LCPS Is Run By Self-Absorbed Idiots!

By Loudoun Insider

Do we really pay these head honchos at LCPS hundreds of thousands of dollars a year???  After going apoplectic about the absolutely valid reports of the FBI and DOE investigating the disaster that is LCPS land acquisition, Herr Hatrick releases one of the most ridiculous press releases I have ever seen.  My God it’s breathtaking in its flaws!  See it here at the LTMLTM has a story about the Hatrick coniption fit here.

And where in the hell is their PR Guru Wayde Byard in this mess???  Did he not have the PR sense to tell these guys to let this story fade away?  Noooooo, let’s keep it in the news for another press cycle week!  They sure do follow the BlackOut storyline, however - claim this is all a made up bad dream and cast aspersions on those that question their highnesses.  Or is that BlackOut following the LCPS storyline?  Eh, I guess it’s impossible to separate the two!


Comments

  • Here it is in all its “glory”:

    Statement on Story by Center for Public Integrity

    Dr. Edgar B. Hatrick, Superintendent

    Loudoun County Public Schools

    June 23, 2009

    On June 16, 2009, an organization called the Center for Public Integrity published an electronic story under the headline, “Schools, Developer Confront Cries of Corruption in Loudoun County Land Deal.” The story had to do with the attempted purchase of property in Wheatland for the construction of three new schools.

    The authors of the story, Dusty Smith and Michael Zuckerman, said, “And like the previous three deals, the proposed Wheatland purchase has now been scuttled by the County Board of Supervisors. The board and an increasing number of local residents—including a prominent former Reagan Administration official—are wondering just what’s going on with the schools system and its land purchases. And now the U. S. Department of Education’s inspector general and the FBI are investigating as well.” (my emphasis).

    This story was written after Dusty Smith interviewed Director of Planning and Legislative Services Dr. Sam Adamo for 45 minutes about the matter of the land purchase and after Mr. Smith had examined hundreds of pages of documents concerning the purchase. No mention of the interview or document inspection appeared in the story.

    Within hours other news organizations happened to see the posting and began inquiring of LCPS. Since we had no knowledge of investigations by anyone, we contacted the Washington Office of the FBI. They said LCPS would be aware of such an investigation were it taking place. The Inspector General’s Office of the U. S. Department of Education concerns itself with use of federal funds, none of which were involved in this purchase.

    When reference to this posting was included in a lead story and editorial in a local newspaper I contacted the editor to see if he could help me identify sources for the story so that I could check for myself any official allegations of misdeeds. In his response to my email, the editor said, “It is possible the questions stem from the work that continues to be done examining the relationship between Greenvest and the previous board (of supervisors), more so than the land acquisition process per se.”

    This possibility was confirmed in a telephone conversation I had today with one of the authors of the story, Michael Zuckerman. I asked him whether anyone in an official capacity is accusing Loudoun County Public Schools or its School Board of corruption in land purchases or whether such accusations are coming from activists involved in the recent controversy over the potential Wheatland purchase. I was seeking the names of any FBI or U. S. Department of Education officials with whom I could speak. Mr. Zuckerman knew that I intended to address this matter tonight, and he told me that I could certainly say that, “No one in an official capacity is accusing the schools or the school board of corruption in land purchases.”

    I asked him to provide that statement in writing, and he asked me to submit the question to him in an email. I did so, and one hour later I received the response that, “’The Cries of Corruption’ referenced in the story headline are being made by members of the public, as documented in the story.” He also said, “We stand by what we reported in our story. In the interest of clarity, however, please understand, that while we have confirmed through official and unofficial sources that the FBI and the Department of Education’s Inspector General’s office have been (as recently as a couple of weeks ago) investigating LCPS land acquisition policies and practices, we are not aware of any specific allegations of corruption made by officials.”

    My requests to Mr. Zuckerman for the names of any officials who are alleging such investigations were met by a refusal on the basis of protecting sources, but it is hard for me to believe that anyone at the FBI or the Department of Education needs protecting from Loudoun County Public Schools.

    I continue to encourage anyone who has specific knowledge of any wrongdoing by any LCPS employee to come forward with that information. Charges such as those made in the article are very serious, and we do not intend to allow such shaded language to go unchallenged

  • My running commentary:

    “attempted purchase” is right, luckily the BOS saved the taxpayers MILLIONS of dollars by scuttling this hare-brained concoction of a deal.

    He actually highlights (bolding) the investigation news!

    I guess Adamo didn’t say much to convince Dusty Smith that they had a good deal in Wheatland! Adamo didn’t convince a majority of the public or the BOS either!

    Hatrick whips out Barbara Munsey’s “blog roll out” mantra!

    “They [the FBI] said LCPS would be aware of such an investigation were it taking place”

    Boy did I nearly pass out laughing at that one! Consider yourself “aware” now!

    He wants the papers to give up their sources!

    He whips out the Munsey “McActivist” mantra – score two for Munsey!

