Earlier this week we found out SANDAG had worked hard to deliberately hide and possibly delete documents from public view as officials tried to contain its forecasting scandal. While certainly outrageous, that offense made up only a small part of the problems investigators revealed when they released their 176-page report on Monday. Andrew Keatts reports on how the other offenses outlined in the report cast suspicion of an entirely different scandal within the agency that investigators weren’t instructed to pursue, and also cast doubt about the honesty and competence of SANDAG’s top leaders.
We know what the separate scandal is. Just prior to 2016, SANDAG intentionally calculated the costs of all its expensive projects using out-of-date numbers. They knew the bad numbers would make the agency appear more attractive in the contest for federal grant money, the report says.
But “SANDAG structured the investigation so that it would not look into any of those questions,” Keatts reports.
The report also found that letters written by board Chairman Ron Roberts and Executive Director Gary Gallegos, which sought to reassure the public and the SANDAG board that everything was fine, were misleading and “somewhat dishonest.” Meanwhile, SANDAG staff have been mismanaged for years as key staff involved with forecasting have left and been replaced with people who have little or no forecasting experience, according to the report.
The report “reads like a consultant’s report recommending a top-to-bottom overhaul of a private company,” Keatts writes.
Ex-Supe Collins Loses Credential
Fired Poway Unified School District superintendent John Collins has had his teaching and administrative credentials revoked by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Ashly McGlone reports. Without that credential, Collins can’t teach or manage public schools. The commission’s website says only that the July 23 revocation was due to “misconduct.”