By Donna Westfall – (Credit to CBS News..com/news/60-minutes-most-famous-whistleblower/, Cassi Feldman, February 4, 2016)
October 16, 2016 – Remember Deep Throat? No, not the movie. Remember that guy that helped Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein expose the Watergate scandal that toppled the Nixon presidency. Mark Felt (William Mark Felt, Sr.) who was the FBI secret informant who’s identity was not disclosed until 2005. Deep Throat is the pseudonym given to him. He died in 2008.
Then there’s Jeffrey Wigand, former director of research for cigarette producer, Brown and Williamson. He had a confidentiality agreement with his employer. In 1995, he was interviewed by Mike Wallace and declared that shocking statement, “We’re a nicotine delivery business.” CBS was fearful of lawsuits over his confidentiality agreement with his employer and ordered 60 Minutes not to air the program. A year later, on Jan. 26, 1996, The Wall Street Journal published a front-page story on Wigand. The CBS Evening News aired part of the Wigand interview that night, and 60 Minutes finally aired its full two-part interview with Wigand on February 4, 1996.
The people who run CBS now do not try to influence the stories on 60 Minutes. “There’s still plenty to learn from what happened 20 years ago,” says Jeff Fager, Executive Producer of 60 Minutes. “Taking on powerful institutions is the hardest part of journalism, and often the most important. Reporting stories that someone doesn’t want covered is what journalism is all about.”
Try telling that to the Del Norte Triplicate. Maybe if the Triplicate wasn’t so biased and bad at their job of reporting and investigating the news, this information would have been stuck under their doormat instead of mine.
For eight years I have been warning and admonishing the City Council of Crescent City with allegations of fraud and corruption concerning the wastewater treatment plant upgrade/expansion, the State Revolving Fund loan and the sewer rates. Four of those years was as a sitting member of the council and routinely the vote on expenditures of public funds was 4 to 1. I was the minority. They didn’t listen. When the four voted to approve spending $30,000 on designer error, I questioned WHY and voted NO. Because guess who gets to pay for that designer error? You do, if you pay a sewer bill.
Every time there was a 4-1 vote, that meant that things like double billing, paying for something we didn’t get, or paying for something that was different than what was supposed to be provided was approved by the four council members and paid out under the state revolving fund loan (SRF) . The ratepayers are on the hook to repay that humongous loan, even though they are only supposed to pay for operations and maintenance per Prop 218 of the California Constitution. Developers are supposed to pay for expansion. That’s the law. If you’re a city voter, read the pro’s and con’s to Measure Q. If you have questions, send them to us in the comments section.
Most of the suspected fraud and corruption was based on bits and pieces of solid evidence with gaps that were difficult to fully connect. Over the years, more and more evidence surfaced until most of the gaps were filled, showing a road map of the corruption that my former fellow council members chose to ignore or to hide. The last few years, people have contacted me with even more specific detailed information. If up to $15 million of that $44 million SRF loan was used to line pockets illegally, I think we have a right to know and I think we have the power to pursue those responsible.
Here we’ll reveal the beginning contents of one of the documents. We have blacked out names so that none of the whistle blowers will be discharged, dismissed, harmed, harassed, intimidated or retaliated against since that is the tradition that plagues this area.
We will suggest that our local Grand Jury start a serious investigation now that Judge Darren McElfresh is oversight for the Grand Jury. We believe that Judge William Follett stopped thorough investigations into the past complaints submitted to the Grand Jury.