Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Boondocks Affair, Part 2: Zbig Reveal

Posted By on Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 8:45 AM

We reported last week that attorney Bill Risner had unveiled an affidavit from Zbigniew Osmolski, a former county employee who said under oath that Bryan Crane, a programmer in the county's elections division, confessed to him that he has flipped the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority election at the order of his bosses.

Osmolski said in his sworn statement that the alleged exchange took place at the Boondocks Lounge on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008.

We haven't been able to get a hold of Osmolski--he hasn't returned our phone call--but through a public-records request, we did get a hold of his county personnel file, which shows he could be quite a character when he was working for the county.

Osmolski was fired in 2002 for insubordination after he was busted drinking on the job. Among the details in the file:

• Osmolski refused to take a blood-alcohol test after his supervisor believed she smelled alcohol on his breath. She was checking on Osmolski after hearing that he smelled of booze and had grabbed the hand of a co-worker in the elevator because "he liked" to hold her hand.

Osmolski's notice of dismissal notes that his supervisor “had verbally counseled you to not drink before coming to the office or any public meeting where you represented the county. She stated that citizens had complained to her that you attended meetings reeking of alcohol and were obnoxious and belligerent in meetings.”

• Osmolski tried to explain his intoxicated state by claiming that he was taking prescription pills and wearing cologne with an aroma of alcohol. Osmolski could not produce a prescription or a sample of his eau de booze in a subsequent investigation.

• Osmolski had been reprimanded in 1995 for losing a county-issued car in the parking lot of the Desert Diamond Casino. The car ended up getting towed to the Sheriff’s Department.

In that case, Tony Paez, who was then director of the county’s transportation department, reduced a two-week suspension to a written reprimand because of Osmolski’s “outstanding performance and significant contributions to this department.”

• Osmolski was reprimanded in 1992 for asking for a date from a engineering consultant who complained that she felt sexually harassed by the invitation. The engineer said that Osmolski told her a breakfast, lunch or dinner date could mean “lots of money.”

In the personnel file, Osmolski complained that “this matter was improperly investigated.”

Whatever Osmolski’s history—Risner said last week that Osmolski lost his county job because he was a whistleblower in a story about fixed engineering contracts—Risner hopes the affidavit is enough evidence of potential criminal wrongdoing that Goddard will send an investigator down to Tucson and ask a judge to order the ballots to be recounted as part of a criminal investigation.

In a letter to Goddard this week, Risner says a recount could put the matter to rest.

"Whether or not a crime has occurred can be simply and definitely determined through an examination of the ballots," Risner wrote. "We ask for you to personally direct that the current investigation be conducted in such a manner as to arrive at an answer that the people of Pima County can accept."

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