Monday, May 12, 2008

News Sentinel Reports Truth On Ragsdale-for Once

The News-Sentinel seems to express shock-shock, I say-at the reality that Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale is an unethical, immoral, wasteful prude:

Knox County's auditor this afternoon released a long-awaited final audit of purchasing card use in county Mayor Mike Ragsdale's office, including auditor Richard Walls' rebuttal to the administration's assertion that the mayor and two aides were "cleared" by documents they turned over in March.

Walls, who's appointed by County Commission, released a preliminary draft in February that cited almost $48,000 in inadequately documented expenditures by Ragsdale and his staff.

Today's final version still cites $39,115 in questionable expenditures from October 2002 to May 2007 - $29,544 with missing receipts or documentation and $9,571 that have insufficient documentation of the business purpose justifying it.

A total of $188,747 in charges was examined during the time period covered by the audit, and Walls said the expenses with missing receipts include 376 transactions - 19 percent of the total transactions and 16 percent of the total dollar amount purchased.

We now know that Mike Ragsdale has joined his staff in inappropriate wining and dining and that his current philosophy of "blame everyone else, it is all their fault" will no longer hold. The fact that he is a notorious public adulterer may not have caused the press to take notice, but the reality that his affair(s) were happening without much concealment from the public should have given a clue to the press and the public at-large that Ragsdale has absolutely no shame.

It should come as no surprise to readers of this weblog that Mike Ragsdale is now under federal investigation for what could amount to insider trading since he invested in the stock of a company to which he passed nearly one million dollars in federal grant money through Knox County accounts:

"The Federal Highway Administration has referred the matter to the Office of the Inspector General," spokesperson Nancy Singer explained. "Any questions pertaining to the investigation should be referred to the OIG."

A spokesperson for the Knox County Mayor's Office says Ragsdale finalized another deal that same month, by investing $10,000 of his own money into IdleAire -- the same company for which he had just secured one million taxpayer dollars.

After spending years editorially kissing Mike Ragsdale's hind quarters, the Knoxville News-Sentinel now shows itself willing to report on his purported criminal activity, rather than do his personal bidding as they normally do. Of course, we've been chronicling Ragsdale's wrongdoing here for a very long lime. See what happens when you report news instead of treating the object of the news as though he were the Messiah?


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