A reader emailed us and told us that the supervisor who received the free trip to Stockholm, Sweden to attend a global warming conference with Al Gore was Don Stapley. Turns out Cisco Systems paid NACo (National Association of Counties) for the trip. Coincidentally, Stapley used to be president of NACo. Now, the county is about to purchase four $500,000 Cisco servers it doesn't need. The county's CIO, Steve Wetzel, used to work for Cisco as the Director of the Cisco Network Academy at Gateway Community College and is arranging the purchases.
In these minutes from December 19, 2007, Stapley brags about the trip and how the county is tops in IT. Well no doubt, when you're spending that kind of money! Extraordinarily irresponsible for government to be spending like the private sector when the county is undergoing layoffs and the Sheriff's Office no longer has enough deputies to escort prisoners timely to their court appearances.
Supervisor Stapley said he had attended a very successful NACo Board of Directors meeting in Florida along with several other Arizona members. From there he went to Stockholm, Sweden for a government summit on global warming and the impact of technology on global warming. He said that several people obviously knew about Maricopa County’s planned Innovation Center and the technology that will be available to local governments. He said the County already has “a reputation as being pretty innovative.”Stapley is already under federal investigation and is being prosecuted on 117 counts of financial fraud. His business partner is Conley Wolfswinkel, a convicted felon. Sounds like there needs to be some house cleaning done at the County Supervisors and their IT department.