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City graft: Human beings are at stake

By   /   September 30, 2010  /   Comments

We first met Teena Skipper last week. She’s a real, live person, the widow of a retired and now deceased city employee, Bill Skipper.

It’s a travesty that six months after learning that Bill Skipper was cheated out of his city pension funds, the first time City Manager Alfred Lott saw Teena Skipper’s face was on the front page of this newspaper and is still refusing to pay up.

Teena and Bill Skipper, by the city’s own account, are among the countless victims of the shoddy Lott-led Albany city government, which hasn’t bothered to say hello, much less “I’m sorry,” to Teena Skipper.

Public records and tape recordings reviewed by the Journal reveal that the city human resources department concluded that it underpaid Bill Skipper at least $112,000, due to errors in the administration of his pension.

Naturally, when this mistake was discovered, Bill Skipper’s estate should have received a big check and an audit should have been ordered to identify other potential victims and to determine who might have been overpaid by the city pension fund.

Has either happened? No, because as has been demonstrated repeatedly over the past five years, what’s most important to Lott and his bosses – the Albany City Commission members – is not good governance, it is ensuring that political favors are distributed and that their mistakes, fraud, and corruption are not revealed.

Collectively, the City Commission members are wreaking havoc in our community up to and including destroying individuals’ lives.

It’s a secret no more.

Bishop still avoiding

truth about scholarships

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop still has a lot of explaining to do about need-based
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation scholarships.

Among the unanswered questions:

n  Why does Bishop think it is OK for him to continue to serve in Congress when he selected family members and friends to receive needs-based scholarships?

n  What is the relationship between each of the scholarship recipients to Bishop and/or his family members and staff members?

n  Who received scholarships, for how much, how many times, and for which schools?

n  What were the criteria he used in awarding the scholarships?

n  Who served on the committees that helped him determine the recipients?

n  What was done to promote the scholarship program?

n  How did the scholarship recipients learn about the scholarship program?

n  Why did he ask the foundation to directly pay some, if not all, of his scholarship recipients directly rather than following the rule of sending the money to the educational institutions.

It’s been more than a month since the scandal broke and Bishop still hasn’t provided this information. At best, this is disturbing.

This week, we sent an e-mail asking Bishop these questions, some of which we’ve already asked him with no response.

We will let our readers know when and how Bishop responds

Kevin By Kevin Hogencamp

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  • Published: 1796 days ago on September 30, 2010
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  • Last Modified: September 29, 2010 @ 5:00 am
  • Filed Under: Outlook


  1. Truth B Known says:

    AMEN,i hope more things are to come out.The Truth that is.

  2. eagle eye says:

    I don’t think you will get answers from Bishop. Good questions. If answers are given, folks will know him for what he really is.

    Remember, Kevin, those in Congress think they have immunity from the public and its nagging questions. For too many years, we let these “trusted servants” conduct our business virtually unfettered. And now they answer to no one–me and you included.

    We made it easy for them to become what they are. We never asked the right questions long ago when they once listened. Too late for sorry on this one.

About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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