Would-be City whistleblower John Foddrill, whose case is before the court this week, might get a fair trial at the Bexar County Courthouse, but our daily paper, which had declined to cover his case until this week, seems uninterested in the whole truth, etc. I met the reporter who wrote today's Metro-section story at the trial yesterday, and he seemed like a nice guy. Usually covers military news, he said. And I understand that military tribunals don't run quite like our civilian courts.
But, honestly. A cursory examination of the coverage available in the public realm makes one thing abundantly clear: the City's own documents, including an in-house memo and audit reports, tell the tale of a telephone-variable slush fund and padded City contracts. At issue is whether Foddrill is really a whistleblower who tried to expose fraud and abuse the City was trying to cover up, or a disgruntled, underperforming employee who's trying to recast his firing as retribution.
The E-N's story, however, makes it sound like the allegations of municipal fraud and mismanagement could be Foddrill's invention. And when it mentions that former City Auditor Pete Gonzales, who helped the E-N with ITS OWN investigative story into the playground-audit scandal -- an example of City staff trying to hide its misdeeds while applying a half-assed in-house corrective -- will be a witness later this week, it identifies him only as "former City Auditor Pete Gonzales Jr., who resigned last year under pressure from the City Council," leaving the reader to guess why Gonzales's testimony might be relevant to Foddrill's case.
One of the things it gets right, albeit in the same shortsighted fashion, is that the list of expected witnesses includes former Municipal Integrity Manager Virginia Quinn. You can read her Cover Your Ass memo here (scroll down to "Parse this_") and look for more analysis of the case to date in tomorrow's QueQue.