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December 21, 2007

Dinsmore Confirms Just How Good it is For Citizens That He's No Longer Port CEO

Mic Dinsmore made a public statement about the auditor's report of his rank corruption as Port CEO, in which he proves once again that Denial Is a River In Egypt and that he is still the same fraud we always knew he was. Yawn.

"I have no doubt that there is nothing of substance in anything that has been alluded to," Dinsmore said in an interview. "Let the process show what I just said to be true."

Dinsmore, who led the port during the period auditors examined, had no comment on the report's finding that he and port Aviation Director Mark Reis broke state law when they negotiated at a steakhouse with a TTI Construction principal a $125 million third-runway embankment contract, instead of putting the matter through the public process, as required.

On Friday, Port Commission President John Creighton seemed to broaden the inquiry Yoshitani described, saying the port had plans to "hire an outside investigator to look at direct cases of fraud and misappropriation."

"Outside investigator"? Oops, not looking too good for Dinsmore. But he's so practiced at avoiding responsibility, he'll probably start blaming Yoshitani and the commisioners (all except commisioner Pat Davis, his BFF) when he gets hauled into court for mismanaging public funds, fraud and other clever crimes.

I'm hoping that P.I. reporter Kristin Millares Young interviews Pat Davis for her opinion, especially since the big (cough) "severance package" he received with her help and then had to return, won't be available for paying his future attorneys' fees.

Update: The Seattle Times has another angle to the audit -- the evasive behavior of Port managers during the audit process.

Auditors said Port staff stonewalled them by delaying or blocking access to information, and in some cases altered records before turning them over. When auditors pointed out poor record-keeping and no-bid contracts that violated Port policies or state law, Port managers continued to defend their actions, Jones said.

"No organization was so purposely blind to their own deficiencies as I found the Port of Seattle to be," said Jones, who founded her consulting company in 2000.

One of the prime examples of the Port's attitude, according to the audit, was the refusal of 13 Port managers to sign statements sought by auditors. The statements were meant to confirm that information provided by the Port was accurate.

"The fact that so many people refused to cooperate is sort of a red flag," said Cotton, chairman of Cotton & Co., a Virginia-based auditing and accounting firm.

Yeah, sort of. The statements -- also referred to as "representations" -- are characterized by audit consultants Jones and Cotton as being commonplace in performance audits. But, instead of cooperating, the Port managers fled to the legal department where general counsel Craig Watson told them to refuse to sign on the basis that the statements were "overly broad and ambiguous." Somehow, I don't think the nasty habit of altering records and then refusing to attest to the veracity of those records presents much ambiguity for either auditors or citizens, but, hey, maybe that's just me.

This funny business with the records reminds me of how, when Dinsmore and Davis came under scrutiny for his "severance package", suddenly... outta the blue ... documents supporting their side of the story showed up in Dinsmore's files... documents no one else ever knew existed... documents I surmised had been written up that same week, not a year earlier as some of the printed dates suggested...

Who says the holidays make for a slow news week?

Posted by shoephone on December 21, 2007 at 10:37 PM in Policy, Washington Culture | Permalink


Merry Christmas Shoephone.
You have been tagged.


Posted by: Bustednuckles | Dec 24, 2007 10:15:19 AM

Negotiated at a steakhouse, eh? Was that to provide cover for the "what's my cut" reference if they were taped? *g*

happy holidays

Posted by: mary | Dec 26, 2007 6:41:39 PM

Hey Mary - Nice to see you!

Yeah, the details of all those deals, especially the no-bid contracts and monumental escalations in costs, are going to have to be deconstructed once the special investigator gets going.

Happy New Year to you.

Posted by: shoephone | Dec 27, 2007 11:45:35 PM

We knew this was happening all along, those of us who were following Port goings on. As usual, money talks... Alec Fisken, the commissioner most focused on restoring public trust and integrity at the Port -- ousted by Bill Bryant -- recruited and by Dinsmore & company with a campaign financed by the same. Another argument for publicly financed campaigns.

Posted by: Noemie Maxwell | Dec 29, 2007 12:20:17 PM

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