Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Drakeford appointed special counsel in WBLS inquiry

Many unresolved questions about the WBLS payment may now be answered.

The Plainfield City Council moved one step closer to beginning its inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the expenditure of $20,000 from the Information Technology budget this past summer as payment to WBLS for services to the city, including advertising, promoting and broadcasting a community forum hosted by Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs at Washington Community School.

Council unanimously approved a resolution naming Jacqueline Drakeford, Esq. as special counsel to the Council in the matter. Ms. Drakeford, known to all as Jackie, has previously served as Corporation Counsel.

Both Dr. Harold Yood and former mayoral candidate Jim Pivnichny addressed their concerns to the Council both as to Ms. Drakeford's ability to be impartial and that if wrongdoing were found the Council would pursue the matter to the fullest.

Council President McWilliams assured them that the Council had questioned Drakeford exactly along those lines and felt quite comfortable that she would be fair and objective in discharging her duties.

I have written quite a deal on the matter of the WBLS payment, a story which I broke here on August 8 (see here, and links in the reference post at bottom), and believe taxpayers still deserve to have the answers to several questions
around the issuance of the infamous check --
  • was the acting CFO involved?
  • had the Mayor personally ordered the check drawn?
  • was there a 'sponsor' who had failed to come through?
  • if there was a 'sponsor', who was it?
  • why was the Council kept in the dark?
and also the matter of Mayor Robinson-Briggs believing the sponsor could 'reimburse' the City.

Perhaps the public will also learn whether the as-yet-unnamed 'sponsor' is Investors Savings Bank (as rumored), to which it is said the Mayor moved $29 million in city deposits on her own initiative.

Residents and taxpayers will surely not want to miss getting to the bottom of this matter.

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

So, if the bottom of this turns out what it isproposed to be, and the Mayor did not have proper authorization for the expenditures of these funds, are we only adding to taxpayer expense by paying ms. Drakeford what we already know?

Dan said...

10:20 -- It's like due process always has a cost.

The alternative is no one having due process. Should we go there?