The image above is from the "Approval for Payment" box on the purchase order for the Aug. 1, 2010 Town Meeting for which WBLS was paid $20,000. According to Taylor, it was signed by IT Director Norman Christopher Payne, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs and Purchasing Agent David Spaulding.
Aha! So "S Rob B" must be the mayor!
But why is she listed as a department head? Readers may recall that when Payne was hired, the mayor declared he would report directly to her in his role as director of the new Division of Media and Information Technology. However, all divisions are required to be under one of the three departments listed in the city's special charter, so eventually the discrepancy was resolved when the City Council passed an ordinance placing the new division within the Department of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services. See Plaintalker's post here.
Payne's name has never come up before in connection with the WBLS matter, nor has that of another employee that Taylor mentioned. It remains to be seen whether the council will have to broaden its inquiry, which so far only involves Taylor, Spaulding, Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson, former acting Chief Finance Officer Sandra Cummings and the mayor.
By having Payne reporting directly to her, the mayor sidestepped the system in which division heads report to department heads, who in turn are accountable to the city administrator, who is in charge of day-to-day operations of the city. This structure theoretically provides checks and balances on spending and such.
Payne came to the city in February 2010 after serving nine years in the Plainfield school district as an IT coordinator. The ordinance placing the new division under AFH&SS did not take effect until almost a year later.