Lobdell: Clues To Shawkey/Smith Absence
William Lobdell, former Los Angeles Times reporter, former editor and current columnist on the Daily Pilot, demonstrates to us that he's still got the chops for good investigative reporting in his column that appears in print this morning.
CLUES TO SHAWKEY AND SMITH ABSENCE
The column, titled, " Chief's expense reports offer clues", quantifies some serious sleuthing Lobdell has been doing recently with "more than 200 pages of public documents", apparently including expense reports for Costa Mesa Police Chief Christopher Shawkey and his top aide, Captain Ron Smith. You can read the entire article HERE.
MISUSE OF CITY FUNDS?
It looks like Lobdell may be onto something with his analysis of the reports, which appear to present evidence of misuse of city credit cards for fuel purchases at places far remote from Costa Mesa, and in excessive amounts, to boot.
SMITH COUNTERSIGNED REPORTS
Apparently Smith was required to countersign the expense reports of his boss, Shawkey - which, Lobdell postulates - might be why both men were placed on leave together late last year. It seems curious for a subordinate to countersign expense reports for his boss.
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY BREEDS INVESTIGATIONS
I don't know whether any of the information Lobdell has presented represent real problems - it's possible they are legitimate expenses - but one reason a good reporter will look for these kind of things is the lack of information coming from the City on this issue. Unless and until the City provides an explanation it's very likely these kinds of investigations will continue - and more questions will be raised about the behavior of our public officials.
KUDOS TO LOBDELL
If the facts as Lobdell has presented to us are factual, then he deserves kudos for digging this information up and presenting to the public. He promises to "keep digging", and he's a guy with the right kind of shovel and knows how to find the right places to dig.