Something fishy is going on in Snohomish County and, once again, extreme “green” activists are involved. According to a recent report, a whistle blower complaint has led to an independent investigation into Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) and $16 million worth of no-bid contracts it granted, since 2011, to a Seattle-based company called 1Energy. 1Energy is involved in a clean energy project known as MESA (Modular Energy Storage Architecture). King 5 reports,
“1Energy was founded by David Kaplan…
“[The whistleblower] showed KING 5 four years worth of documents connected to the 1Energy contract. He said it shows outgoing PUD CEO and General Manager Steve Klein laid the foundation for the no-bid contracts, intellectual property arrangements and other important information connected to the project with one important utility employee, David Kaplan.
“Kaplan left Snohomish PUD two months before the company he started in 2010 won the no-bid contract in September 2011.
“‘Pre-negotiating a contract with an employee in the public space? It’s not ok,’ commented [the whistleblower], ‘Ethically, you have to know better than to negotiate a contract with your colleague and set him up three days after they leave.’”
Just to be clear, Kaplan started 1Energy while still a PUD employee. Records show he first incorporated his company in Delaware. He then registered the business in Washington State during the summer of 2010.
Email evidence also indicates that Kaplan and his supervisors at PUD negotiated most of the contract that would go to his future company while he was still working for the district. In fact, Kaplan was “part of the district’s executive team and reported directly to PUD CEO and General Manager Steve Klein.” Klein retired as CEO and General Manager of PUD last month.
But, that’s not where the fishiness ends. Top officials from the state Department of Commerce also went to work for 1Energy shortly before Commerce awarded Snohomish PUD a whopping $7.3 million to help pay for the work done by… 1Energy. Rogers Weed, who was the director of Commerce from 2009 until early 2013, in now one of Energy1’s vice presidents. The other vice president is Daniel Malarkey, who was deputy director under Weed. The Everett Herald points out that Kaplan himself was a contractor for Commerce from April 2009 until March 2010.
Last month, the PUD’s commissioners “decided to put on hold a new contract with 1Energy worth as much as $3.8 million.”
As could be expected, Jay Inslee has ties to the scandal. In 2014, Inslee was proud to highlight the PUD’s $7.3 million in “clean energy fund smart grid grants.” That’s the same $7.3 million earmarked for various projects associated with 1Energy.
This isn’t the first—and it certainly will not be the last—green scandal with Inslee’s fingerprints on it. As Shift reported, the same corrupt extreme green organizations involved in the scandal that brought down disgraced former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber are operational in Inslee’s administration.
Shift will keep you updated on this story as it develops.
Photo via King 5.
Eastside Sanity says
Liberals & Ethics never mix well. The Greens only care about the truth as they see it. Hamsters.
J. Sanabria says
Hamsters! I love it!
J. Sanabria says
I hope all this has been reported to the county authorities; that’s a lot of money that could be used for, oh, I don’t know, making sure our bridges don’t collapse under us…
PUD doesn’t have anything to do with roads. However those funds could have been used for infrastructure improvements. I guess it also have been used to line union people’s pockets also. Remember the cry “too big to fail “? Well our governments have gotten too big to suceed.
Eastside Sanity says
Or returned to the taxpayer…..
Maynard, I can assure you the UNION members in no way ever too advantage of the missing $800,000.00 dollars. There needs to be a true legitimate independent criminal investigation into this whole mess…before time gets away from us.
Jim Thomas says
Just a matter of time and connecting the dots…bye,bye Inslee!
Here’s a letter I wrote to the Herald re the article they printed on this subject:
Let me see if I understand correctly. A whistleblower from inside PUD says that PUD is paying 1 Energy, a startup company, $16.2 million in contracts without competitive bids and this doesn’t seem right. PUD Commissioners hire an attorney to investigate PUD. The attorney that PUD hires finds that PUD didn’t follow their own procedures and that allowed the ‘appearance’ of impropriety.
Dave Kaplan was hired as an employee of PUD for $193,440 per year prior to his creating 1 Energy. He worked “…side by side with the same executives who would ultimately advocate to the Commission (PUD Commission) that it approve the contract with his company, 1 Energy.”
I believe it would have been more informative had the article included the following paragraph from the investigating attorney, “Given the distinctive nature of the contractual undertaking, and Mr. Kaplan’s recent employment at the Utility and unique access to insider information that gave him a competitive advantage, it would also have been advisable for the Utility to arrange for an independent review of the contract. That could have been achieved by seeking guidance outside the Utility from a third party with the requisite expertise and no stake in the outcome.”
It also seems pertinent to know that 1 Energy has hired the former Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce and The Deputy Director of the State Department of Commerce. Political insiders do not seem to me to be experts in energy storage.
Finally, the accusation by Mr. Kline that the whistleblower was attempting to ‘undermine PUD’s successful policies’ and ‘destroy the reputation of commissioners and staff’ is obviously contradicted by the facts in PUD’s own investigation.