Had we actually utilized the grant, we would have had that system in place before Katrina....think of the lives that could have been saved.
With that in mind, I thought it would be timely to revisit some of the stuff I uncovered on what happened and why the DOJ retracted the grant from the city.
To recap the story, briefly....the Department of Justice asked a man named Grant Holcomb, who owned a company named eXOS, to HELP spec the bid for the interoperability grant. Holcomb had been working for years with Tulane, developing a working interoperability system. At the time in 2003, he had one of most robust and developed solutions on the market...and possibly the only one. He was probably one of the only people who could properly write the bid, much less fulfill it.
As acting CTO, Meffert was in charge of the bidding process and distributing the grant....7 million dollars. He started fucking with the bid....trying to figure out a way to get his Imagine boys in on some of that cash. The DOJ realized what was going on and pulled the grant from the city.
In Meffert's defense, he claimed that he thought it was unethical to award the grant to the same person that had helped spec. the bid. That's funny, huh? He had a compulsory bout of conscience.
I actually got in contact with Holcomb to find out his side of the story. He sent me a series of emails which detailed a lot of what happened. Here are the pertinent links, in sequential order as I wrote them:
American Zombie: The DOJ grant revisited
American Zombie: DOJ Grant Redux Chapter 2
American Zombie: DOJ Grant Redux Chapter 3
American Zombie: DOJ Grant Redux Chapter 4
American Zombie: DOJ Grant Redux Volume 2; Chapter 1 This one is really good.
I want to prove that you are an unqualified and incompetent appointed public official who has undermined public safety and national security through the serial abuse of authority.
Does the public know that your first act as an appointed public official was to give yourself and Sherry Landry a raise? At a salary of $150,000.00 per year the public should gain some meaningful benefit, like addressing issues of public safety.
Does the public know that you have a liberal arts degree and do not have the engineering credentials to be the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of anything, particularly the City of New Orleans? Ordering Microsoft Software and Dell computers and hiring a third party to set up a web site does not make you "technical", nor should it cost the taxpayers so much a year.
Does the public know that Sherry's legal opinion against me was rendered after multiple failed attempts by you to kill the $7 million public safety grant? Here is the chronology of events that I witnessed first hand:
9.) After you reminded the Tulane General Counsel that the University had 27 active contracts with the City of New Orleans, I was told by the Tulane administration that they would no longer pursue the grant or take legal action to stop you.
Even an appointed public official must serve the interests of the community. Your actions reflect that you only serve your own interests.
I am an honor graduate of the United States Marine Corps Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare Defense School. I am a combat veteran. I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. After attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, I taught Electrical Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy. I have over 25 years of experience behind my claim that the inability to communicate during a natural disaster or terrorist attack directly results in the unnecessary loss of life. The grant submission presented how vulnerable the citizens of Southeast Louisiana are during a disaster. You intentionally ignored this critical information.
You abused your position and you ignored the safety of the citizens of the City of New Orleans. I personally think your negligence was criminal in nature because your actions were deliberate and intentional.
I pray that Mayor Nagin is successful in rebuilding the City of New Orleans and protecting its citizens. His first act should be to fire you immediately and start a grand jury investigation.
and finally....Holcomb's direct response to my blog posts:
American Zombie: Holcomb responds directly to Meffert's allegations
Remember that Greg Meffert stopped then redirected the grant after it was approved and awarded. He cycled through multiple approaches to kill the grant until his final attempt worked by sending a false official statement to the U.S. Department of Justice. If the U.S. DOJ had only verified Greg Meffert's claims in his letter I am confident he would be in jail right now. It is too easy to prove that he lied. Unfortunately, Tulane does not like bad press, of any kind, and directed me to move on to other efforts.
If it's any consolation Grant, you may finally see him in the clink after all.
It is worth going through all these posts to get a clear picture of what transpired. And while you're reading it....keep in mind that Meffert actually received an award for:
taking decisive and immediate action to deploy IP-technology during a public crisis to ensure ongoing government communications between the City of New Orleans and the outside world.
That tops Nagin's Excellence in Recovery award. Oh and notice the exchange in the comment section of that page....Meffert assumes that the poster "Katrina" is Holcomb, then retorts by signing his own name as Grant Holcomb.
You're so clever, Muppet.