Here’s an update on the DART jewelry scandal discussed here on Back Talk awhile back, as the Morning News reports that DART’s internal review has concluded and no DART employees will lose their jobs even though the mismanagement in this fiasco is breathtaking.
According to the DMN story, the problems — which involve a DART employee group that allowed employees to purchase jewelry from a vendor through payroll withholding — go well beyond simple mistakes. Instead, the review found that money wasn’t withheld from paychecks, and it appears that hundreds of tickets sold by the committee to pay for a party were never paid for/invoiced.
The review is careful to state there’s no evidence any employee stole money or improperly benefited from the mess, but it points out that some of the people in charge of the program lacked simple bookkeeping and financial skills. Even worse: the committee owes the jewelry vendor $60,000, and DART is reportedly "negotiating" with the vendor to pay off the amount. Any bets on where that money is going to come from?
Bottom line: A mess this big can’t go completely unpunished, and if no one at DART wants to fall on their sword to take the blame for mismanaging tax money, someone needs to be pushed. Given DART’s billion-dollar-budget screw-up earlier this year, whoever is pushed needs to be pretty far up the food chain, too.