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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It does not compute: the Ellis McCoy files

The O has gotten its hands on hundreds of pages of documents from the City of Portland about the personnel status of Ellis McCoy, the former parking meter manager who's resigned in disgrace after the FBI raided his home and office. And they confirm what's been gradually become clear in the weeks since the feds moved in: McCoy got all sorts of negative reviews from his superiors, and they threatened to fire him, but they never did. They suspended him, but then they gave him raises and bonus vacation days that made up for the suspension days.

There's something extremely hinky going on here. Whatever McCoy's relationship with contractors might have been, his relationship with his supervisors is full of strange contradictions. Clearly, the full story of that latter relationship has not been told.

For many years, McCoy's supervisors were, in ascending order, Lavinia Gordon, Sue Keil, and Sam Adams. Those three know things that they're not making public. Will the local media keep trying to figure out what those things are, and if so, will they succeed? Let's hope so.

Comments (15)

It seems like that's pretty much par for the course in the portland public employee world. Rise through the ranks despite extreme incompetence, then retire at 55 with a mountain of money. This is the only guy who will not cash in at retirement although he found another way to cash in.

All I can say is that the photos of Sam and the chickens must be really entertaining.

Does anyone else wonder if Sam got a confidential briefing from the feds and then a couple days later decided not to run for re-election?

And who's surprised? CoP City Hall is either irresponsibly inept or irresponsibly corrupt. Pick one.

Hush money?

I still don't see any evidence of criminal wrong doing. No one has been accused of a crime. People complain about the parking meter contracts but no one has found anything actually wrong with them.

Time for facts -- not gossip

"I still don't see any evidence of criminal wrong doing."


"Portland transportation officials amassed a thick file documenting transgressions and poor judgment"

Time for facts -- not gossip sounds like any dilatory tactic ever used by CoP. So we should basically wait until someone rips us off for a large amount before we do anything?

This guy had workers complaining and enough evidence for the FBI to investigate him, yet I somehow sense for some people (like Adams, Keil et al) it'll never be enough to take action.

One has to wonder if he played the race card - wasn't that the basis for his threatened legal action a couple of years ago?

And Mike in NE - having the feds raid your home and office, hauling away computers and boxes of files is a pretty good indication that there are facts, not gossip, behind all of this. Perhaps their circumspection will lead to not compromising the resulting legal activity.

I'm with umpire; I think the racial element had to have played an important role. McCoy himself alleged as much when he played the race card in his threat to sue the city. Total speculation on my part, but I think a desire to retain what little diversity the City has in its lily-white workforce, combined with an extra-cautious approach to discipline so as to avoid the appearance of singling McCoy out based on his race, caused his managers to treat him with kid gloves and ignore the growing number of red flags.

umpire, the First Bunch of Idiots have been known to make massive mistakes just ask the survivors of Richard Jewell and others. However, in this case, I suspect they are dead on. However, I question their will to pursue this to the top. But time will tell.

"extremely hinky." Weally witty. Fizzy funny.

Re: "what little diversity the City has in its lily-white workforce"

Eric, surely you have not forgotten, for example, Paul Scarlett at BDS:

Diversity by skin color has proven far less productive than has been argued. The problem with CoP personnel is their conformity around ways of thinking and behaving that are deleterious to those residents who do not obtain their paychecks from the CoP.

There is no race card, just racism. There are study and surveys and yes, even anecdotal stories that indicate that people receive disparate treatment in the big bad world based on race, sex, sexual orientation. Why would it expected that CoP would be different? In fact, I heard alot of grumbling that CoP should clean their "equity house" before trying to tell anybody else how via the Office of Equity. My guess is that any garden variety CoP employee keep a file of such transgressions, because frankly, human resources does little to assist them.

I worked at a city bureau 10 years ago, and was actively sexually harrassed by a manager. I documented everything, went to HR and the higher ups. I was told that I "served at the favor of my supervisor" and that I needed to figure out how to "get along". Many city employees go the "sick leave-lawsuit threat-settlement" route at that juncture. I just found another job and quit, though I did have to go through BOLI for unpaid wages.

Some decide to bide their time, and move up the ranks, continually to add to that little file of trangressions.

Additionally, as a manager, I have no doubt that Mr. McCoy knows where many bodies are buried. I wish we knew how much these informal settlements cost us. I bet it would fund some schools and sidewalks.

Rebecca - If you documented everything you would have had a hell of a lawsuit on your hands. I've been a manager and been through certain trainings. And documentation generally makes HR tremble. We were told that not only could the corporation be sued but that we personally could be sued for that kind of wrong doing. Just saying. Never believe a word from HR's mouth.

Sam Adams was the Commissioner.

Ellis McCoy was just the bag man?

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