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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

OCTOBER 24, 2012

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THE SAUSAGE FACTORY

I’ll bet that a lot of folks who visit this website, and read the Miami Herald, wonder at times how the Herald gets the information that leads to the stories they publish.


Well, you’re in luck.


On Tuesday I happened to be working on a story that turns out to be an inside look at how Kathleen McGrory, the Herald reporter got the information that led to this morning’s story about how the City of Miami waives job qualifications for high-ranking staffers.


It isn’t often that one gets to see exactly how a story like Mcgrory’s was given life, and like all births, this one was messy, and something that those involved would prefer that it not be made public.


I happen to think it’s another classic example of what goes on behind the curtain in Regaladoland,  so pour yourself a big cup of coffee and enjoy.


PART I


On the morning of September 12th, I did a big story revealing that Stephen Petty, the recently hired Director of Finance for the City of Miami, was essentially unqualified for the job, and that he was the brother of John Petty, who had been - or still was - the partner of Janice Larned, the City’s Assistant City Manager/Chief Financial Office.


The most revealing part of my story was that Petty had received a waiver because he did not have the minimum qualifications for the job.


I will be dealing with this waiver, and the other waivers of high-ranking City Officials that I uncovered and first revealed on this site later on in this story, but for now let us focus on what happened that morning after my story first broke, starting with the fact that Chief Financial officer Janice Larned, in an effort to cover her ass over my revelations of her involvement in Petty’s hiring, told “officials at City Hall...that she was surprised by [the] selection of Stephen Petty,” and attempted to lay the blame for his selection largely on the shoulders of Calvin Ellis, the Director of Risk Management, who had been one of the 3 city officials on the initial selection team committee.


When that news reached Calvin Ellis, he did what any reasonable person in Regaladoland would do, he wrote a memo to himself, along with the supporting documentation that comprised all of the candidates the selection team had interviewed, and sent it to himself on his City computer.


The complete memo - without the information on the other candidates - is at the bottom of this story, but here is the most relevant portion of Ellis’ memo, which lays out why he became alarmed enough to write it.

You got to love this Janice Larned, first she shills for her pal Stephen Petty, and then when it blows up in her face, tries to blame his being hired on someone else.


The sad part isn’t asking how someone like this manages to get to such a high position, but rather the realization that Regaladoland has become populated with too many people like this who see no failure of ethical responsibility in this kind of behavior


In any event, Janice tried to shift the blame for hiring her pal to Calvin Ellis, and Calvin Ellis tried to protect himself against any future inquiries as to how Stephen Petty end up on the City;s payroll by writing his memo.


PART II


About a month later, the Idiot of The City, Angel Zayon, got his hands on Ellis’ memo, and obviously went running directly to the Mayor to show him what he had.


Zayon’s too stupid to plot and scheme on his own, and given that he’s Regalado’s butt-boy, he definitely would have told Regalado about the memo as soon as he got it.


However the discussion between Zayon, Regalado and possibly others went, the decision was made to slip the memo to Kathleen McGrory, Chuck Rabin’s replacement, who now covers City Hall for the Herald.


One can only appreciate how byzantine Zayon’s mind works, because instead of just being straight forward and giving McGrory the document, while telling her he was doing so off the record, Zayon decided to do a twofer: first by trying to whet the interest of the Commissioners so that they would become curious enough to seek a copy of Ellis’ memo themselves, and then by giving McGrory the document so that she could do a story about it.


The first step in this process was that Zayon had his assistant send out the following email to all of the members of the City Commission.

Now, you got to understand that Ellis wrote the memo to protect himself if Petty’s hiring became an even bigger issue in the future, so the possibility of him “hand delivering” it to anyone, much less the members of the City Commission was a complete red herring.


Better yet, by doing this, Zayon was also trying to establish a cover for how he actually got Ellis’s memo.  By asking for the copy of the memo from the Commissioners, he could then turn around and say, if asked, that one of the Commissioners gave it to him and that’s how he was able to provide it to McGrory.


It’s obvious that Zayon’s been trying to learn his spying trade-craft from the Cuban Intelligence Agent/The Rat/City employee, who does all the computer dirty work and snooping for Regalado and his gang.


After he had his assistant send the above email, he then sent this email to Kathleen McGrory, along with Ellis’ memo.

I highlighted the date and time on both of the above emails so you can see that it took exactly 52 minutes from the time that Zayon’s assistant sent the email to the Commissioners, to Zayon sending McGrory his email with the document.


Given Zayon’s usual behavior of dragging his feet when it comes to responding to public record’s request, the whiplash speed of this response is evidence enough to realize that this was a very special deal.


