by Steven Hale
Last month, the findings of an audit by the state Comptroller of the Treasury's office highlighted a number of problems at the Nashville Electric Service. The audit found improper contract bidding practices, and multiple cases of employees making personal purchases with a company credit card. Auditors also reported that the utility had entered into a contract with Gaylord Entertainment that allowed NES employees to attend events and play golf at Gaylord properties for free, in exchange for the lease of NES transformers.
And that last bit, it seems, was the impetus for some fireworks at today's NES board meeting.
Local gadfly and former Metro Council candidate Ken Jakes says in a press release that he attended the meeting and told the board to fire NES president Decosta Jenkins.
The release from Jakes is after the jump:
I attended an NES board meeting today 1/24/13, to address the issues of the comptrollers report listed below. I addressed the board and requested that the board terminate Decosta Jenkins as president of NES. Decosta Jenkins as president entered into an illegal contract with Gaylord that swapped more than $71,000.00 of public funds in exchange for free perks and gifts in which he received, as did other high ranking employees of NES. It is my understanding that Decosta Jenkins has the back ground of a CPA. How can a man with this expertise in accounting not see this as a wrongful action? I also addressed the board regarding the illegal bidding of a $17 million dollar contract. Due to time restraints I could not address the issues of the fraudulent credit card actions as reported by the comptrollers report or the falsifying of government documents. It was mentioned in the board meeting that Tori Johnson did not see any criminal issues. I am taking this in the direction to involve the Federal (US) District Attorney. It is my opinion that at the Federal level, local politics will not be the same.
Normal practice of management of NES in the past has been anything goes with NES, I believe that may change in the future.
Committed, dedicated and will follow this thru!
Jakes has also written about the meeting on his blog, where he notes that no media were present to cover the meeting and raises a few more questions in the wake of the audit.
"While it is good that the Board is addressing the finding of the audit and taking corrective action, why is no one in jail for grand theft?," he writes. "Why does Decosta Jenkins still have a job?"