Given the light of the allegations regarding Marla Miller’s behavior revealed on the esd15.org blog, I am curious to why she has not been put on administrative leave? The District in the past has used this tool when investigating allegations of illegal, unethical, or harassing behavior. The content of the web page and the number of contributors and visitors to the site would suggest that something is awry with not only the management of District funds, but in the treatment of its employees by Ms. Miller.
It wasn’t so long ago a foreman in the Maintenance Department suffered this consequence after allegations of bullying and harassing behavior. It took a brave employee registering a formal complaint to initiate the investigation that resulted in the leave; does not Mark Zandberg’s account lend the same weight? He continually spoke up during his tenure about the land dealings and was disregarded. He then used the proper channels and provided the State Auditor a painstaking account of the events he observed. The Auditor’s office deferred immediate action and is conducting an “ongoing” investigation. This is not surprising since it took them over twelve years to detect simplistic bookkeeping fraud by a District employee. When he was constructively terminated in retaliation for whistle-blowing, he used the blog as a last resort because TIME IS CRITICAL.
Ms. Miller has control of all the documents that could either incriminate her or prove her innocent of any illegal, unethical, or incompetent behavior. To have her as the continued custodian of public records requests is clearly a conflict of interest. Why has she not voluntarily stepped aside from this role to dispel any doubts cast on her performance as the business manager handling millions of dollars for the District? More importantly, given the dollar amount of the alleged mismanaged funds on both the Capital and Operations side of the house, why wouldn’t you want to seek the facts independently? You cannot deny there is a shortage; you just announced another $400,000 shortfall.
Irrespective of the allegations of mismanaged funds, (which the examination of the paper trail will prove or disprove) doesn’t the low morale bordering on despair amongst the employees in the District plague your consciences’? Can you not see why no one signs their name on their blog entry? Do you really expect someone to come forward when Ms. Miller is the head of Operations? Especially since someone like Mark experienced retaliation after exercising his right to free speech outside of work?
Your silence and inaction are viewed by many as a form of complicity.
Be the stewards you promised to be when you ran for school board and accepted the job as Superintendent. Place her on administrative leave and request the State Auditor hire a third party to investigate.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
"Hire a third party to investigate."
Posted by ESD15.org at 11:33 AM
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You can ask the Superintendent directly (and anonymously) by using the District contact form.
Just cut and paste the address into your browser window.
Claire's comments were well written; couldn't have said it better myself!
I just talked with a neighbor about the blog and what is being stated by many district employees and former employees and her question to me is why is this lady still on the job and why has she not been put on admin. leave and why is she not being investigated for fraud? Good questions! It is who you are!
Marla Miller (a diary)
After taking over the vacated position of Executive Director of Business Services it was important for her to get her own people in. She utilized a "private" secretary (in addition to a formal administrative one) in a position that never really existed. She removed the then current accounting manager using an innocuous email she manipulated to provide reason enough to dismiss and made preparations to put her secretary into the key role of payroll manager and have the former payroll manager, a child-like categorically officious & ignorant yes man, apply as accounting manager who had already been described by payroll employees as indecisive & untrustworthy.
A problem developed. The secretary was promised the job in payroll and got it, but the former payroll manager failed to qualify for the accounts manager job. His resume & application were initially pulled from the screening because he did not have the proper qualifications for the job but were put back in by Human Resources. He then scored the lowest in the field of applicants during interviews and someone well qualified was hired for this (what was then) $52,000.00 per year position.
But this did not phase Ms Miller for she then "created" a position of department supervisor and "placed" the former payroll manager in it with a vastly improved salary of $88,000.00 per year. The fact that these hirings were clear violations of fair hiring practices & laws did not diminish her apparent success in filling them.
The soon to be filed departmental employee reviews of this new position's employee's performance were the worse that had ever been given anyone which caused Ms Miller to become angry & threaten these subservients who had the nerve to be honest with loss of their jobs if they did not fully accept & obey this incompetent. She then prohibited employee celebrations to deny them any form of camaraderie or happy/healthy exercises in fun.
Due to some political ploy Ms Miller was then absent for most of 18 months (while still being paid) describing her absence as due to an unidentified & mysterious malady. During part of this time two individuals, an Assistant Superintendent & a contracted professional went in to keep business going & do some cleaning. It was immediately recognized that Ms Miller's department was highly dysfunctional. Following many interviews & meetings with the department employees it was determined that the problem was in management, that the new supervisor was at fault & it was further recommended to the Superintendent that this person be removed based upon bad placement, lack of qualifications & performance. Ms Miller's name was replaced from outside her office & changes began to be instituted. It had been generally communicated & accepted that Ms Miller would not be returning.
Whatever she was satisfied had aided her self-aggrandizement, after this lengthy period Ms Miller made a miraculous recovery & returned the same week these alterations began to be instituted. She dismissed all potential changes as being "unconvincing" and darkness resumed in the District. Morale came skulking back to resume its low but regular existence.
Many months later it was discovered that one dishonest employee had seen the advantages of this managerially created dysfunction & had embezzled potentially up to three-quarters of a million dollars right from under Ms Miller's supervision but this was dismissed by her as only an "embarrassment".
She was then given more responsibility overseeing the Property Management department, Technology & Food Services. Her gambit had clearly worked to her advantage.
To be continued...
If you do not mind, I would like to relocate your written work to an actual blog entry. Parts one and two deserve top billing and should not be in the comments section.
Due to pending media-related issues, the release will be delayed slightly.
Thank you for your contribution.
This blog entry was an email I sent directly to the Superintendent and the Board members (save Gary Noble since I did not have his email address).
No reply as of yet to this idea.
Please delay moving Marla (a diary) to an entry position. They are poorly written, contain inflammatory remarks and do not share enough specifics.
Including part 3, a summary & some rhetorical questions they will be rewritten and resubmitted at a future date for you to do with what you want.
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