Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The LGO's Dumb and Dumber?

Background: I have been off-line for a while due to a series of unfortunate events. Firstly my computer crashed and it took quite a while reinstall all my programs and back up files. Unfortunately this happened just a day or so before I was due to go into hospital for a long awaited operation.

I was expecting to be in hospital for two or three days but ended up being in for a week. In addition, I was in one of the wards that hadn't yet had the TV/Internet/Telephone service installed to each bed which made matters even worse.

As a result when I returned home and switched on my computer my email imbox was overflowing with mail. To make it easier for myself I decided to tag each email and group them before responding. It is an analysis of these tags that led me to write this post which I decided to misleading call 'The LGO's Dumb and Dumber'.

The analysis of my latest bunch of emails confirmed what I and many other people already knew.
1) More people are dissatisfied with the York Office than the other two LGO Offices put together.
2) Two names keep cropping up with regularity when people complain about the York Office, Mr Hobbs and Mrs Seex.
Hence the title of this post 'The LGO's Dumb and Dumber?'

I first encountered the work of this un-dynamic duo some 5 years ago when they set about trying to cover up the mistakes made by Hobbs and his staff during an earlier (pre Seex) investigation. It would appear from the many emails I receive that their MO hasn't changed after all these years.

To illustrate the point I am trying to make I am using a few of the things they got up to with my complaint. There are many more if you read all the posts on this blog.

1) Mr Hobbs accepting the word of a council solicitor without validation. Even though evidence, contrary to what the solicitor stated, was available and overwhelming.

However, when this was brought to the attention of Mrs Seex she neither castigated Mr Hobbs for accepting the word of a council solicitor without validation or the solicitor for lying to him. Neither did she put into place any procedures to stop this happening because 6 years later this is still the most common complaint against LGO staff. Which rather goes to prove that accepting the lies of a council officer, instead of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is not only accepted it's a well established practice.

2) Mr Hobbs using irrational and ludicrous reasoning to support his decisions.

If it is established that a council officer misled the LGO you can request comeback on your complaint. As a result of the council officer lying to the LGO I requested comeback on my complaint. Mr Hobbs initially refused to comeback on my complaint stating irrationally and ludicrously that I didn't meet the comeback criteria.

Whilst Mrs Seex did eventually comeback on my case, let's face it she didn't really have an option, she failed  to put into place any procedures to stop this happening again because 6 years later, this is still a common complaint against LGO staff. Which rather goes to prove that the use of irrational and at times ludicrous reasoning to support their perverse decisions is not only an accepted it's a well established practice.

Within weeks of me persuading them to comeback on my case they introduced a 3 month time limit on future comeback requests making a similar request today impossible. It often takes much longer to establish that a council officer lied to the LGO let alone produce the evidence to request comeback within 3 months. Which rather goes to prove that they prefer to find ways to stop their use of irrational and at times ludicrous reasoning being challenged rather than eradicating the devious practice itself.

3) Mr Hobbs illegally initiating a complaint.

It was a well know fact at the time that, whilst the LGO could accept a complaint against a council, they were not statutory enabled to initiate a complaint themselves. However, this didn't deter Mr Hobbs from initiating a complaint against my council in my name without my agreement. The reason he did this was obvious, he didn't want to comeback on my original complaint, for that would have exposed his failings,  preferring instead to illegally initiate another complaint.

When this was brought to the attention of Mrs Seex it was dismissed as a mere triviality. Which begs the question, if the LGO are willing to turn a blind eye the illegal activities of their staff what else do they conveniently overlook?

I had been suspicious for a years that the LGO had been giving me different information than that they gave the Council, however, until the Freedom of Information Act there was very little I could do to confirm my suspicions.

4 and 5 below are as a result of Freedom of Information and Data Protection requests to the council.

4) Statistical manipulation.

I was concerned at how this  'extra' illegally initiated complaint would be statistically recorded by the LGO because I was well aware that they had a habit of multi counting complaints to maximise the benefit to them. I was assured that this would not be recorded in any way beneficial to them. However, when I eventually obtained a copy of the letter they sent the council it contradicted that assurance. Which rather goes to prove that they are quite prepared to lie to complainants when it suits them. 

5) Fabrication of documents.

During communications with the Council I became suspicious that a letter the LGO had 'supposedly' sent both of us had in fact never been sent to the Council. I decided to use the Freedom of Information Act to prove my theory, if the Council could produce the letter then my theory was wrong, if they couldn't then I was right, the LGO was just being deviously misleading by sending me a copy of a letter they hadn't actually sent the council.

The response to my Freedom of Information request took longer that expected but the reason soon became obvious. The Council didn't have a copy of the letter as I had suspected, however, rather than just admitting that they contacted the LGO who decided to fabricate a letter for them.

This in itself is suspicious because a Freedom of Information request is a request for information held and a valid response is that they don't have the information requested. So why go to the trouble of fabricating a letter?

There is only one logical answer to that question and that was an attempt to cover up the fact they never sent the Council the letter in the first place?

When I compared the letter the LGO produced for the Council to the one they sent to me years earlier it became obvious that they had fabricated the letter for the Council. Good job otherwise I would have been unaware of their duplicitous behaviour concerning this matter. Which rather goes to prove that they are quite prepared to fabricate letters when it suits them. 

Earlier I stated that I had misleading called this post 'The LGO's Dumb and Dumber'. That's because they are far from Dumb and Dumber, it's just that when someone tries to arrive at a conclusion, that logic and evidence doesn't support, the only options available to them are

a) to use use irrational and fallacious  argument to support their position. The one used by Mr Hobbs on many occasions during my complaint and if the emails I receive are anything to go by, he is still using today.

b) to overlook or ignore the issue or some available evidence. The one used by Mrs Seex on many occasions during my complaint and if the emails I receive are anything to go by, she is still using today.

The problem is that the above options make the most intelligent person look dumb.  

It's a good double act though, one to initially try and put people off with perverse decisions supported by irrational arguments and the other to overlook or at least minimise any fallout created by the use of such devious tactics.

Tactics which due to their unaccountability they have been able to get away with for years. The only downside is that in using these tactics they make themselves look like Dumb and Dumber. More about the Dummies that work for them in a later post.

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