During his office hours in Los Osos on Thursday, SLO County Board of Supervisors chairman Bruce Gibson confirmed that the board will proceed with the analysis of former LOCSD president Lisa Schicker’s conflict-of-interest complaint.
Also appearing at the office hours was Paavo Ogren, the subject of Schicker’s complaint. He appeared shaken as he, for the first time, addressed the allegations.
“I think it’s absurd, it really is,” said Ogren, who lowered his head in exasperation. “I never worked with Montgomery Watson-Harza. [The allegations] are just ridiculous.”
After LOCAC board member Linde Owen got in a series of heated exchanges with Ogren, Gibson stated, “[The complaint] is a textbook case of a series of assertions. I’ve read most of the complaint and I don’t see any indications of conflict of interest — none at all.”
In his defense, Ogren later stated that he never worked with Montgomery Watson-Harza. In fact, he worked on a team that competed against MWH — around the time the LOCSD started to work with MWH — but he never mentioned the team he was working with at the time.
Ironically, Gibson declined to comment on pending personnel investigations involving Wilcox/Edge and Ghezzi/Keller.
For additional commentary, click on “Read More”
At the office hours, I stated that it would be best for both sides of the Schicker complaint to refrain from comment until the analysis was completed.
There are legitimate questions that were raised about Ogren’s background in Schicker’s complaint. At the same time, I believe the “conflict of interest” allegation is flawed.
Unfortunately, when people are talking about the complaint, the conversation suddenly turns into questioning Lisa Schicker’s credibility. Granted, the complaint lacks organization and guidance, but I’m not very fond of talking negatively about someone when they’re not in the room. Also, that sort of discussion strays from the issue itself.
It’s also ironic that Gibson will comment freely on the Ogren investigation but would not comment on other personnel investigations.
Let’s stop talking about the absurdity of the complaint until Counsel is done reviewing it.