Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Follow Up: Karen Engelke

This is sort of ridiculous. At first I didn't think it sounded unusual, but then I realized that it would only normal if it were on television. The Karen Engelke crony situation is boiling up. I said in the previous post that I don't necessarily have a problem with cronyism as long as the cronies are right for the job and there are facts presented in their support. But when Mrs. Engelke's support was that the decision to give thousands of dollars to a man that was her business AND personal partner was made "above her pay grade", I lost all hope for legitimacy. Read for yourself:
Karen Engelke, special events coordinator for the city of Annapolis, would
like you to know that everything is on the up and up.I reported the other day
that a guy she's in business with - at a firm based at her house - had done work
on special events that she oversaw as a city employee.

"There's no collusion or anything else," Engelke said. "It's someone
helping the city.

"Engelke acknowledged that she has had a professional relationship with
Joseph Meany of Samuel Hutton Associates for 16 years. She also indicated that
they have a personal relationship. "Part of our relationship is private," she
said.

And so it should remain, unless she's steering work to the guy. Engelke
said she's done no such thing.

Meany was paid $14,000 to plan a recent symposium on Annapolis history,
according to Engelke. But Engelke said she didn't hire him. He was mostly paid
with Maryland Heritage Areas Authority grant money, so it was the state that
essentially chose him for the job, she said.

But she did have a hand in it. After Meany came up with the idea for the
symposium, Engelke said she "was asked to write a grant, of which planning for a
symposium was one component."

And then there's the Clay Street kiosk project. Smaller potatoes. Meany
wrote up some history for the panels and was paid $2,000, city records
show.

"I have no control over the money," she said. "They were all approved far
beyond my pay grade."But Engelke was manager of the kiosk project, and she
acknowledged that she recommended Meany for the job.

Can she understand why people might think that's sort of a cozy
relationship?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Geeze, next thing you know George Bush is an asshole.