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METRO EDITION

L O UIS VILLE, KENTUCK Y

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State Auditor Crit Lu allen and Lo uisville Mayor Greg Fischer are likely to meet with MSD officials to work out details of the management audit the mayor re quested.

Broad audit of MSD is planned

‘Eve rything on the ta bl e,’ m ayor says

By James Bruggers

jbruggers@courier-journal.com Th e Courier-Journal

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer wants everything on the table” for a management audit of the Metro- politan Sewer District, a spokes- man said Wednesday. Unlike last year’s financial audit of MSD, the new audit Fischer called for Tuesday should focus on such issues as the management structure of the 660-person agen- cy; its spending and procurement policies, including no-bid con- tracting; and the oversight func- tion of the board, including how it sets sewer rates, Fischer spokes- man Chris Poynter said. Fischer’s call for the manage- ment audit followed Courier-Jour- nal stories about questionable spending practices and allegations of mismanagement at MSD. It was announced just before the newspa- per published a story about MSD paying almost $300,000 in bonuses to its 18 highest-paid employees during the recession. There are questions about MSD,” Fischer said during a WFPL public radio interview Wednesday. These folks do a lot of good work every day. Let’s remove the ques- tions.” Kentucky Auditor Crit Luallen has agreed to work with MSD and the mayor’s office on the scope of the audit and in the selection of a private consulting firm to do the work. She said the consulting firm should be independent of MSD and chosen through competitive bidding. MSD will pay for the au- dit. Luallen said her office does not have the resources to do the work

Se e MSD , A2, col. 2

Fi nalists fo r JCP S post ge t go od marks at home

CHRISTINE JOHNS

fo r JCP S post ge t go od marks at home CHRISTINE JOHNS By John

By John Sommers II, Special to The Courier-Journal

Christine Johns of Utica Community Sc hools in Michigan answe rs questions this we ek at Lo uisville Male High Sc hool.

‘Visible’ administrator wo rke d up career ladder

By Antoinette Ko nz

akonz@courier-journal.com Th e Courier-Journal

ST ERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — When Christine Jo hns arrive d as super- intendent of Ut ica Co mmunity Schools in Ju ly 20 06, her mission wa s to make the we ll-regarded, high-perfo rming school district in a wo rk ing-class suburb of De- troit eve n bette r. It wa s the fi rs t superintendent job fo r Jo hns, wh o had started her career as an elementary school te acher in Pr ince George’s Co unty, Md., then wo rke d her way up the career ladder as a curriculum specialist, principal, assistant superin- te ndent and deputy superintendent in school districts in Maryland and Ca lifor- nia.

We we re a go od district, but I think

yo u co uld say that we we re co mfortable

Se e JOHNS , A4, col. 1

CHRISTINE JOHNS

Age: 45 Current home: Shelby Township, Mich. Fa mily: Husband, Bo b Haines Ed ucation: 2004,Harvard University, doctorate in administration, planning and social policy; 19 97, Harvard, master ’s of edu- cation in administration,

planning and social policy;

19 92, J ohns Hopkins Uni-

ve rs ity, master ’s of science in administration and

supervision; 19 88, Uni- ve rs ity of Pittsburgh, ba chelor ’s of science in elementary education. Awards: Meritorious Se rvice Awa rd from the Te achers Association of Ba ltimore County, 2003;

Ou tstanding Ad minis- trator ’s Awa rd from Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, 19 96

DONNA M. HARGENS

County Chamber of Commerce, 19 96 DONNA M. HARGENS By Michael McLoone, Special to Th e

By Michael McLoone, Special to Th e Courier-Journal

Donna Hargens listens as Wa ke County, N.C., fo ur th- grader Christy Simmons, left, te lls Hargens about a math award she re ceived.

