Monday, September 01, 2008

Citizen Scratches TREO

Tucson, Arizona. Tucson Citizen reporter Carli Brosseau has an article today discussing TREO's theft of funding allotted to the Microbusiness Advancement Center, small potatoes compared to TREO's slaughter and destruction of the non-profit Southern Arizona Institute of Advanced Training (SAIAT), a theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars in both city and county agency funding. The first comment at the online version of the story provides a link to Something Else, the full story of SAIAT's destruction at the hands of TREO CEO Joe Snell. Snell signed a contract with SAIAT board members (no disclosure to SAIAT). By "sheer coincidence" the next month Solutus tried to fire the SAIAT director and take his place.

The press knows all about SAIAT's demise, but the Cloth effectively muddied the red water by having Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC) indoctrinated former state representative Carol Somers (my successor) steer the bullets in my direction with remarks critical of the chairs on the deck after the torpedoes struck the hull. Chapters 10-14 of Something Else capture the bloody mess. The whole fiasco is receding from my consciousness as we speak, my departure from Tucson now within months, but it is nice to see the awareness slowly spread. Today's piece calling on TREO to explain its usurpation of funding allotted to another agency, yet keeping the money for itself and not returning it, says enough. They're thieves.

To the City Council, I would argue that the contract should specify that TREO return to the city all funding it chooses to withhold from other agencies. We wouldn't want to create the impression that the city is condoning fraud. TREO is dishonest and dishonorable, even bragging about the money they stole as representative of "improved financial performance" in their annual report. Yes, it is as disgusting as it looks and sounds. All involved have cause for shame. One can honestly adjust funding. This was stealing, lying about stealing, and malice.

SAIAT Letter to TREO: Please leave our funding unchanged
Snell Lying to the County that SAIAT approved TREO's taking its funding
Undisclosed TREO/Solutus Contract asking SAIAT Board Members to compete with SAIAT
The same board members, the next month, try to fire the SAIAT Director.
SAIAT Attorney noting Unlawful Conflict of Interest

You know what a hosser is? That's a pig that don't fly straight.
Tony Montoya, Scarface

17 Comments:

Blogger Robish said...

I actually agree with Snell here, but for reasons that underscore what a thief he is--the city SHOULD specify which agencies get how much of TREO's money. Don't leave it up to Joe to decide if those organizations' missions fulfill TREO's Blueprint or not. It's laughable for him to suggest that MAC doesn't support TREO's mission--after all, all they do is promote entrepreneurship, help create locally-based businesses, and retention. TREO was supposed to be the one-stop for all those things, in addition to recruitment, but not JUST recruitment. That was the excuse for bagging GTEC, remember?

"We're not City Hall East", he huffs and puffs.

9/01/2008 11:30 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/01/2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

It's really too bad that the SAIAT story remains unknown to most of the citizens. I suspect that Steve Leal and perhaps some of the other council members have heard of it by now and looked at "Something Else," but it is too little too late.

It takes some public outrage to take care of the TREOs and the Snells and that outrage is just simply impossible when the public has zero visibility into what is going on with these organizations.

Carol Somers turned out to be a real douche bag.

9/01/2008 12:12 PM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

When I saw this headline I actually yelped out loud and did that fist/elbow pump gesture, "X4MR ROCKS!!"

I know that other factors made the headline possible, but wow, I never expected to see this. I think "scratch" might be a bit of an understatement since doubt has now been permanently cast on TREO's ethics, and using your words, "make no mistake" that its ethics are now suspect. The newspaper headlines always lag reality, sometimes by years, but in this case hard to say except that now it is sealed. TREO took money previously meant for others AND KEPT IT.

Then as you noted, the "hosser" had the arrogance to claim the retained funds were the result of HIS financial performance.

Does that not eradicate all doubt that this guy is certified ass?

By the way, your certified anus story has got to be one of the most hilarious pieces of work I have ever read in any paper or on any blog. That was gifted.

9/01/2008 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to Debbie Chandler for standing up for her organization, Microbusiness Advancement Center.

Also give Regina Romero and Steve Leal some credit for shining an official light on things.

9/01/2008 12:21 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

The online paper features the article front and center, but in the hard copy (at least mine), it is buried inside. What I consider ironic is the headline in the left column of the front page, which reads:

Survey: Job security a big issue; training help sought.

Snell is a piece of shit.

scratch: 1. to break, mar, or mark the surface of by rubbing, scraping, or tearing with something sharp or rough.

I don't go as far back as Sirocco or Liza, but I do go back to the original publication of Something Else last summer. So it took from 7/7/7 to 9/1/8 for x4mr's story to lead to a story in the paper about TREO's taking another agency's money. I agree with Cigar Man that by the time it makes the paper the news is already all over the place.

That's just a little over one year, and of course anon is right about the others who deserve credit for forwarding the progress and helping uncover the truth. I still think x4mr paved the hard path with his own blood, many stories, links to documents, the blog, and so on, that made the going a lot easier for those that followed. I imagine that was part of his intent.

Liza correctly observes that it is too little too late for SAIAT, but TREO's days of stealing from other agencies are probably over, and I think the damage to its reputation is far worse than today's article leads the uninformed to believe.

Cigar Man is spot on about the Certified Anus piece. When he's in the right mood, x4mr is one of the funniest writers I've ever read. Remember Junkies on Junk?

9/01/2008 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's no question that x4mr deserves the credit for keeping this story alive, so that others could stir the right pots.

