I have apparently kicked a hornet’s nest. What seemed to be a disgruntled former employee providing me with tips and areas to look into concerning the Cumberland County 911 Call center has turned into a quagmire of what appears to be official misconduct at the highest levels.
I had heard stories about the 911 Call Center, basically when looking into the feasibility of combining the Millville Dispatch with the County Call Center. My main concern was that the County Call center was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lou Magazzu Empire. I had heard some word-of-mouth stories, but had nothing substantial. In general, I am in favor of consolidating services as long as we see a fiscal advantage, and there is no reduction in services provided.
Recently I have been in conversations with several people that have been closely involved with the Call Center, and what I hear repeated is that morale is in the gutter. I initially was asking about the time card fraud prevalent throughout the county under Lou Magazzu/Bill Whelan’s regime. But what I hear about the Call Center makes the time card machinations look like child’s play compared to the other allegations.
I did some research to find out who ran the Call Center. The director is James Matlcok, appointed by – imagine this – Bill Whelan and approved unanimously by Lou Magazzu’s band of puppet Freeholders.
Under his watch, four EEOC complaints have been filed against the department. Of course, nobody knows what is contained in these complaints, as they involve an open investigation. Nobody even knows who filed these complaints, that won’t be known until the investigations are complete. For all we know, they might all be frivolous and baseless. But that would be stretching the bounds of the imagination, don’t you think? What we do know is that the county has hired several law firms for the defense in these complaints. This is money that might likely never have had to be spent had the department been run properly and openly. Time will tell.
The other rumors – and as of this time they are rumors and hearsay – are the allegations that the Call Center is regularly undermanned during holidays and other times where the number of calls and stress levels peek. The employees, I am told, use personal and sick time to avoid what they say is a “hostile work environment”.
What happens during these days is that call overflow is forwarded to Gloucester County Call Center – burdening them. Gloucester County then calls and complains, asking “what the ‘f’ is up, why can’t the Cumberland Call Center handle their job?” Allegedly, complaints are then filed with O.E.T.S. in Trenton concerning the Cumberland Call center performance. Hopefully an OPRA will provide me with confirmation, or rebuttal of these allegations. Either way, I will try to find the truth.
Stay tuned, as I get information that I can make public (I am sitting on a ton of stuff that I cannot even talk about at this time, it is too incendiary) I will post it here first!