Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The more we know, the better decisions we can make as a community

The Turner Report, a blog run by Randy turner in Joplin, Mo., has been combing a state audit and other records related to that city’s hiring Wallace Bajjali as master developer. His latest review of the documents once again shows that the now defunct master developer had an inside track with at least one Joplin city councilor, the city manager and others.

Those connections were clearly structured to have certain people benefit from Wallace Bajjali deals. And one city councilor now faces possible censure from the Joplin City Council this coming week. Don’t forget, too, that the state auditor has turned over material to a state prosecutor for review of possible criminal wrongdoing.

We have commented on the strong parallels between Amarillo and Joplin in dealing with Wallace Bajjali and the fallout from the fraudster firm’s vaporizing. It’s too bad neither Texas nor Amarillo have a similar mechanism in the form of a state auditor to undertake the same kind of probe as was done in Joplin. But we have an equally potent one if we care to use it: The Amarillo City Council has Sec. 19 of the city’s code to launch a similar investigation. Between the city and the FBI, the public should learn who did what for whom as part of this tainted deal.

We deserve no less than the full and honest truth. The leftover mayor and councilor need to face the fact that the more they resist letting the full truth out, the more trust they lose — and they ain’t got much left at this point anyway.

It’s time to start the Sec. 19 investigation so some information can come out before the Nov. 3 vote on the proposed ballpark.