Several weeks ago Bill Johnson wrote a commentary attacking my leadership and character and though it was filled with misinformation and mischaracterizations it was published in the Chronicle.  His latest attempt to discredit me claiming I’m orchestrating a “no-bid contract to manage the problem-prone Jail Commissary” is deceptive and presents fragmented information from county documents in an attempt to manipulate the truth.
Here are the facts.  The Commissary Board is comprised of three members representing the Wayne County Commission, Office of the Wayne County Executive, and Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.  The trio operates autonomously, not at the behest of the Sheriff as Johnson alleges.  Interestingly, it is Board Member Commissioner Ilona Varga who has urged the Commissary to consider an “unsolicited proposal” to increase services to the inmates and generate additional Commissary revenue.
Johnson, the former Director of Administration and Budget for the County Commission, knows that the Commission approved the County’s Procurement Ordinance which specifically provides for Unsolicited Proposals that serve the County’s best interest (Section 120-34 of the Procurement Ordinance).  It states:  “If a business presents Wayne County with an unsolicited cost-savings proposal, the Purchasing Director may, with Commission approval, accept such as proposal after engaging in reasonable due diligence to determine, in writing, the validity of the proposal and examining the likelihood of the County receiving a significantly superior offer through competitive solicitation.  If the Purchasing Director determines that there is substantial likelihood that competitive solicitation could produce a significantly better opportunity for Wayne County, he or she may develop specifications to move forward with competitive solicitation”.
In the case of the unsolicited proposal for Commissary Services, it was the Commissary Board that reviewed the proposal followed by the Commissary Board Manager who forwarded the proposal to the Director of Purchasing for Wayne County.  An approval, if any, will be made by the County Commission.
Finally, I have always worked to maximize taxpayer dollars and have consistently insisted that bids be issued for Jail food services, Jail phone services, Jail tether services, and, Jail residential rehabilitation services just to name a few.  Johnson’s statement that “the Sheriff is operating “on the blind side of the procurement process” can’t be further from the truth.
Johnson’s memory is either faded or curiously selective.  As former Director of Administration and Budget for the Commission, he is keenly aware of the Commission’s previous approvals of unsolicited proposals, including a proposal that benefits an associate of Johnson’s who provides services for the Meals on Wheels nutrition program in Wayne County.  That begs the question, why is Johnson presenting misleading and false information about me, unless it’s to advance the agenda of his associate(s)?  If that is the case, he shouldn’t be allowed to use this publication—or any medium for that fact—to distort the truth.

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