

He didn't do his job, and it cost someone their life. Why is this hard to understand? The county made the correct decision to fire him because he was negligent and did not thoroughly investigate the call. Imagine if a cop responded to a 911 call for someone in distress, and is greeted by the perp at the door who says "Nothing wrong here! I didn't call!" and left the scene. Locating the address for each and every call is paramount, especially since numbering isn't always clear in some neighborhoods. His past history, although very shady, doesn't factor into the case at hand, but there is a trend of imcompetence that everyone with an vocal opinion on the case should take note of. He does not belong in any position of authority within any emergency service.

LoFlyer said...

FYI: AJC reports a grand jury is actually investigating some DeKalb government contracts with Water & Sewer, err "Watershed management". Link is: http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/grand-jury-to-investigate-1298556.html
The DA's office is doing more with the grand juries than I previously had perceived. The DeKalb DA has a web page dedicated to grand juries and makes for some mostly boring reading with tidbits of entertainment from DeKalb politcal leadership and some interesting findings. Link is:
http://dekalbda.org/index.aspx?NID=43
To the DA and ADA's. DeKalb government is failing, the employees watch in shame as DeKalb political leaders award unethical contracts under questionable circumstances. We watch the major bond issues money squandered on projects that provide no benefits to the citizens. We watch commissioners award their campaign managers with cushy consulting contracts for no measurable benefit to the citizens.
DeKalb government is a "target rich" environment for an ethical DA attempting to make DeKalb County a better place instead of a cess-pool of political cronyism and Atlanta style politics.
A few recommendations for grand jury investigation.
The Purchasing department, contracts and minority set-asides.
Commissioner Barnes/Sutton consulting contract with her campaign manager, who coincidentally is DA James campaign consultant. (that's a BIG non-starter!)
A certain church located on Snap finger Pkwy in S. DeKalb. The church was bought with greenspace bond funds approx. 2002 and been inhabited by some very questionable organizations all funded by the tax payers at virtually no cost to themselves.
The ambulance contract voided by CEO Burrel Ellis under extremely questionable circumstances and awarded to a company that Ellis's campaign manager just happened to consult with.
In case no one in the DA's office is catching on to the trend here.
Let me make myself perfectly clear.
DeKalb government is in bad shape and desperately needs help.
Grand juries can provide legal guidance and remedies to the corruption infesting DeKalb and sucking out dollars from your salary and benefit funding.
No doubt DA James would prefer to maintain the political status quo of political cronyism and contracts.
This is no longer acceptable to anyone who gives a damn about DeKalb citizens. Everyone has to play the political games inflicted upon the employees. That does not mean you have no influence. Rearrange or delete a few words and you can do wonders in seating grand-juries that will investigate the corruption in DeKalb government.
Is your duty to the DeKalb DA's campaign consultant or the well-being of DeKalb citizens?
Tough questions in tough times!
Best of luck mates! KenC

Anonymous said...

LoFlyer,

You always start off good and then you fall off the cliff.

"Minority set-asides," are you serious? Name one.

"Ethical DA?". Time will tell. His career is on the line.

If anything it's a few ruthless chosen ones that are looking out for each other and committing these corrupt actions. Black, White, Brown, Yellow, and on and on.

Just because DeKalb has a majority of black political leadership does not mean that we are better off or we are getting any benefits. I happen to be black, reside in this county and own a business that does government contracts. Please beleive me, I am more disappointed than you are.

Race has nothing to do with incompetence, ignorance and this unethical behavior we indure in DeKalb.

Anonymous said...

If indeed, the reason for the loss of life of the Precious Little Lady who called DeKalb 911 and gave a good addresse in DeKalb County and said she and her house were on fire, is that the addresse was not properly marked on a curb or mailbox, then : Why does our CEO, BOC, Director of Public Safety and Fire Chief and Fire Marshall continue to sit on their ASSES and not make PRIORITY NUMBER ONE = A Campaign to Mark Properly Each Addresse in DeKalb ?

I am beginning to think that of the entire mix mentioned above they have not a brain among them ?

In my conversations with both retired and current Fulton County and Atlanta Fire Chiefs none know of this occuring anywhere but
DeKalb Fire Department in the Metro Area. Ever !

If I were in charge, I would immediately bring the Powers To Be all together and give them one week to properly mark every Home & Business in DeKalb County or that Department Head or Chief or Marshall begin their new job in Sanitation !

But then I'm not in charge of anything and could someone please tell me who the Hell is giving Orders in Our Department of Public Safety ??? Burrell ???

Because someone is most clueless ?

Anonymous said...

Here is a good story about the DA's office. We all got an email about armed robbery perps that East and Tucker precincts have been looking for involving a green mazda 626. These shitbags committed 4 business armed robberies which were violent in nature. They have recently been taken into custody. Put Laquan Smith in OJS. He was found guilty of armed robbery and vgcsa in 2008 and given 8 years to serve two in custody. He had no business on the streets committing violent crime period!!!! Thanks for doing your part in keeping the community safe DA's office. Oh but your right, just another young black brother that needs another chance right?

Anonymous said...

Per LoFlyers comments:

His comment on 'minority set asides', I think is referring to the current LSBE program. This program does not make race a factor in giving out contracts. It does however, give contracting preferences to small businesses located in Dekalb and nearby counties.

