He Lied!

Click here for the full report: "A Blatant and Knowing Lie".

fingers crossedWhat can you say?  A lie is a lie even when it comes from the newly appointed Assistant to the Director, Office of Buildings: Ainsley Caldwell.

Formerly the Arboricultural Manager for the City of Atlanta, Caldwell was asked point blank in a City Law Department investigation about the Standards of Practice for which is he has been accused by The Tree Next Door of failing to enforce. According to the investigative report, "Caldwell explained that the Standards of Practice are professional expectations as opposed to Standard Operating Procedures which are rules."

Really now?  Did the Law Department even THINK about asking to see a copy of these Standard Operating Procedures to verify their existence?  No, they simply took Caldwell at his word.  Apparently, when the City of Atlanta's Law Department investigates, they dismiss any evidence that might incriminate a City employee.  The Law Department's job is clearly not to investigate but to protect.

The Tree Next Door stepped in to perform the job the City Law Department should have done themselves.  We requested a copy of these so-called "Standard Operating Procedures".  We had to file three separate requests under the Open Records Act to get them -- a clear violation of Georgia State Law which requires the first request to have received a response within three business days -- but once the City responded, they told us what we already knew:

The Standard Operating Procedures do not exist.  The Arborist Division uses Standards of Practice, not Standard Operating Procedures.

So, there you have it.   Caldwell lied to his own Law Department in a legal investigation.  It couldn't be more straightforward.  But why did he lie? Why did he mischaracterize the Standards of Practice as not being the actual rules to be enforced?  Why did he make up some bogus nonsense about non-existent "operating procedures" trumping the Standards of Practice?

Was he covering for himself and his gross lack of enforcement of these Standards of Practice?  Or could Caldwell have simply been confused and thought there must exist some Standard Operating Procedures which were the rules he was to enforce, relieving him of not having to enforce the Standards of Practice?  If so, he must have never read his job description in which the second sentence under "Essential Duties" states:

"Review work completed by arborists and plan reviewers to ensure accuracy and compliance with established Standards of Practice."

Actually, we give more credit to Caldwell for knowing more about the essential duties of the Arboricultural Manager's job than he would like for the City Law Department to believe.  The extent to which Caldwell knows and has even testified under oath that the Standards of Practice are required to be followed is detailed in the report "A Blatant and Knowing Lie".

Two questions now loom:

  1. First,  if Caldwell will knowingly lie to the City's Law Department, how will Don Rosenthal, the new Director of the Office of Buildings, ever know if his new Assistant is telling him the truth?
  2. Second, how can COO Peter Aman expect anyone to take seriously this law investigation he requisitioned when clearly the City Law Department accepts, without verification, bold-faced lies as the truth?

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