Investigation: TJPDC Mishandled $1M Federal Grant

Months after abruptly terminating temporary employees, an investigation into the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission has found that a lack of leadership and management led to the $500,000 error, Brian Wheeler reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. The TJPDC appointed a commission (consisting of Keith Smith, Willie Gentry, Ann Mallek, and Kathy Galvin) to determine what led to the math error that overstated the amount of money available for staff salaries by a half-million dollars, from a federal grant of just $1,000,000. Meeting seven times over the past two months, the commission released a report containing seven findings, although the public version of the report contains redactions that limit public understanding of those findings. Problems include the budgeting process, the reporting and communications process, the quality of work, relationships with partner jurisdictions, and the organizational climate. (Although the titles of two more findings have been redacted in the table of contents, they have been left in the body of the document: “subordinate personnel” and “upper level management.”) The commission made a series of recommendations for organizational improvements, though three of their six proposed changes are redacted in their entirety. Notably, the investigation found no malfeasance, only incompetence and disorganization.

8 Responses to “Investigation: TJPDC Mishandled $1M Federal Grant”

  • “Upper Level Management. XXXXXXX failed to appreciate the seriousness of the above issues and expressed resentment that an evaluation was being conducted of the management of this HUD-funded grant. XXXXXXX felt that the investigation was taking an accounting issue and “blowing it out of proportion,” despite the fact that $500,000 worth of staff time was somehow over budgeted.”
    Hey, its only a half-million. Just take it out of this persons pay.
    The little bit of information actually available in this report point to a culture of incompetency and unaccountability.

  • A minor 50% screw up. Hey, its only someone elses money.

  • Waldo, what is the basis for the redactions ? Isn’t this public information. Perhaps someone needs to FOIA the committee emails.
    I think the secrecy adds to the confusion of what transpired.

  • Spend 2 seconds looking at the redactions and you can figure everything out. A pronoun with only space for 2 letters…. “he.” Really. It is easy. I sorted it out in about 5 minutes.

  • How exactly does a commission investigating use of public funds on non-classified work have the gall to redact a public report? Exactly what do they have to hide?

  • Personnel matters are exempt from Virginia’s open meetings law and that’s one of the reasons the committee was able to meet in closed session. Other scenarios include when performance reviews are held for the city manager, the county executive, and other agency heads.

  • Why does this remind me of the County Clerk’s office where, after a bit of review, they thought it might be helpful to have someone (any-one) with bookkeeping experience on the staff?

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