Snell just might leave town before the scrutiny becomes significant enough to screw up his next job prospects in another city.

TREO is not the only cloth-heavy organization to be finally vulnerable to scrutiny. "The Bureau" has had its own citizen watchdogs, and some of the newer council members have become aware of how much city money has gone to them, no questions asked. Now they are asking questions, and looking to take a little off their generous allocation and give it to chronically underfunded agencies that would truly be able to do some public good.

9/01/2008 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that no one has commented that X4MR announces he will be leaving this dogforsaken burg in a matter of months. It's very likely that some kind of exodus is what is really about to occur, rather than any kind of transformation. Tucson chews up quality and spits it out like gristle. There have been many, many excellent people who have called it quits here and moved on to far better opportunities. People like Donovan Durband should take their prodigious talents and knowledge and go to a real city.

9/01/2008 8:14 PM  
Blogger Robish said...

Maybe we're all in denial, and don't want to recognize that x4mr will be leaving.

What a loss. Tucson desperately needs this blog to continue. It's had an impact, at least to thwart evildoers temporarily. A Cloth takeover of TUSD, for example. TREO being exposed, for another. It's probably deterred some actions we'll never hear about.

If the blog can continue to chalk up some small victories, continue to enlighten, bring in new readers, and stimulate others to take action, it can create some momentum.

This blog has talked a lot about the tipping point; I don't think you can truly know you've reached a tipping point until later, but I think we have to assume we haven't reached it but are moving in the right direction.

There's been a modest acceleration in the daily newspapers, in terms of their investigations of government and cloth wrong-doing. I think they are paying attention to this blog.

I nominate Navigator to take it over, if x4mr doesn't already have a succession plan in place.

9/01/2008 8:50 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Robish flatters me. I enjoy adding a comment here and there, but I couldn't begin to produce the kind of content that gets posted in the "original stories."

X4mr can obviously speak for himself, but I remember reading that he was in a PhD program and won't finish until next spring, so it is around nine or ten months, not real soon.

Awhile ago some of x4mr's students actually commented about the difference SAIAT and his teaching had made in their work lives, doubling or even tripling their wages. It was pretty amazing. It defies comprehension that TREO just unilaterally destroyed the whole place for the sole purpose of stealing money.

Oh, that's right. Snell is total scum.

9/01/2008 10:32 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Nav is accurate about the PhD program and that I will not be leaving until that is complete. If all goes according to plan, I will finish in the spring and find a position, which will almost certainly be outside of Tucson.

I simply do what most graduates from the university do: find work somewhere else.

9/02/2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger Cigar Man said...

x4mr is being modest. I know for a fact that he is an XYZ Fellow (I don't specify the XYZ out of respect for his privacy, but I know). It's a big deal.

Only those PhD students who have completed all coursework, written exams, oral exams, everything but the dissertation may apply, and people from all over the country apply. The applicant pool is a very elite group, only a few hundred at most.

From those 200-300 that applied, only NINE were chosen as Fellows. That's nine in the entire country. x4mr is one of the nine and obviously the only one from Arizona.

As I told x4mr years ago, talent, ability, contribution, results, merit, value, etc., have nothing to do with it. They tossed x4mr, Durband, Augie, and many others purely out of selfish greed and malice at great loss to the community.

With x4mr, I don't think they quite realized what they were doing. I don't understand and can't say why, but I am convinced x4mr was not being arrogant or talking about what he himself would do when he wrote, "They have drawn from an account that does not forget."

That account refers to "something else" and not anything published.

9/02/2008 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one thing I can not figure out is why there was never anything in the press, not one word, about SAIAT closing down.

Why didn't they say anything?

9/03/2008 11:18 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Anonymous,
The local newspapers are never going to be able to inform the citizens about situations like SAIAT closing in time to prevent the disaster from occurring. Local newspaper reporters just don't have that kind of visibility into what is going on with the local governments and their affiliated organizations.

SAIAT was mortally wounded when Snell took their funding away and was left to die a slow death. So, how does a newspaper reporter, even a diligent one, know about this? If he knows about it, then how does he know it is going to kill the organization forever? Someone has to tell him, first of all, and then the newspaper has to be willing to print it. There are a multitude of reasons why that might not happen, even if they have the story.

There are two things that are absolutely essential if the community ever hopes to rid itself of the Snells and others who feed greedily at the public trough. The most important thing is oversight. Some entity that is accountable to the citizens is supposed to be minding the store. And the second thing is an informed citizenry. Even if the newspapers and TV networks come late to these stories, it is important that they get reported. When they do get reported, those who should have been minding the store wake up for awhile. Then, after the finger pointing, there may be some changes. Some of the pigs will leave to do whatever pigs do when the oversight becomes too much. And some will be asked to leave.

SAIAT is just a really sad story for Tucson.

9/03/2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

And we can see from the election results that folks in this valley really aren't ready to make changes... I speak of the Bd of Supes...

9/03/2008 2:06 PM  
Anonymous observer said...

Alas and sadly, I must concur with Liza, and what a shame that the election just returned the same old shit into office (Bd of Supes).

But hey, that source of Tucson journalistic pride Inside Tucson Business has an article TODAY about Lot 175 and the cash deliveries to Kennedy's house.

I believe an aerial photograph of said lot was posted here two months ago.

No wonder the Cloth can rule this town and do whatever it wants.

9/03/2008 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carol Somers hubby has a history of duplicity with non-profits. Runs in the clan.

9/08/2008 1:04 AM  

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