‘Quiet’ leader navigated N.C . busing co ntrove rsy

By Chris Ke nning

ckenning@courier-journal.com Th e Courier-Journal

RA LEIGH, N.C. — When Donna Har-

ge ns wa s asked to become interim super-

intendent of Wa ke Co unty Pu bl ic Schools here last ye ar, the

14 3,000-student district wa s deep in cri-

sis. Su burban pa re nts, disgruntled about

the district’s groundbreaking but co ntro-

ve rs ial student-assignment plan, elected

a new co nservat ive majority to the

school board, wh ich promised to end busing in favor of neighborhood schools. In re sponse, the superintendent abruptly quit, saying he co uldn’t do his

job in go od co nscience. Fu rious activists disrupted school board meetings so bad -

ly that seve ra l we re arrested. And the

NA AC P fi led a discrimination co m-

Se e HARGENS , A5, col. 1

DONNA M. HARGENS

Age: 53

Hometow n: Milwaukee Current home: Wa ke County, N.C. Fa mily: Husband, Jeremy,

54 ; son, Josh, 27; daughter,

Jenna, 25 Ed ucation: 2005, Se to n Hall University, doctorate

in education leadership, management and policy;

19 88, UNC-Chapel Hill,

master ’s in educational administration/supervision; 1979, Marquette University, ba chelor ’s degree Career: Chief academic officer of Wa ke County schools, 2006 to present; interim superintendent, 2010 -2 011; assistant super- intendent fo r curriculum and instruction, 2005- 06; area superintendent fo r we stern Wa ke , 2003 -0 5

FINALISTS ONLINE | Go to courier-journal.com/education to re ad prev ious cove rage, see videos of the two candi- INSIDE | Do nna Hargens

dates and submit questions before a C-J Ed itorial Board interview with Do nna Hargens at 1: 30 p.m. to day.

speaks at a public fo rum, B1.

Afghanistan envoy nominee: Mission isn’t hopeless

B1 . Afghanistan envoy nominee: Mission isn’t hopeless KY DLY Sena te airs worries in conf

KY DLY

Senate airs worries in conf irmation hearing

ed Wednesday that the U.S. must continue its multibillion-dollar in- vestment to foster a good enough” government in Kabul that would prevent the country from

backsliding into a sanctuary for terrorists.

tainable,” said Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., chairman of the Senate For-

Ryan Crocker was challenged eign Relations Committee.

repeatedly by skeptical senators who questioned a costly war now in its 10th year and nation-building that a fresh congressional report found has had limited success de- spite nearly $19 billion in foreign

ambassador to Afghanistan insist- aid over a decade. That’s more

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s choice for U.S.

Associated Press

By Donna Cassata

Looming large as senators pressed Crocker to state an Af- ghanistan endgame was Obama’s upcoming decision on how many of the 100,000 American troops to withdraw from Afghanistan in July. The death of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, reservations about unreliable ally Pakistan and signif icant U.S. budget constraints

Se e ENVOY, A2, col. 2

than the United States has spent in any other country, including Iraq. Our current commitment, in troops and dollars, is neither pro- portional to our interests nor sus-

dollars, is neither pro- portional to our interests nor sus- Ryan Crocker, President Ba- ra ck

Ryan Crocker, President Ba- ra ck Obama’s choice to be- come envoy to Afghanistan, te stifies We d- nesday on Cap- itol Hill before the Se nate Fo r- eign Re lations Committe e.

J. Sc ott Applewhite Associated Press

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A2 | THURSDAY , J UNE 9, 2011 | T HE COURIER-JOURNAL

FROM PAGE ONE | courier-journal.com

KY-

MSD | Fi scher says he wa nts ‘everything on the ta bl e’ fo r audit

Continued from A1

itself. An initial meeting of the mayor, MSD officials and Luallen will like- ly be required to start working on such details as their roles and how to select the auditor, Poynter said. MSD board attorney Larry Zielke said he’s preparing a resolu- tion to go to the board as early as Monday, authorizing the audit, which he expects to cost as much as $80,000. Board members would have to approve it for the study to go forward. It’s my understanding that the state auditor will select the firm and establish or recommend the scope of the review (and) purpose … not MSD,” the agency’s staff at- torney, Paula Purifoy, wrote in an

faced as it has steadily increased rates to pay for sewer system im- provements mandated by the Clean Water Act. The agency in 2005 agreed to make an estimated $850 million in upgrades to greatly reduce spills of untreated sewage into the Ohio River and its local tributaries, especially during heavy rains. Customers in Louisville — who have already seen their rates rise 5 percent to 7 percent a year since the mid-1990s — can expect more of the same. The board has tentatively ap- proved a 6. 5 percent increase for the coming fiscal year — the third straight annual increase of that size. By 2024, MSD has estimated the annual rate for a typical Louis- ville household will be $810, up

