Delaware Inspector General?

There has been some talk of creating a new government agency. Largely due to the fiasco within the Delaware State Treasury Office, and the alleged misuse of the state issued  credit cards by not only a deputy treasurer, but also by the Treasurer Chip Flowers as well, some people are suggesting that we create an office of an inspector general to investigate and prosecute such abuses and corruption.

Many of the people calling for such expansion tout their conservatism. One has to question how conservative it is, to expand government on such a large scale.

Some of these people are claiming that they will run for elected office, others are members of quasi-political parties who are desperate to gain any attention possible.

I put forth these questions to any and all, first, are you in favor of expanding the size, scope, and cost of Delaware’s government? Second, if you are, please define the authority of such an office, the cost of such an office, and all that it would require to support such an office with the authority you envision. And since many of the people proposing this expansion of government in an effort to reduce and prosecute the corruption they claim, please define the mechanisms you would put into place to ensure that this newly created office would be above such corruption, seeing as if it were an elected office, it would fall prey to the seduction other elected officials fall prey to, and if appointed, would fall prey to the partisan political gerrymandering that appointees often fall prey to.

To get the ball rolling I will offer this. Take the cost of running the State Auditors Office as a base line for this new office, then ask yourself, do we want three offices, one in each county so that citizens can access it more easily? Now consider the amount of support staff, offices, computers, investigators, legal staff, and just watch the cost sky-rocket. Also take into consideration that party politics would surely come into play when considering what did, or did not get investigated. Also remember that government grows, what is seen today as a way to stop corruption, will be tomorrows corruption. What then? Create another watcher, to watch the watcher who is watching the watcher? The people as informed voters are the only inspector general needed.

I await the enlightened and informative discussion I am sure the supporters of this expansion will bring, considering the same people argued in favor of expanding county government as well.

37 Comments on "Delaware Inspector General?"

  1. Tony Stark says:

    We need another layer of bureaucracy like we need another promise from Obama regarding Obama Care.

    All the powers to officially investigate wrong doing exist within the Office of Attorney General.

    The AG’s Office has a Civil Division that has a Consumer Affairs unit. These people are already doing the same types of investigations with private firms. They are trained and able. All it takes is the will.

    Relevant documents and reports can be delivered by the State Auditor.

  2. Harry Whittington says:

    Thank you, Frank, I’ve been asking how much this would cost for years. None of the people supporting an Inspector General’s office have any clue how much it would cost.

    Any way you slice it, adding another government office and placing the costs associated with it on the taxpayer’s backs is NOT conservatism. It’s LIBERALISM.

    So, one of you Inspector General lovers tell us how much it will cost.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Which Legislator is pushing for this?

  4. Mike Rowe says:

    I agree with you 100% Frank, and I agree with Harry Whittington’s comment that adding another government office is not conservatism, although the current Senate Minority Leader seems to feel otherwise. When that guy from the Indpendent Party suggested the idea of an IG Sen. Simpson seemed to support the idea. What’s next, an office to oversee the IG? An ethics committee, along with a thorough investigation, and report by Auditor Wagner should be all that is needed.

  5. Tuxamus Maximus V says:

    I want to thank Frank as well for this one in hope that Harry finally gets his answers. Harry, as well as many others have long deserved clear cut answers. Running it up the proverbial flag pole isn’t working.

    @ Anonymous I don’t think its a legislator that’s pushing for this so much as it’s a wannabe legislator that’s pushing for an IG. Beat a drum long enough and someone somewhere will hear it being beaten but paying to hear it is another story.

    Most states don’t have an IG (not much research on this but the few that have one had had issues involving politics over time) but do have Bureaus of Investigation and an Attorney General and that’s all that’s really needed. Delaware has what it needs to deal with the Chip Flowers fiasco. Why the accounts haven’t been closed and the cards shredded is beyond my interest but I will add that Chip should be submitting expense reports that can be reviewed and paid within four weeks of submission. If he can spend it he can wait four weeks for it to be refunded.

    Best of luck to Harry in getting real answers and once again my thanks to Frank for directly posing/posting the question. Smart money betting on nothing real, specific, let alone affordable being brought to light. If nothing real and specific is brought forth may the whole IG thing just fade away once and for all.

  6. Tuxamus Maximus V says:

    WOW…I agree with Mike Rowe? Looks like it’s true that I do! Read your comment twice and still agree with Mike, Tony, Harry and Frank as well. Auditors are a good thing and if Wagner is on the gob that should be all that’s needed…for the AG.

