Gee thanks FBI

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AJ-NataleWarren City Auditor A.J. Natale has been indicted in Federal court for terrorism related charges stemming from having allegedly sent a “white powder” via the U.S. Mail to a former employer in November 2014. My questions are: Why did it take the FBI more than 16 months to bring these charges? Why did the FBI wait nearly a full year to send the envelope containing the white powder to a lab for DNA testing? Why did it take five months after the testing to bring the charges?

These are important questions because every citizen is entitled to due process under the law, but the citizens of Warren were also entitled to know these things at the time Mr. Natale’s name was on the ballot to become Warren Auditor. It was well known among the political class in town long before Natale entered the Democratic primary in the Spring of 2015. Gee thanks FBI, for dumping this problem in our laps.

Which also begs the question, why didn’t the Warren Democratic Party support Natale’s opponent in the primary? Andy Barkley, who ran against Natale, is a local businessman with experience on City Council and a sterling reputation. Wouldn’t he have been a better choice even then? Everyone saw this train pulling out of the station long ago, but theDemocratic Party stood on the tracks and watched; and now they’ve been run over.

Of course they’ve also been standing on the tracks watching the financial crisis that is headed our way for an even longer period of time, while doing nothing about it. And now they may have to deal with it without an auditor to assist them. My guess is that Doug and Enzo will now want to hire retired former Auditor Dave Griffing as a consultant, to help plug the holes if it becomes impossible for Natale to continue in his job.

This would be the wrong move in my view. Griffin has plenty of experience doing the Auditor’s job from Florida, since he was rarely here the last two years he was in office. But he is also the guy who helped create the financial mess we are now in. It’s time to bring in an independent, non-politician, CPA to put together a real budget — one City Council and interested citizens can understand, so we can make informed choices in the coming period of belt-tightening.

Posted Wednesday, March 30th, 2016 under Crime.

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