They keep adding more and adding more, and there is nothing you can do about it,” said Robert Jones, 84, of Pleasure Ridge Park. He said he welcomes the audit.

Metro Councilman Jerry Miller, R-19th, said he welcomes the audit. It’s very important we restore conf idence in MSD,” he said. This is the second time that

Paid raises and bonuses to Luallen has gotten involved in

Executive Director Bud Schardein and chief engineer Mark Johnson

in 2009, just months after Schar- September asked MSD’s private fi-

dein promised both would take 10

percent wage reductions for that look into allegations of financial

year. The paper also reported earlier

this year that three MSD board after allegations of mismanage-

members owned businesses that did work for the agency, including the chairman, vice chairman and former chairwoman. The three re- signed and have been replaced. Louisville Metro Council Presi- dent Jim King, D-10th District, praised Fischer for his decision to call for the management audit. It more or less conf irms my faith in the mayor’s intention to ad- dress this, and do it in an incremen- tal and logical manner,” King said. He also praised MSD. I’ve

nancial auditor, Crowe Horwath, to

MSD matters. The state auditor’s office in

the agency’s most recent human resources director for $140,000 and a promise of silence after he raised allegations of waste, fraud and mis- management.

and other irregularities within the agency. That inquiry was launched

ment were raised by Future Fund, a land trust that had been fighting a sewer line extension in eastern Louisville. But after reviewing the work by Crowe Horwath, Luallen conclud- ed there was no merit to some of Future Fund’s concerns, and others were beyond the scope of a finan- cial audit. That audit found no evi- dence of fraud or abuse of the agency’s finances. Jeff Frank, executive director of Future Fund, said he welcomed the broader scope of the new audit. He said he hoped auditors will look at issues he considers unre-

well as MSD’s practice of partner- ing with developers to build sewer

The day is set for the best and the brightest to step in and take an independent look at MSD,” he said.

Reporter James Bruggers can be reached at (502) 582-4645.

email. Obviously, it would be a from $402 in 2010.

conflict for MSD to be involved in this. The MSD board will only ap- prove the recommendation, agree to cooperate and pay whatever it

will cost.” Board President Arnold Celen- tano did not return calls Wednes-

day. But in a news release from the mayor’s office Tuesday, he said the board would likely approve the

mayor’s recommendation.

I believe we should operate as efficiently as possible and this re- view may result in recommenda- tions that would lead to improve- ment,” he said. I also look forward to any recommendations that im- prove the relationship with our customers.” Questions about spending and management at MSD have sur-

They’ve been paying out a lot of never had any complaints about

MSD. They have been very respon-

big bonuses to people,” he said.

In recent weeks, the newspaper sive to me and my constituents.”

has also found that MSD:

Has spent more than $7 mil- lion on outside lawyers since 2006, in addition to supporting a staff of four attorneys. Paid $350 an hour for a team- building coach in 2009 and 2010. Increased an outgoing hu- man resources director’s salary in

Metro Councilwoman Tina solved, such as how MSD has

structured a debt that totals

mains a big supporter of MSD’s $2.6 billion, including interest, as

plan to renovate its sewer system. But she said Wednesday she was

concerned to learn that Schar- lines.

dein’s and Johnson’s pay was es- sentially restored quickly after the announced cuts in 2009. That just

Ward-P ugh, D-9th, said she re-

the last five months of her career in seems so glaring. I am keenly inter-

ested in the explanations and justi- fications for those kinds of bonus- es and incentives.”