  7. Tuxamus Maximus V says:

    For the spelling inspectors I meant job…not gob.

  8. Old Sussex County Native says:

    This is Delaware, where the D’s outnumber the R’s so astonishingly that this is what you will get if there is a new Inspector General office invented: You will either get 1.) A democrat appointed by the Governor who will support the current progressive agenda or 2.) A democrat elected by Democrats who will support the progressive agenda — either way, you will get nothing but more government regulation and expense to support another agency that the tea people will fall out of favor with, and subsequently hate. Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote “good government is less government” is fine with me.

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    Mike, the only correction I would make, is that when asked about an IG being created, Sen. Simpson did say he had an IG bill on his desk at that time. The question then becomes whether he would bring it to the floor, which no one asked directly, or whether there is political will to pass it. My thoughts are that it will never see the light of day, which I voiced to Sen. Simpson along with others after the meeting, which I encourage others to do, if we fail to voice our views directly to our elected officials, then we have failed in our obligation as voters and citizens. However in my opinion no elected official will want to create it. Which I admit does make a case for the idea, but like so many perceived good ideas, the devil is in the details. Liberals don’t want it because it might catch another Chip Flowers, and conservatives should not want it on principle, which only leaves the fringe elements of the political landscape.
    Which begs the question, this post has been up for about four hours, where is Wolf to defend his idea, to explain how he and his party would implement it, and lay out the cost for all to see? Also, where are the critics of this site who say all we do are hit pieces, when we do a piece such as this one or others, they are noticeably silent. Is that because they are intellectually vacant and can’t respond to actual challenges to their poorly thought out rhetoric?

  10. William Christy says:

    First I will address the misconception that I am in favor of an Inspector General, I have never publicly stated my view i favor or against an IG.

    I came from a state that was the first in our nation to implement the Office of Inspector General. The office has a far more complex mission and responsibility than what most people believe.

    Again I am not stating my view in favor or in opposition to Delaware having such an office.

    The Inspector General is not appointed by one person such as the Governor of a state. In Massachusetts the Inspector General is appointed by the Governor, State Auditor, and Attorney General collectively.

    Again I am not stating my view in favor or in opposition to Delaware having such an office.

    Delaware’s Auditor has the ability to review all state transactions to a degree WITHOUT the ability to investigate.

    Delaware’s Attorney General has the ability to investigate allegations of fraud on a CASE by CASE basis.

    That leaves a hell of a lot of middle ground that is left totally wide open without any state agency overseeing what’s going on.

    The question that has to be asked is; does the recent corruption and the huge loss due to a settlement over the IR bridge warrant the expense of an Inspector General?

    I don’t know.

    What I do know is one of the main reasons Massachusetts set up the Inspector General’s office was due to rampant corruption involving state and county project contract awards. It was intended to close that wide open area between the duties of an auditor and attorney general in a pro-active manner rather than a reactive one.

    Frank did you ever stop to think that perhaps “they” don’t respond is due to the fact “they” are met with the usual 3rd grade bull$hit that waterpirate spoke of instead of intellectual debate.

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    By the way, which cheeks do you have your tongue in my friend.
    I saw the crap over at DP by DA. In one article he calls for a constitutional office, and then proposes legislation to create the office by amending Title 29. Which is it? And no where does DA address the cost other than to say that the office would save the state more than it would cost to run the new office. WOW! Can these lunatics not come up with any new lines? This is the same BS that they tried to sell concerning the expansion of the sheriff’s office also.
    One of the better laughs is where in their proposed amendment they say, ” No person affiliated with a political party shall be a candidate for or serve in the Office”. Are these people purposefully stupid? They talk of freedoms, and in the very next word create an office that is exclusive to only people who choose to be unaffiliated, or who have the foresight to become unaffiliated before filing for this make believe office of theirs.
    I was going to link to those two article but changed my mind, if they want an honest debate they can come here where deletion is not a debating tool as it is on their site.

  12. Frank Knotts says:

    Oh! I almost forgot, these POD people can propose all the legislation they want, they can create all the make believe offices they want, but until they actually win elections, they don’t get to govern, thank goodness.
    This is what I envision an IPOD meeting looking like.

  13. Tuxamus Maximus V says:

    @Tongue our cheeks:
    Show Harry some respect and SHOW US THE MONEY END.
    SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET. SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET.
    SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET. SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET.

