How Corruption In Marin County, California works!
By IJ Researcher
One glowing example of the darkness that Marin officials use to regularly hide payola is exemplified in one recent example of agency boondoggling.
A senior Education Department official who abruptly resigned last month after a dispute with Secretary Betsy DeVos received hundreds of thousands of dollars in off-the-books bonus pure profit corruption payola over a seven-year period, according to a new report. Over 30 Marin officials are suspected of using this same payola tactic.
James Runcie, an Obama administration appointee who served as chief operating officer of the Federal Student Aid office, received secret, five-figure bonuses each year while his office gave out billions in improper payments, It was recently reported, citing sources inside the Education Department.
While Runcie ran the FSA, the government’s $1.4 trillion financial aid program, the office made improper payments for the federal Pell Grant program, which ballooned from $562 million in 2015 to $2.21 billion in 2016, and for the Federal Direct Loan program, which increased from $1.28 billion in 2015 to $3.86 billion in 2016.
“These are disbursements that either shouldn’t have been made, went to the wrong recipient, were for an incorrect amount, or were not properly documented,” it was reported, adding that “under Runcie’s leadership there was pervasive fraud and corruption at the FSA.”
A government source told investigators that Runcie’s personnel file showed a total of $432,885 in bonuses over a seven-year period, culminating in a $76,000 bonus in 2016. The bonuses do not appear on Runcie’s official government salaries.
Runcie resigned last month after DeVos asked him to testify before Congress on the rising rate of improper payments in student aid, BuzzFeedreported. The resignation came the day before DeVos was set to testify about the new proposed federal budget.
“I cannot in good conscience continue to be accountable as chief operating officer given the risk associated with the current environment at the [Education] Department,” Runcie wrote in his resignation memo.
This form of corruption via government financed payola is called a “Layered Skim” in FBI circles.
A large number of Marin County officials are now under FBI, and other group investigation, because the money in question moved between states.
“Bonuses” in Marin County government reports are now receiving laser-like inspection for years 2007 to 2017.
Three in four Americans (75%) last year perceived corruption as widespread in the country’s government. This figure is up from two in three in 2007 (67%) and 2009 (66%).
While the numbers have fluctuated slightly since 2007, the trend has been largely stable since 2010. However, the percentage of U.S. adults who see corruption as pervasive has never been less than a majority in the past decade, which has had no shortage of controversies from the U.S. Justice Department’s firings of U.S. attorneys to the IRS scandal.
In Northern California’s El Dorado County, neighbors are fighting back. According to their website at:
https://neighborsagainstcorruption.com , they mean business.
They say: “ We are ordinary people like you who are disgusted with the corruption in our local County government. For years corruption in several forms has been hurting innocent people in El Dorado County California. For example, several elected officials have rigged the County payroll and retirement system to pump-up their retirements and take home hundreds of thousands of extra dollars in non-performance bonuses in addition to their excessive six-figure salaries. While protecting his pals, the District Attorney has wasted millions of your hard earned tax dollars on failed prosecutions of innocent residents for self- aggrandizing publicity and/or punishing political enemies. Recently, the 2014-15 El Dorado County Civil Grand Jury recommended that the District Attorney convene a Criminal Grand Jury to investigate and prosecute the County Auditor-Controller for felonies and official duty misdemeanors he has committed which, by law, would automatically remove him from office. Predictable, the District Attorney has refused to prosecute the County Auditor-Controller because the two are political allies.
They say: Disgusted with this corrupt behavior, scores of County residents including many innocent victims have joined together to form the non-partisan political action committee Neighbors Against Corruption to educate our neighbors and recall from office the worst violators of our public trust- District Attorney Vern Pierson and Auditor-Controller Joe Harn. They report:
“We live in a representative republic. We use elections to hire a small number of our neighbors every four years to supervise and manage various functions of our Federal, State, and local governments. Unfortunately, some of these neighbors we elect behave or perform so badly that they should be fired, just like any other disastrous employee. Fortunately, Division 11, Chapter 1 of the California Elections Code provides us with a recall process which allows us the opportunity to fire these disastrous elected officials. Under our State’s recall process, a petition requesting an election to recall an official elected to county-wide office, like the District Attorney or Auditor-Controller, signed by 10% of the County’s registered voters triggers a recall election (10, 626 in El Dorado County). If the majority of voters then vote to recall that official we once elected, he or she is immediately removed from office – successfully fired.”
Marin County, in California, would be wise to take a clue from their neighbors!