2008 to boost her public pension. Settled a threatened whistle- blower lawsuit in December with

ENVOY | Key issues make Co ngress re co nsider Afghan mission

Continued from A1

have forced even the more hawkish members of Congress to rethink continued U.S. involvement in Af-

ghanistan. The administration has

not said what will be the size of the

drawdown or whether it will in-

clude combat troops. On a glide path to Senate conf ir-

mation, Crocker said the U.S. can’t afford to abandon Afghanistan —

where the most realistic goal is a relatively stable government rath- er than the creation of shining city

on a hill.” Governance that is good enough to ensure that the country doesn’t degenerate back into a safe

haven for al-Qaida,” Crocker told the Foreign Relations panel. He recalled Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ warning that the U.S. walked away from Afghanistan in 1989 with disastrous results. We cannot afford to do so again,” said Crocker, who argued progress is hard, but hard does not mean hopeless.” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., summed up the frustration of law- makers. If we’re not going to walk away, how long are we going to stay and at what level?” he asked. Crocker said bluntly, I just don’t know the answer now.” He said the goal was avoiding a return to an al-Qaida haven. The trick is, how do you do it

and how much does it cost and financial crisis when foreign a sevenfold increase in the number Mark Toner said the administra-

how long does it take?” he added. The career diplomat, who has

served in Beirut, Baghdad and Isla- mabad, pointed to the upcoming transfer of control of seven prov- inces and districts to Afghan au- thority, a signif icant step as the United States pushes toward re- moving all its troops by 2014.

States pushes toward re- moving all its troops by 2014. J. Sc ott Applewhite/Associated Press Code

J. Sc ott Applewhite/Associated Press

Code Pink demonstrators protest behind Ryan Crocker, President Obama’s nominee fo r envoy to Afg hanistan, as he arrives to te stify to the Se nate Fo re ign Re lations Committe e. At right is Se n. John McCain, R-Ariz.

day that found that despite $18.8 billion spent by the U.S. to help sta-

month on foreign aid there, relying on the money to win hearts and

bilize and rebuild Afghanistan, minds.”

that nation is at risk of falling into

Among the successes has been

nomic recession and a long-term phase-out from current levels of donor spending,” the report said. State Department spokesman

troops leave in 2014. Misspent foreign aid can result in corruption, alter markets and undercut the ability of the Kabul government to control its resourc- es, said the report, posted Tuesday night on the Senate committee’s website. The World Bank found a whopping 97 percent of the gross domestic product in Afghanistan is linked to spending by the inter- national military and donor com- munities. Crocker said corruption total- ly unchecked becomes … a second insurgency.” The State Depart- ment and the U.S. Agency for In- ternational Development are spending about $320 million a

of children attending school and gains in health care. But the report said the U.S. must look closer at how it spends the money, relying heavily on contractors. The U.S. must do a better job of oversight, especially as it funds more aid

tion welcomed but did not endorse all the conclusions in the report. I think that USAID is already addressing many of the issues that were raised in the report concern- ing sustainability and oversight,” he said. And you know, we’ve un-

through the Afghan government. dertaken, we believe, in the past

One recommendation was to stan- dardize Afghan salaries and work with Kabul on staff limits. The panel’s Democrats also suggested Congress implement multiyear aid programs and closer scrutiny of stabilization programs. Transition planning should find the right balance between avoiding a sudden drop-off in aid, which could trigger a major eco-

years, some good efforts to change the way we do business.” Republicans and Democrats are pressing for a robust drawdown of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan, especially in a time of serious U.S. financial woes. The administra- tion is seeking about $3.2 billion in foreign aid for Afghanistan in next year’s budget, an amount likely to be closely reviewed.

that prompted Sen. Jim

Webb, D-Va., to argue that it does not necessarily guarantee a blow to enemy forces, who can move. International terrorism and guerrilla warfare in general is in- trinsically mobile,” Webb said. I fought a guerrilla war in Vietnam.” Kerry and the panel’s Demo- crats released a report late Tues-

But

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