  14. waterpirate says:

    I find it interesting that they are proposeing an emmendment for the IG and not for the Sherrif??? Both of these positions stirred alot of emotion, but no hard facts about the funding. Expanding Govt. and increaseing monetary liabilities to the tax payers makes you the pot calling the kettle. I have also said before that I fear a IG, just as everyone in DC fears Ken Star and his independant council. Money sucked down the drain for years while on a snipe hunt.

  15. Frank Knotts says:

    WOW! It seems as if Delaware Right is the dog, and Delaware Politics is the tail. I simply point out that DA has written two contradictory post about the creation of an IG, and what does he do? He post a third contradictory post.
    Hey Cheek tonguer, don’t you little children playing as adults get it? The POD people with Ayotte as their banner boy are proposing both a legislative amendment to Title 29, and a constitutional amendment. Even if these children in bad misspelled clothing were actually in a position of legislative authority, which they are not and never will be, to have these opposing goals on the table at the same time would only confuse most people as to what the end game was.
    Taking the argument that they used so badly in the sheriff issue, why do they need to amend Title 29 at all? Shouldn’t they be able to just amend the constitution? All they need to say is that the Inspector General will be the “Conservator of the Money”, and no further explanation will be needed.
    But seriously, is anyone surprised that these children, (see name calling above), have no idea of how to pay for their fantasy?

  16. Frank Knotts says:

    Great comeback Tongue Boy! Why don’t you explain how to pay for the IG, and while you are at it, tell us how you will guarantee that the person elected to this office will not be corrupted. Beyond the idiotic idea of no party affiliation. Maybe you could explain how they get ballot access without party affiliation. Waiting!

  17. Tuxamus Maximus V says:

    @Tongue in Cheekt…is the t at the end short for transgendered? Seems you have a preoccupation.
    Show Harry some respect and SHOW US THE MONEY END.
    SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET. SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET.
    SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET. SHOW US THE MONEY! Harry W wants to see the BUDGET.

  18. William Christy says:

    Frank try talking about the real issue.
    As I pointed out the Inspector General is NOT an elected position. The position is an appointment made by 3 elected officials unanimously the Governor, the State Auditor, and the State Attorney General.

    Why don’t you tell us how YOU can guarantee any elected official to any office will not be corrupted, assuming that is you don’t think the (R) after their name is a magic force shield.

  19. William Christy says:

    waterpirate I agree with your view about Ken Star but his role was not that of a state Inspector General.

    I keep referring to the IR bridge fiasco, this is that wide open ground area I spoke of in my original comment about the role of the IG. ‘

    The state auditor had no power to review or even investigate the total screw up of the contacts.

    The Attorney General couldn’t do anything until after the fact.

    You, me and every other tax payer ended up bearing the brunt of that whole fiasco.

    I don’t believe for one minute that this is the only case of good ol boy contract awards, back door deals, and or coverups.

    Could an IG prevent that from happening I don’t know. If we look at other states as examples the benefits from such an office indicate that the IG works as planned.

    AGAIN I am not stating I support or oppose the proposal.

  20. Frank Knotts says:

    Billy boy is talking about other states again, which one you moving to this time Billy boy?
    See you are so caught up with other states you assumed I was talking about one when I asked about electing an IG here. Well BB, I was referring to TIC’s reference to Don Ayotte’s proposals.
    See we don’t actually have an IG yet, in case you missed that while packing to move to whichever state has your fancy today.
    The real issue of creating an IG is how do you pay for it? As for insuring that any elected official is not corrupted? Well BB, you may have missed this one while tracking proxy servers for DA, but I have said many times, and maybe even in this thread, an informed electorate is the only guarantee of an honest government.
    Now don’t mix your kitchen stuff with your bathroom stuff, it makes unpacking so hard.

  21. Tony Stark says:

    William Christy states that Massachusetts has an Inspector General. Since I have friends in Massachusetts, I decided to give them a call last night and ask what has been the impact of the Massachusetts IG.

    I decided to ask if the IG had saved the state money and what corruption was discovered. I think they are still laughing.

    Imitating Massachusetts is not my idea of a solution.

  22. Harry Whittington says:

    The IPoD’s legislation, which will never see the floor of either chamber of the Legislature unless the Ds pick it up, will most definitely have a “Fiscal Note” attached to it.

    A “Fiscal Note” is the cost breakdown for the legislation.

    Most sane people proposing a bill already have a ball park figure on how much their legislation will cost. These IPoDers are unable to answer any questions about the cost.

    Please note: A Fiscal Note can only factor in the real, hard numbers for legislation, a Fiscal Note may not contain any projections of 1) money that will be saved, 2) money that can be recovered.

