Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sarah Palin's Dairygate is back in the news

The investigation into the Dairygate shenanigans made the news a couple of days ago. One of the people at the centre of the investigation drew attention to some financial irregularities:

[Kay] Schaugaard, who hasn’t bought creamery milk since she was ordered to leave the premises Dec. 5, 2008, said Monday she strongly suspects her termination is directly related to her allegations that company executives misspent federal funds.

“Some of the financial transactions that I was in the process of researching were extremely suspicious,” Schaugaard said Monday. “I couldn’t track where the grant money had been deposited. Kyle Beus and Karen Olson would not give me the data I needed or the answers I needed to make sense of their finances.”

I quoted Andrew Halcro in a previous post:

There is no question that the Valley Dairy is being run by people with a track record of defaulting on government loans. Between Kyle Beus and Karen Olson, they've defaulted on $4 million in loans.

This past fall, after discovering that Beus had made a draw of $15,000 from the dairy's account, Olson was heard by her former office administrator saying, "we're all f--ked...probably doing some jail time," as she paced the floor.

According to the former Milk Room Supervisor, the dairy has continued to dump milk in their septic system as well as spilling milk behind the dairy, after promising DEC that it would be cleaned up before it drains into the Wasilla Creek.

Beus has been seen by employees making cash sales to customers in the ice cream room and pocketing the money, as well as paying employees in cash.

If Karen Olson was pacing the floor over $15,000, I can imagine what she must be like today, as the the figure has risen to over $600,000!

Did the private sector people pocket the money? Was it used to say thank you to the people who provided them with such a wonderful business opportunity?

Sarah Palin, in her quitting speech on the shores of lake Wasilla, proudly announced:

"We took government out of the dairy business and put it back into private-sector hands - where it should be."

By March 2009, this fantastic business had received:

$600,000 - August 2007
$200,000 - December 2007
$624,000 - March 2008 (this money was juicy pork from uncle Ted Stevens)
$630,000 - September/ November 2008
$200,000 - March 2009

Since then, they have borrowed more money from the Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund, which they used to pay previous loans to clear the way so they could apply for further loans. It makes sense, no? They take the revolving part very seriously.

These loans are facilitated by a bunch of Sarah Palin's cronies, appointed when she sacked the previous Board of Agriculture. Former beauty queen Kristan Cole and cow lover Franci Havemeister are among them.

Ms Schaugaard gives us some hope by referring to an investigation by the FBI:

Schaugaard said Monday the Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation into the alleged funds misuse. When contacted earlier this year, the FBI would neither confirm nor deny such an investigation exists, as is its policy.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that this investigation is actually happening.

I just noticed something funny in the passage about Karen Olson above:

According to the former Milk Room Supervisor, the dairy has continued to dump milk in their septic system as well as spilling milk behind the dairy.

This is from a recent post:

...the BAC is also considering loaning these folks even more money to facilitate the transition. According to news reports, the Creamery is asking for an additional $300,000 from the state for moving expenses and needed upgrades to the property.

According to a recent article in the Mat Su-Valley Frontiersman, Matanuska Creamery CEO Karen Olson said the business needs to leave its current location because high rent, lack of public water and sewer and other issues are hurting the business.

It looks like they clogged the septic system themselves and are now asking for $300,000 to help them relocate to Palmer. This woman is something else and it doesn't surprise me that Sarah Palin thought she was a fitting CEO for the new business, as did the rest of the cronies board.

Dairygate is like a major soap opera and it's very difficult to keep track of all the twists and turns, but if the Feds are on the case, it's bound to get very exciting indeed!

Follow the money, as we say so often. I do hope it leads directly to Sarah Palin and/or her cronies...