The certification form does ask for race and gender of the business owners. This seems odd when the only factor they say will be considered is geography and business size.

Several years ago I used to be a contract manager for the county and found the LSBE program to be nothing more that an extension of the 'friends and family' program for the politicians, both the CEO and Commissioners. I had to deal with so many 'friends of the politicians' when trying to get projects completed that most of the projects ended up being huge wastes of time and money (as in MILLIONS of dollars....). In the end we usually had to pay a reputable contractor, most of the time a local one, to come in and fix the mess.

Several times I tried to back charge the original contractor for shoddy work, but the Purchasing & Contracting Dept. would always tell me to "pay them in full because they tried really hard to do a good job (even though they screwed it up!)". I would always laugh (cry) and tell P&C to sign off on the payment themselves because I was not going to and they always did. Kelvin Walton is such a crook and scumbag.....

The LSBE program itself is not a bad. The idea is to keeps tax dollars in the local economy, but the way it was run was such a disgrace. Just to be clear, I do not think the program is racially biased. It simply allows whoever is in charge of awarding contracts to cheat the system.

And once again it gets down to the issue of the terrible leadership of the county..... like a broken record it seems....

-JW

LoFlyer said...

Anon 11:48. I need a really good editor! Somehow I need to knock my posts down to 6 paragraphs.
Now lets discuss the minority set aside program for purchasing contracts with DeKalb government. Approximately 15-20 percent of the contracts let by the purchasing department are specifically set aside for minorities. I have seen the program abused by contractors primarily in two ways, financially with outrageous prices, and institutionally with companies gaming the system to gain access to the minority asides. A favorite ploy is for the owner of a ineligible company to name their wife as owner of the company to gain access to the set-asides. (why women who comprise 51 percent of the population are considered a minority is beyond me)
I agree one hundred percent about race, I have been blessed to work along side of fine, intelligent, hardworking employees of all races and allowed the chance to learn from them all.
As for corruption, there has always been a certain amount of corruption within DeKalb government. When I talk to the the old-timers they tell me what was happening 20-30 years ago, it was there but on a much smaller scale and generally kept quiet. The scale and arrogance of corruption of DeKalb officials nowadays is unacceptable.
You might think that its satisfactory but I don't.
Thanks for your input and I will make an effort to keep my posts short and to the point!
Best regards,
KenC

Anonymous said...

Calls are not located day in and day out and trust me it still happens daily. Think about all of the bogus calls we go on and never locate anyone or thing. Don't blame responders for loss of life blame the act that initially caused the situation. Weather you like the guy or not we cannot allow the county to play scapegoat when something goes wrong, it needs to be investigated and tried through the processes, not the court of the media. Scandals are rampant it is just who the investigators want to look into. As to marking addresses you are exactly right a push should have been made to properly mark every home and business in the county. The county ordinances already require it to be done but is never enforced. Yes, we have been on calls where the bad guy was there and no one realized it and yes we have released people whom have killed again. These sort of things happen, while be it tragic we must learn from them and try to prevent them from happening again. Remember back in the day when public safety stuck together and supported one another, I miss back then.

Anonymous said...

As it relates to marking addresses properly I have always been frustrated when I answer calls and cannot locate the address due to streets not being marked in apartments and buildings not marked etc. Always been a big problem. I recently heard from a previous PD officer that due to efforts of the County Marshalls Department the accuracy of the county address database is being cleaned up and property owners are being forced to comply with code as it relates to markings and street names being registered. We all know that some of these complexes name their streets whatever they want and not officially report this to zoning and have screwed up numbering systems. As they make their rounds to do their business (evictions, arrests or civil service, whatever) and they see that addresses are not in the database or in compliance with code due to not marked right, etc. they hold it up until the plaintiff fixes it. Majority of these involve evictions and it forces the property owner to comply if they want subject removed from complex or home. As with an arrest warrant they cannot do this obviously, but due to the fact that they are all over the county they have made a huge dent in fixing this issue to make it better for all of us. They even had an open meeting a few weeks ago with a group of apartment owners to discuss this problem. I applaude them and thank them for thinking of us all, citizens included. We should do the same and follow their lead to get this corrected whenever we see such code violations as properties not marked or streets not in the system properly. How hard is it to tell an apartment manager that their buildings or doors not being marked is not only a violation, but a liability for them and causes grief for the public safety community? If you see a mailbox or house without markings tell the owner the problems this causes us and them. Most will comply when informed if done properly. If all else fails call the zoning ordinance folks and see if they will ticket them for not being in compliance with code if they give you grief. Do not just ignore it and think someone else is going to tell the property owner. God bless and be safe out there my brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

This blog sucks now the blogmaster must have retired

Anonymous said...

LoFlyer,

Please get your facts straight. There are no "set-aside" contracts for minorities in DeKalb County.

The 20% set-aside if for the LSBE Program, local small business enterpises. It's based on revenues, not race or gender. More white contractors benefit from this program than minorities. The county is too scared to publish the numbers.

Anonymous said...

Retired and stopped caring.

Anonymous said...

He's probably seating around smoking weed....like you wish you could, punk.

Anonymous said...

Caldwell is not the guy you want to support and use as an example of a disfunctional system. He was and still is incompetent. The other never mentioned fact is before he was served with his disciplinary action/termination papers, he walked in to the Maloof building and RETIRED.