Thursday, August 30, 2007

The wheels of justice do grind slowly

Juvenile Court clerk (and former councilman) Vic Lineweaver was arrested yesterday for failing to have files that the judges needed, when they needed them. This was most frustrating to read:

Juvenile Court officials on Wednesday stressed that this was by no means an isolated incident. Green and Juvenile Court Administrator Tim Adgent said that ever since Lineweaver – a former Metro Council member – was elected to the Juvenile Clerk’s post in 2002, his office has been riddled with record and personnel problems.

“It’s actually been going on for the last six years,” Green said, referring to what she said was the Juvenile Court Clerk’s overall inability to pull its weight in the Metro juvenile justice system.

“We have daily problems with the clerk’s office,” [Tim] Adgent said. “And the consensus is that this is just the tip of the iceberg here with regard to the performance of the clerk’s office.” [Emphasis added] City Paper

Six years? Six years of this? WHY ON EARTH did these folks not arrest him two years ago so he wasn't reelected? Why didn't they let the voters know that this fellow was not, in their opinion, doing the job he'd been hired to do?
Yet Green said she will not be asking for Lineweaver to step down or resign.
And why not? Why are they still not calling for his resignation or firing considering they're not even sure THIS drastic measure will get his attention and ensure that the files are where they need to be when.

Apparently the Scene was on this. (Warning: adult site) back in 2005.
Three employees of Matrix Consulting Group, subcontracted especially to audit the juvenile clerk’s office, were sent home several days after arriving in Nashville. The official word from Metro’s internal audit office, which is a division of the Finance Department, was that Vic Lineweaver, the juvenile court clerk, had refused auditors’ access to his employees and files. (The audit was a “performance audit,” which checks for efficiencies and effectiveness and assesses compliance with rules and regulations.)
The Tennessean quotes Lineweaver back in March of 2006 as saying he had asked for a bar code system to track the files. Did he ever get it? Frankly, most of this should be in electronic form, at least as backup. [Tennessean, March 25, 2006 "Metro Juvenile Court's Office in Disarray..." No link at the Tennessean. Try the Nashville Public Library's access to their old files. ]

The City Paper was also following this (sorry the archived copies of their stories don't have dates!)
Initially, Lineweaver would not submit to the audit, citing concerns over its intent according to published news reports. Now, Lineweaver is refusing to formally respond to the audit findings, saying it was not completed as he requested and that its scope was not broad enough. Of course, the idea that Lineweaver should be able to influence the process through which his office's operations are being audited is laughable and defeats the purpose of having an independent performance audit of a government office. [Undated City Paper Editorial]
And this from the City Paper which seems to clearly illustrate a lack of willingness to be accountable:
Lineweaver, whose tug-of-war with Metro Finance Director David Manning's office became public last week after he requested the Metro Council provide funding for two new clerk staffers, said Tuesday he will submit the response once the extra work is done, which he said the Finance Department's Internal Audit section promised but never made good on. The audit, therefore, is still incomplete, Lineweaver said, adding he will provide the formal response when he believes the audit is finished. [Undated City Paper article]
When "he believes the audit is finished". Right. Is it done yet? 'Cause I think he is.

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