A three-inch thick report, the latest installment in the flow of answers to allegations that Montgomery County Police Chief Robert J. diGrazia has mismanaged his department, was being reviewed yesterday by a county council staff member, who had called previous department responses inadequate and unresponsive.
Andrew Mansinne Jr., director of the council's Office of Legislative Oversight, Monday received the documents which dealth with allegations about the department's spending and contract procedures. He said he would report on his findings to the council.
Karen Helfert, vice chairman of Code 3, a citizen's organization that made charges of police mismanagement in the summer, branded the document "the same old thing under a different cover."
In the report DiGrazia defends his philosophy of sending employes on trips throughout the country for training programs, noting that this is "markedly different" than previous department practice. Code 3 has charged the frequent trips have not improved citizen safety or the working conditions of street officers. DiGrazia asserts that the trips to training programs and other police agencies expose the employes to new management techniques.
The report also contains detailed answers to questions raised by Mansinne about the awarding of "mini-contracts," consultants' contracts for under $5,000 which are exempt from county bidding procedures. DiGrazia's use of the contracts has been attacked by Code 3, and Mansinne stated previously that county procedures were "admittedly not followed" in awarding three contracts totaling nearly $4,800.
DiGrazia said in the report that there are times when his administration needs "immediate assistance" in planning or operating a program, and that he took advantage of the county's mini-contracts procedure, which avoids the "time-consuming formal or informal bid process" in these circumstances. The report said the procedure provided both quality and cost effectiveness.