Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Removing Fortucci, a play in 3 Acts

Who knows, we might get to a full Shakespearean 5 Act on this one. Last night, Part 2 made it through a few more of the 16 allegations charged against Rich Fortucci.  It's not incredibly easy to follow on LynnCAM, but I tried my best.

While some may see these hearings as a negative thing for our city, I see incredible benefit coming from them. This is a city government exposing itself. FINALLY! This is exactly why Judy got my vote. All of its weaknessess and strengths, all of its leaders at full steam, are in the room inspecting some serious problems we have within the walls of City Hall. Whether they be political or not, they are issues and need to be addressed. I personally hope this is the beginning of a further unraveling of the mess in which Chip left our city.

One particularly disturbing moment last night was when they began to refer to a deleted file from October of 2009 that was removed using administrative rights on January 11, 2010. They still have the ghost image and know what it was and who authored it. You remember that letter we all got from Therese Murray, President of the MA Senate, in our mailboxes during the city-charted required non-partisan Mayoral election. Yes, a draft of that letter was deleted from City Hall servers on Jan. 11th. The author of that letter. Not Therese Murray.

Now, the fact that Ms. Murray did not write it doesn't surprise me. We do that all the time in business. Write a quote or a letter and have a customer or partner sign off on it so we can send it out. What surprises me is that in a city where the charter specifically calls out that city races can not be made into partisan elections, someone in City Hall would agree to author such a letter. Further enraging is that they then removed the evidence sometime later after Judy had already taken office. I'm not sure I even want to know who that person was.  If you watch the proceedings on, watch Cyr's line of questioning and then pay close attention to what happens after they learn the document in question. Lozzi all of a sudden has to go to the bathroom really bad.  :-) Recess!

Now... remember the six hard drives from the Mayor's office that were completely wiped clean. They were wiped clean to the point that no one would be able to retrieve ANYTHING from these drives ever again. This is not an easy thing in computer land. It takes significant effort. It's not just highlight-delete as some of you may think. There are many ways to get data back from a deleted drive. That is, unless you go to great lengths to make sure that is not possible. Under Fortucci's IT department (yes he has oversight over the IT Department as CFO), six drives from Chip's Mayor's office were "inadvertently" wiped clean. A big no-no in city government. He says he had no knowledge of this. So the question becomes, is he still accountable? How could you not know this unprecedented action was occuring in YOUR department and after you did find out how come no one got fired? If we're ever to get to open government and common cause certification, we need to instill these values in every city hall employee.

The Item posted a story today referring to the hearings as an Agatha Cristie novel. It made me think. Where are the investigative journalists on all of this stuff? Why haven't we uncovered anything about this already? It's been a year. Surely, someone will talk.



  1. I watched from home, as you did, and noticed that Mr. Fortucci admitted to being aware of the hard drive deletions. He indicated that he questioned the individuals who were responsible, but "never really got an answer". Why didn't he press the issue, and why do these individuals still work at City Hall? I would also like to see a tally for the number of people Mr. Fortucci blames for issues that are under his span of control during the course of these hearings. In addition to your comment about the Murray letter and the prohibition against partisan politics in Mayoral elections, it is also against election laws to use city buildings or equipment for any election activities (such as ghost writing political flyers).

  2. I did not know that about election law. Makes sense. Geez. I really hope I don't like the person who they are not naming.


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