Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ken Jakes turns up the heat on NES

Ken Jakes has contacted the TVA board to inform them of the wrongful actions of NES and the misuse of Public Funds. Below is his communication to the Board. I have removed Ken's phone numbers from this communication in order to protect him from harassing phone calls. If you want to talk to Ken about this issue, email him. I am sure he would welcome hearing from you. I have highlighted and underlined portions of the below communications to call attention to particular wrongful action of NES contained in the press release from Justin Wilson, State Comptroller.  Rod

From: "Ken Jakes"
To: Board@TVA.gov
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 3:58:16 PM
Subject: Fwd: Comptroller Review Finds Improper Purchasing Practices, Credit Card Use and Other Questionable Activities at Nashville Electric Service

Hello, my name is Ken Jakes and I live in Joelton Tn. The Comptroller's Report I am forwarding below originated from wrongful actions that I discovered while researching thru Hundreds of thousands of public record. I want to report for the misuse of public funds. I want to get with our State and Federal Senators and Congress, however I want to report to TVA as well. Please contact me.

Office 615-xxx-xxxx
Cell 615-xxx-xxxx
Home 615-xxx-xxx
Fax 615-227-1863
Email Ken.Jakes@comcast.net

Thank you,
 Ken Jakes

From: "Kevin Wisniewski" <kwisniewski@newschannel5.com>
To: "Ken Jakes (ken.jakes@comcast.net)"
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:32:15 AM
Subject: FW: Comptroller Review Finds Improper Purchasing Practices, Credit Card Use and Other Questionable Activities at Nashville Electric Service

From: Blake Fontenay [mailto:Blake.Fontenay@tn.gov]
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:02 AM
To: Blake Fontenay
Subject: Comptroller Review Finds Improper Purchasing Practices, Credit Card Use and Other Questionable Activities at Nashville Electric Service
 State Seal

State of Tennessee

Justin P. Wilson, State Comptroller
For Immediate Release: Dec. 13, 2012
Comptroller Review Finds Improper Purchasing Practices, Credit Card Use and Other Questionable Activities at Nashville Electric Service

Nashville Electric Service (NES) has paid one manufacturer and its distributor more than $17 million over the last eight years for electric power cable that was not properly bid, a review by the Comptroller’s Division of Local Government Audit has found.

NES, a governmental utility company that supplies electricity for Nashville and surrounding communities, has paid Kerite Company more than $13 million and its distributor, Utilicor, more than $4 million since 2005 for electric power cable.

The review found that NES has had an exclusive arrangement with Kerite and Utilicor since 1998, although NES could only provide records for cable purchases beginning in the 2005 fiscal year.

During interviews with representatives from NES and Kerite, Comptroller staff members learned that the utility company’s specifications for electric power cable were tailored to match the type of cable provided by Kerite. A field superintendent for NES, now retired, also promoted Kerite’s products while performing consulting work outside of NES, at seminars and in conversations with officials from other utility districts.  These activities were not disclosed on the employee’s NES conflict of interest disclosure statement.

The Comptroller’s review uncovered other serious issues, including improper use of an NES credit card by the utility company’s vice president/chief information officer. Reviewers found the vice president commingled personal and business accounts when making purchases on eBay and Amazon. Many of these accounts were established in the name of NES.  The vice president also established a PayPal Extras MasterCard in his name using an NES procurement card as collateral.  The same vice president admitted to selling surplus NES items on eBay without authorization or knowledge of his supervisor.

The vice president also admitted to interviewers that he had given an information systems contractor an NES credit card and allowed that individual to make purchases on behalf of the utility company for 12 years. And the vice president used an NES credit card to purchase items such as printer ink and computer supplies that were readily available in the utility’s storeroom.

Other issues identified in the review include:

·        A contractual arrangement with Gaylord Entertainment which allowed senior personnel and other employees from NES to attend events and play golf at Gaylord-owned properties free of charge in exchange for the lease of NES transformers. These ‘hospitality packages,’ which appeared to have no benefit to NES ratepayers, were valued at more than $70,000 over the last six years.
·        NES employees made personal purchases on NES credit cards.
·         A half dozen NES employees received reimbursement for education or training programs based on altered documents.
“The issues uncovered during our review are very serious and I applaud NES officials for the corrective measures they have adopted in response to our findings,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “As our report indicates, there are still additional steps that we believe could be taken to reduce the chances that similar problems will crop up in the future. I want to commend not only my staff in the Division of Local Government Audit, but also representatives from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation who assisted us in our work.”

The findings of the review have been shared with the local district attorney’s office.

My comment:  While it is nice that NES has made corrective action, why is no one being charged with a criminal offense? This amounts to theft. If someone had stolen some NES copper wire and sold it for scrape they would be prosecuted. Some top level people at NES should go to prison and a lot of people ought to be fired!

On January the 24th at 10:30 am Ken Jakes will be making a presentation before the NES board. I will be attending to show my support.  Anyone wishing to attend will need to check in at the front desk of NES on Church Street by about 10:00 am. You will need to show photo ID and be escorted to the board room. Any and all that can attend, please do so. The NES board needs to know that the rate payers are outraged with the illegal and wrongful actions of NES.

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