To better appreciate this claim, here is a copy of an email that I sent to both Calvin Ellis and Angel Zayon on Monday afternoon at 3:38 PM, asking for a copy of Ellis’ memo.

On Tuesday morning, unlike the speedy response that Zayon provided Kathleen McGrory, here is the response that I got from Zayon’s office.

This story was posted at 11:30 PM, on Tuesday evening, well after the end of the business day in the City of Miami.


This illustrates once again the disparity in the way that the City of Miami responds to MY public records requests, versus everyone else’s.


If you believe the correspondence from Angel Zayon above, he asked all of the City Commissioners for a copy of the Ellis memo, and within 52 minutes of it supposedly being provided to him by one of those same Commissioners, he zipped it off to McGrory.


Yet, when it comes to providing me with the same document, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it for days, if not longer, because Zayon’s a little weasel prick, and lording it over the release of public records is about the only way he can pretend that he has any power - that and strolling round like a Mack Daddy with his little models.


PART III


If Calvin Ellis didn’t “hand deliver” his memo to the members of the City Commission, then how did Angel Zayon get his sweaty little hands on it.


On March 12th, I did a story entitled, THE SPIES AMONG YOU, where I detailed how a former Cuban Intelligence officer whose now a City employee, was snooping on people’s emails.


Most employees know who he is, and they’ve even named him The Rat.


Since Ellis wrote this memo and then emailed it to himself, it was being kept in the City’s mainframe archive system, and The Rat, I’ve been told, spends a lot of time surfing that system spying on folks.


So, unless the Baby Jesus or Houdini provided Zayon with a copy of the memo, it’s a pretty safe bet that it was The Rat, during one of his searches who discovered the memo, and gave it to Zayon.


I called Calvin Ellis on Monday afternoon and asked him how the memo could have come to light, and he personally told me he had no idea, because he had not shared it with anyone, which if Ellis is to be believed, means that the only way that his memo could have been obtained by Zayon was through a hack conducted on Ellis’ computer.  That happens to be a crime, even if another city employee did the hack.


PART IV


So that leaves us with the underlying premise of Ms. McGrory story, to wit: the discovery that a sizable number of high-level City Officials only got hired after receiving job waivers.


Since the Herald story popped up on their website I’ve received a handful of emails from folks more or less reflecting the sentiments of the first email that I received after the story was posted.


    “Maybe one day the herald will give you the proper credit for

    doing their work for them.”


Nowadays there’s a lot of snipping among bloggers over the way in which their work is often cannibalized and/or copied without attribution by the “main stream media.”


This story by McGrory is not the first, nor will it be the last time that the Herald builds a story on the research and work that I, or other bloggers uncover.


However, in this instance, this story more than likely would not have been written had it not been for my story that revealed Stephen Petty’s lack of credentials, and the waiver he was issued, which in turn prompted his pal Janice Larned, to try and cover her ass, which in turn prompted Calvin Ellis to write his memo, and which was then discovered by his computer being hacked, which in turn led to the bizarre efforts by Angel Zayon to get the Ellis memo to McGrory, which in turn led to the Herald story today.


Just for the record, I’m the one who first revealed that Angel Zayon received a waiver, that Vanessa Acosta received not only 1, but 2 waivers, and that in that story, entitled NOT A ROCKET SCIENTIST IN THE BUNCH, I FIRST published the list of all the folks who had gotten waivers that McGrory cited in her story, and of course, I’m the one who uncovered the fact that Stephen Petty had gotten a waiver.


In short, this wasn’t an instance where the Herald purloined a fact or two, but where just about every salient fact in the story regarding the issuing of waivers to incompetent and unqualified people was based on my original research and writing.


The Herald on the other hand gets really snippy when some blogger dares to quote too extensively from any of their stories, and is very quick to have a lawyer write a threatening letter citing their right to protect their copyright.


Perhaps the Herald might spend a little time on my front page where it clearly states:


“All original material created by Al Crespo, including text, photos and graphics is Copyrighted (C) 2010-2011-2012”


In the meantime, maybe the Herald might like to consider making amends by addressing the issue of lifting information from blog sites without attribution.


Your days of being the biggest, baddest bully on the block have passed you by, and it’s best that you start acquiring some manners before some David decides to clean you Goliath clock in a courtroom for using their copyrighted work without permission!


HERE IS CALVIN ELLIS’ MEMO

It’s Miami, Bitches!

A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN AS TO HOW THE MIAMI HERALD SOURCES IT STORIES