    No officials are going to make any public allegations of corruption while an investigation is ongoing!

    He takes the BlackOut route of casting aspersions on the FBI insinuating that they are somehow afraid of LCPS. God what a joke that is. Apparently the only people with anything to fear from LCPS are the taxpayers and those with children in school potentially subject to retribution.

    Finally, Hatrick encourages anyone with information to come forward. Just to be clear – Hatrick is not the person to run to. But I’m sure most LCPS employees know that by now. And what’s with the “shaded language” bit? A little overly dramatic there.

    It looks like Hatrick is much more worried about his own reputation than anything else.

  • If anyone either attended or watched the webcast of the School Board meeting last night, please share your thoughts. This was apparently discussed.

    Someone who watched it said Hatrick said a few times something to the effect of “I could have had the board do this”. Showing once again who really runs the show. It ain’t the School Board.

  • Ready to Rumble says:

    Hatrick and his biotches (ie. School Board minus Guzman and Onheiser) are nervous. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be so adamant about the damage control.

    The FBI is under no obligation to tell someone that they are under investigation, and the statement about FBI sources not needing to fear the LCPS? Arrogance at its finest.

    Yo Hatrick! “Protecting sources” is more about keeping them as sources than worrying about what you’re going to do to them! Zuckerman and Smith simply want to maintain integrity between them and the people who assist them in getting to the truth… which is a concept you know nothing about.

    LI – You just made me Google “apoplectic” LOL!!

  • John Stevens’ blog on the SB meeting:

    http://blog.loudounschools.org/2009/06/quite-night.html

    He actually says they delayed voting on a revised Code of Ethics. As I said there, why am I not surprsied???

  • BlackOut & DuPree & Hatrick = BFFs says:

    What a mess. Is Hatrick really that clueless?

  • Had it with Hatrick says:

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. They are obviously running scared, even threatening retribution for staining their reputation. Ha ha ha ha. and no mention of the Dept of Education’ – did Hatrick follow up on that and find out OOE WAS, in fact, conducting a review of Loudoun’s questionable procedures?

    Now Hatrick’s newest puppet Bergel is saying how they aren’t going to buy anything because of the budget. So barely 4 weeks have passed since they were pushing SO hard for the Cangiano contract to go through, for which no cost estimates for the associated road and infrastructure were ever presented! Now, they say they can’t afford anything? Geez!

    A smidge of credibility could return to SB if they were to provide apples to apples rough engineering cost estimates for capital and long-term expenses for roads, utilities, site work, and student transportation for all candidate sites. But that just makes too much sense and will show the truth of how much Cangiano was going to cost taxpayers

    Advertising for land again? We thought they were satisified with their 2-week RFP!!! It’s just a delay tactic. Wyant made an excellent suggestion during the Joint Committee’s public input hearing on site acquisition (tho’ those officials who bothered to stick around to hear the public never listened apparently). Wyant suggested sending letters to owners of record of all parcels exceeding x-acres located in the target area (x-mile radius of existing Towns and Villages) north of Route 9. Loudoun has a GIS system that could easily provide that data – but that would be too easy or logical for the SB to try.

    Yes LI – they do seem like a bunch of idiots and looking more idiotic each day! That’s the way it goes though, when in trouble most politicians circle their wagons and dig a deeper hole instead of coming clean and getting out.

  • I watched the webcast – it’s nothing more than Hatrick reading his statement. Although it’s worth watching just to marvel at his emphasizing certain words. They now have “the statement” at the top of the LCPS website.

  • Hillsboro says:

    Very, very interesting. Hatrick simply asserts that it is outside DOE’s jurisdiction… he makes absolutely no claims about whether they’re under investigation. He went through all that effort, calling the FBI, CPI, one of the local papers. Don’t you think he’d call DOE?

  • Meeting tonite had it’s moments, eh?
    Burton kicked a few asses and took a few names, too.
    “If the school board won’t spend more time investigating this, we will” The look on Reed’s face was priceless!!

  • Sarah says:

    The most important news I heard was Burton stating the bond had been purchased and the County was now making debt payments on it; Therefore he was anxious to acquire a site sometime this fall. Seemed more likely SB and BOS would sit and wait indefinitely but Burton seems intent to make a decision sooner than later, with or without the SB! That would be nice. Bergel made the case for Wheatland because it will be good for everyone to know where the future school will be – which applies with McDonough now. Former Town Councilman Efthim who pointed out to the Council that the Engle property was earmarked for a grocery store or other economic anchor and that a high school is more recession-proof than a grocery store and thus would be an even greater economic engine for the Town. A former Williamsburg planner in the audience who mentioned she worked on school siting issues there pointed out to the Town Council during their comment period that she believed LCPS’ presentation was based on many worst-case scenario assumptions. For example, she noted the facility layout was designed to create a more tortuous traffic flow than necessary. The details of the McDonough presentation do stand out because LCPS paid their traffic consultants to estimate road improvement costs for McDonough but never provided the public (or even BOS) with the same linformation for Wheatland. Adamo’s presentation did give attendees the clear impression that McDonough site was going to be more of a hassle for LCPS staff to manage. Perhaps less hassle is worth alot to him because it sure seemed like LCPS didn’t care how much Wheatland was going to cost – it was worth every million!

