I resigned from the TAPS board of directors on Monday (Dec. 1, 2015), confident that the time has come for Collin County to move forward in a new direction.
When the board of directors asked me to chair the finance committee in late August of this year, I accepted the assignment and immediately initiated a review of TAPS' finances, a project which ultimately revealed the extent of TAPS' financial troubles. Likewise, when the board of directors asked me to assume the role of board chairman in October, I accepted the assignment and immediately attempted the task of rebuilding and repairing TAPS' finances and operations.
Unfortunately, what I uncovered was a pattern of gross mismanagement, including:
- inaccurate and deceptive communications from the management team to the board,
- a failure to maintain accurate financial records and reports,
- a failure to follow basic grant program guidelines,
- a failure to maintain the agency's fleet,
- a $4 million agency debt that was concealed from the board of directors until September (which has since climbed to over $6 million),
- a willful decision by management not to pay IRS payroll taxes, and
- an Inspector General investigation into possible criminal misconduct by the former agency director.
TAPS has clearly failed in its most central responsibilities: to serve the citizens of Collin County with excellence, and to carefully guard public assets and resources.
In my final comments to the board of directors on Monday, I expressed my frustrations with the litany of financial and operational failures that have come to light during the last four months. Through all of these challenges, I've never forgotten that my first responsibility is always to you – the citizens and taxpayers of Collin County. That is why I decided the time had come for me to step down from the TAPS board of directors, and that is why it is essential that Collin County officially terminate its relationship with TAPS. I will recommend this action at the commissioners court meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.