Monday, February 4, 2013

Let Ken Jakes speak at the special Council Committee meeting on NES!

There will be a special called joint meeting of the Metro Council Budget & Finance and Rules-Confirmations-Public Elections Committees on Monday, February 4, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. in the David Scobey Council Chamber at the Metro Court House regarding the recently completed audit of Nashville Electric Service. Electric Power Board Chair Robert McCabe and NES President Decosta Jenkins will be there to address Council members in detail and answer questions regarding findings and recommendations from the recent audit.

To provide a little background: Citizen activist Ken Jakes following the trail of some suspicious activity involving NES, used freedom of information request to view thousands of records of letters, invoices, emails and other documents. He spend months looking over records and found what he was looking for but also found much more. He turned the information over to the State Comptroller which conducted an audit which revealed massive theft at NES. NES bigwigs had accepted thousand of dollars worth of golf games, overnight lodging, meals and drink, and tickets to shows in exchange for providing services to Gaylord.

In addition to Gaylord payoffs, the audit found a single source contract for cable written in such a way so there was only one provider of the product and found a questionable financial relationship between an NES employee and the provider of the cable.  Other criminal activity discovered included employees of NES using NES credit cards and pay pal accounts to make purchases for their own use.

What NES employees were engaging in was criminal activity.  If an NES customer was stealing electricity by illegally tapping into a power line, they would be prosecuted. If someone was stealing NES wire and selling it for scrape they would be prosecuted.  No one has been prosecuted for the criminal activity at NES. The audit findings were presented to DA Torry Johnson and he refused to indict.

Not only has no one been charged with a criminal offense. No one has even lost their job.  Some people ought to be in jail and a lot of people ought to be fired. This is being swept under the rug. NES has instituted changes in policy so this type of criminal activity is less likely to happen in the future, but that is not good enough. There should be punishment. The Council needs to hear from Ken Jakes. This issue should not be treated as simply a department that got a poor audit.

Ken Jakes has asked to speak to the joint committee meeting, writing the following email:

From: Ken Jakes
To: Councilmembers@nashville.gov
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 8:34 PM
Subject: Request to speak

Budget and Finance ( Chair Lonnell Matthews )
Rules and Confirmations ( Chair Anthony Davis )
And all of The Metro Council
Council Members, I would like to request to be able to speak and address the special called meeting on 2/4/13 regarding the Comptrollers report findings on NES. Many of the issues in the Comptrollers report were uncovered by me researching over hundreds of Thousands of public records. Coming from NES you will only hear from one side of the fence. You the representatives need to hear first hand, many of the issues.
Thank you,
Ken Jakes.
615-347-3379.
He got the following reply:
From: "Lonnell Matthews" matthews
@gmail.com>
To: "Ken Jakes" jakes@comcast.net>
Cc: Councilmembers@nashville.gov
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 11:00:41 PM
Subject: Re: Request to speak

Mr. Jakes,
I hope you and your family are doing well.
The special called meeting to discuss the recent of audit of NES is intended to give Council members the opportunity to address questions and concerns to NES staff and board members.  This is not intended to be a public hearing, so unfortunately your request to speak cannot be granted for this meeting.
In order for you to have the opportunity to have your specific concerns address I suggest that you forward your questions and concerns to Council members.  If inclined, they will be able to bring up your concerns during the special called meeting.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
Ken responded saying, "I do understand that it is not a public hearing. I also understand that any citizen can come before a meeting of the Council members if a motion is made and seconded and passed by the present members. It can be permitted and I am asking and requesting due to the serious issues that the exception be made."

Since Ken Jakes was the one who discovered the wrong doing and knows more about it than any single other person, he should be allowed to address the Council.  I fear that the Council will hear one side of the story and never take any action. The Council needs to hear from Ken Jakes. Please ask your Council member to let Ken Jakes address this committee. Also, the people need to let their Council member know that they are disgusted by the criminal activity at NES and the mismanagement. Let your Council member know they should push for criminal charges being brought against those who committed crimes and that Degosta Jenkins who heads NES should be fired. 

Some times the Council is more conscientious if they know the public is watching. I plan to attend the committee meeting on Monday afternoon to provide moral support to Ken Jakes and to observe. If you can do so, please attend this important committee meeting.

Please contact your council member and ask him to let Ken Jakes make a presentation to the committee.

Below is more information on this issue:
Ken Jakes tells NES Board Decosta Jenkins must go!
Ken Jakes turns up the heat on NES 
Formal ethics complaint filed against NES's Decosta Jenkens. Public needs to demand action!
Audit of NES shows an outrageous lack of ethics (link to article by Gail Kerr)
Some NES employees need to go to jail, a lot ought to lose their job. (with Channel 5 video)

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