  • I guess the love affair with Wheatland continues!

  • Hillsboro says:

    Bergel just won’t give it up…

    “Jennifer Bergel, Catoctin School Board member and supporter of the Wheatland property stated to the Gazette that she is very concerned about the future of school site locations. “Based on meetings with the Piedmont Environmental Committee and other organizations, they agree that this site is ideally suited and conveniently located to benefit all of western Loudoun.” She concedes that while some adjoining property owners may be upset, she wonders if this mindset continues, “There will never be a future school site that we can all agree upon.” She continued to say that a balance must be struck in providing a quality education for our children as well as to protect the natural beauty of western Loudoun and its farming heritage.”

    - Purcellville Gazette — 6/26/09
    http://www.thepurcellvillegazette.com/d/archive/2009/June_26_2009.pdf

  • L'ville says:

    This is completely false, there is NO WAY the Piedmont Environmental Council (NOT “Committee” as stated in the article) said that. At the BOS public comment session last month, a PEC spokesperson enumerated the many ways the Wheatland site went against the County’s Comprehensive Plan, in no way did they say then nor would they *ever say that it was “ideally suited” or that it would benefit Western Loudoun!
    The PEC’s response to the Gazette article should be interesting….

  • Bergel has lost her mind over this.

  • Hillsboro says:

    Bergel’s comments just prove that she has no desire to even try to comply with the comprehensive plan.

    If I had the perfect parcel adjacent to Lovettsville, I wouldn’t spend a dime to respond to the upcoming RFP — her continued bias for Wheatland combined with Adamo’s ability to make valid RFP responses disappear (Crim property) make it so obvious that the deck is stacked.

    Loudoun County really needs to take over the land acquisition process!

  • Leej says:

    A scorned woman I believe ;-)

  • Sarah says:

    Anyone see Burton’s newsletter today? Here is excerpt that refers to HS/MS-10 sites:

    “Last month, the Board of Supervisors formally informed the School Board that it would neither appropriate funding for the purchase of the Wheatland site nor approve a Special Exception to allow construction of schools on the site. Accordingly, the School Board withdrew from the contract to purchase the site.

    Since then, I have had two conversations with members of the School Board and School staff regarding Next Steps. Neither was particularly satisfying. The first occurred at the June 11th meeting of the Joint School Board / Board of Supervisors Committee; the second occurred at a meeting with the Lovettsville Town Council on Thursday night. In short, School Staff are working on an advertisement to solicit sites with no results expected until October, yet they have been specifically directed not to pursue any further studies of the two sites that are within or adjacent to the Town. I find such an attitude deeply disturbing.

    While I agree that the site on the Northeast border of the Town is probably not feasible, I have not yet seen any reliable information that the McDonough assemblage of properties just West of the Town cannot work for a middle and high school. School staff has claimed that the site would require $6.5 million for transportation improvements. However, despite requests by me, my office, the representative of the assemblage, and at least one private citizen using the Freedom of Information Act, no data supporting that claim has been forthcoming. Frankly, I have to wonder if the data actually exists.

    In 2007, the Lovettsville Town Council passed a resolution supporting the location of a high school within or adjacent to the Town. This is exactly what the County’s Comprehensive Plan recommends. This is exactly what the assemblage offers at a reasonable sales price. Why isn’t the School Board pursuing the site more aggressively? At this point, I am considering a motion to my Board that we request County staff to investigate the assemblage’s viability and that we initiate a dialogue with the Town Council about their willingness to extend water and sewer to any schools constructed on the assemblage properties. I recognize that the outcome of such an effort is not guaranteed. However, I would hate to lose such an opportunity as a result of simple inaction.”
    end of excerpt

    I can understand SB advancing with caution after failing so badly with Cangiano proposal. However, the SB is taking a risk that a real opportunity for a community school could slip through their hands – or is that just what they want? At the Feb09 Joint SB/BOS Comm’s public hearing a citizen recommended sending letters to all landowners (identified through the County’s GIS system) of potentially viable parcels located within a specified radius of the Town. If they didn’t want to consider any of the suggestions like that one, why did they even invite the public to speak at their Feb09 public hearing when so few officials even bothered to stay to hear comments? It sent a message that citizens concerns simply aren’t valued by those officials.

  • How interesting about the bullshit price tag for road improvements. But BlackOut thinks those FOIAs are a waste of precious time and resources. Once again they show LCPS apparently pulls numbers out of their collective rear ends to suit their pre-ordained purposes.

    Burton is clearly sick to death of these idiots.

  • mr pville says:

    this is not a new attitude by our representatives on the lcps and school board, they have been following this approach for many, many years. at some point when do you rule out incompetence and look towards other reasons?

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