This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 11, 2011 8:01 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland cops now national poster children for brutality. The next post in this blog is City, McCoy discussed "severance" -- his?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Did wayward Portland parking manager have a "management coach"?

The federal investigation into the manager of the City of Portland parking meter system, Ellis McCoy, is like shooting fish in a barrel. People have been raising questions about that fellow for years. There was something decidedly shady-looking about his dealings with contractors.

We wonder whether he was the guy for whom the transportation bureau hired a "management coach" in the spring of 2009. We blogged about that move here. It would make sense. His superiors had reportedly identified "issues" with his performance, and he had responded by lawyering up, threatening a lawsuit, and playing the race card. McCoy kept his job, but the city may have hired a "coach" to try to straighten him out. Maybe they should have just fired him.

If McCoy committed a crime, it's hard to believe that someone higher up the chain or command was not aware of it. You have to go through three organizational charts to get to where he sat:

His immediate superior was Lavinia Gordon, and until quite recently, her boss was City Hall veteran Sue Keil. (Tom Miller, currently in the bureau chief's chair, has been there only a short time.) The ultimate head of the office since 2005, of course, was none other than Portland's current mayor -- himself an inspirational figure when it comes to management skills.

It's interesting that the feds had to get involved in the case. Where was the county district attorney? Where was the crime-fighting state attorney general? Where was the city auditor? Where was the state government ethics commission?

In any event, as we noted yesterday, the FBI raid could be the start of something big. It's an easy place to begin checking around Portland city government for corruption. Let's hope it's not the last place that the U.S. attorney looks. Five years ago, the feds were looking to plant a mole in City Hall and bust some crooked people. Now would be a fine time to follow up on that initiative.

Comments (14)

When I was reading the O today, I thought to my self, "This is probably one of those city manager that needs a management coach."

You deserve a Pulitzer.

Coaching for what? How to cover your tracks and never implicate your superiors?

Next question: Was McCoy involved in hiring Alpha Building Maintenance, the company that stole more than $175,000 from the old coin-op meters in 2004-05?

At the time he said, "It wasn't the kind of numbers that immediately jump out."

He also said: "It became clear this was someone on the inside."

I counted 27 layers of management from Sam down to McCoy. I could be wrong, but who's counting?

And who's holding the shovels at the bottom wrung and leaning on them for the 5 hours they spend out on a "job site" pretending to work? I counted 7 employees with 4 trucks to paint a bike sharrow at the corner of SE Hawthorne and Grand. One person was painting.

Interesting factoid: Charlie Hales was the commissioner who pushed through the cities not-so-Smart Meters.

It's seems that Hales may have been the commissioner who moved/promoted McCoy from "traffic calming manager" (WTF?) to parking meter czar.

I'd love some of our hot shot reporters quiz SmartMeter Charlie on what he remembers from back-in-the-day.

At least we know Dan Saltzman won't be sent to federal prison:

It's seems that Hales may have been the commissioner who moved/promoted McCoy from "traffic calming manager" (WTF?) to parking meter czar

Traffic calming managers are in charge of things like residential area speed bumps, roundabouts, etc.--things put in the road to make drivers slow down.

Watch it! Publishing those organization charts will earn you a takedown letter from Sam Adams' legal counsel.

At one point, he and his superiors had a discussion about somebody's "severance."

ALL those layers of so called management need to go now!
The Selwood Bridge could be replaced, the pot holes filled and the kids educated with money left over if the city government would just cut back by 1/2.
Good work, Jack! But watch your back.

WTF is a "Group Manager"??????

Good Lord! How many middle managers does a department need?

Wasn't the Cale contract long after Charlie Hales had left city government? He may have been the driving force for Smart Meters, but not for the later Cale meters. Yes? No?

"Good Lord! How many middle managers does a department need?"

PDOT (& Fire) are notorious in the COP for renaming a Supervisory positions to "Manager" and then paying them more money.

27 levels of management! Tell me you mis-counted. That cannot be correct.

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