Human Resources Director Kimla Milburn On Newell Application: "We were not able to get to it in a timely manner" ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Human Resources Director Kimla Milburn On Newell Application: "We were not able to get to it in a timely manner"

Regarding the unfolding Richard Newell appointment to head up our so-called Department of Transportation (which is really just a tiny bus system), I am reminded of the children's tune:

.....the wheels on the bus go round and round....round and round.....

I blame Human Resources Director Kimla Milburn for not only allowing this to happen, but based on my eight years with city government, during which I was also a member of the city's employee recognition committee, supposedly chaired by Milburn, I was repeatedly disappointed by her seeming lack of organization and managerial skills and her being consistently late to or unable to attend or otherwise being unprepared for meetings. It was a real morale-downer for me and other employees on the committee. Numerous times Milburn would promise to attend the following meeting with answers to questions posed by members and in almost every instance, she would come to the next meeting and tell us "Oh, I forgot to ask the mayor" or "I have not found out the answer yet" or some such excuse.

Regarding the apparent mess-up in uncovering Newell's interesting past, Milburn was heard on 1430WNAV today saying something to the effect of "We did not get to that in a timely manner". Uh, yeah, but her big paycheck gets to her every two weeks in a timely manner I am sure. And did she not have at least some role to play in the severe overtime crisis  for years that Cohen suddenly had to deal with?

And the real matter...How did this happen? Again, I will state that Newell's past actions are not necessarily the issue here. They happened a long time ago and he repaid his debt to society and built a career--a supposedly solid one, but who can we trust to know this?  Just as Lehr Jackson may be the best guy for The Market House,I am still displeased with the selection process; the same may be true of Richard Newell's selection.

However, did Mr. Newell completely fill out an employment application with the City? In particular, there is Question 12, which asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense in any court?" So, did Mr. Newell even fill out an application, and if he did, he obviously did not answer Question 12 in the affirmative. Or if he did, it was grossly overlooked?
12 Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offense in any court?

Do not include any conviction for which your record has been expunged. If the answer is yes, provide date, place, charge, court and sentence for the conviction. A conviction does not automatically mean that you will not be employed. The nature of the offense and when it occurred will be considered. Give all the facts so a decision can be made (attach additional sheets, if necessary, and label all additional sheets with name).

Perhaps his record had been expunged. If he didn't fill out an application, why was he not required to do so? Furthermore, why did he not voluntarily disclose these important background facts during the vetting process - application or not? But now that this has happened, what will happen to Ms. Milburn, whose retention in particular was questioned by ACP as a bad move on Cohen's part when he took office.

I wish more aldermen had joined Fred Paone who asked for a two-week period to review before approving or rejecting the application. After all, it has taken Cohen and his minions over nine months to get this far, so what is the hurry?

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