    So, for the third or fourth time, WHAT WILL AN INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE COST?

    If these IPoDers want to play with the big dogs, they need to know what the cost of their legislation is, the hard numbers, or it will end up in a landfill.

  23. Harry Whittington says:

    Imitating Massachusetts is not my idea of a solution.

    But it worked so well with Obamacare!

  24. William Christy says:

    I have family and friends in Massachusetts.

    Apparently your friends think these figures are laughable.

    2012 Highlights:
    • The Office’s investigations resulted in recoveries, fines and penalties of $12,628,924;
    • The Office identified potential cost savings of $233,548,146;
    • The Office completed a review of an energy management services contract, which resulted in a settlement.

    http://www.mass.gov/ig/about-us/annual-reports/annrpt2012.pdf

    http://www.mass.gov/ig/newsandupdates.html

  25. William Christy says:

    Obamacare is based very loosely on Romney’s healthcare plan. You remember him he was the Republican candidate for President who was proposing the same healthcare plan.

    Mass Health is still in effect go figure.

    By the way how much do you think Delaware’s UnitedHealthcare which is rampant with fraud cost the taxpayers annually?

  26. Dave says:

    “I keep referring to the IR bridge fiasco, this is that wide open ground ”

    Speaking of wide open ground, Mass, and the IG, how the about the “Big Dig” fiasco (the planning for which started a year after the Mass IG came into existence (1981)).

    IG can be a valuable resource in certain situations. However, they are not a panacea.

  27. Frank Knotts says:

    Notice that Billy boy reaches for any twig floating by in the river he is drowning in. Notice he does not answer the question of how much an IG would cost, he does not address the fact I answered his question about guarding against corrupt officials, notice that he instead runs with the ball about Obama care and attacks Romney. By the way Billy boy, yes Romney was the GOP candidate, fairly nominated, and though not my first choice, better than what we got. So what is your point Billy boy? You going to tell us that the same people who wouldn’t vote for Romney but voted for Obama, would have what? Voted for Ron Paul? You are funny, which is most likely the only reason I fight to allow you to keep posting here.

  28. William Christy says:

    Dave fair enough yes there were some issues with the Big Dig which was the largest state/federal project of it’s type in the nation. All the “fiasco’s” do not lie just on the IG in MA, there were a number of federal oversights as well.
    I agree that an IG is not a panacea. That is why I stated that I am neither saying I am in favor or opposed to one in Delaware.

    The IR bridge was used as an example because it was one that cost the taxpayers a huge sum of money. Others that come to mind are Fisker, Bloom Energy and several others that quite frankly slip my mind at this time.

    I clearly stated that I am not saying an IG is needed or would work in this state.

  29. waterpirate says:

    Yes I realise that Ken Star was not a IG but a IC. That is what the pod is trying to create. A independent, unregulated, person to carry out their snipe hunts. I do not want to empower nor fund that kind of corruption, in the name of fighting corruption.

  30. Frank Knotts says:

    Billy boy, before you claim you were edited, your one comment contained two links which sent you to moderation, it has been approved and added to the thread in the order it was submitted.

  31. William Christy says:

    waterpirate that is exactly why I stated I have not decided one way or another. If that is the intention of creating a department for purely witch/snipe hunts I would never be in favor of such a department.

  32. Frank Knotts says:

    But sculling through a sea of IP addresses on websites?

  33. Mike Protack says:

    Tyler Nixon provided me with a great proposal for an IG in 2008 , I proposed it and the DE GOP opposed it.

    A very aggressive IG is key to rooting out the Dead Weight of Tradition of Delaware Politics where Big Egos and Small minds rule the state.

  34. Frank Knotts says:

    Mr. Protack, Republicans and conservatives would oppose the creation of another top heavy government agency with no way to regulate the regulator. You like the others here calling for the creation of an IG have yet to give even an estimate of the basic cost of such expansion of government, nor can you explain how such an office would be above the very corruption and favoritism that you say permeates Delaware politics. Until you or anyone can do this, the idea of an IG is nothing more than political pandering to voters who are uninformed and angry in a hope to collect votes with no real hope of real change.

  35. The Needle says:

    All of this trash talking garbage from a fart-mouthed punk with a tenth-grade education who can’t write a coherent piece of legislation to save his butt and otherwise has no ideas worth a tinker’s dam.

  36. Frank Knotts says:

    Needle, I’ll have you know I am a “fart-mouthed punk with a (TWELFTH)-grade education who can’t write a coherent piece of legislation to save his butt and otherwise has no ideas worth a tinker’s dam.

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