Thursday, June 27, 2013

Speaking with forked tongue?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM

State Sen. Kent Lambert apparently can't decide whether he supports an after-action report of the Black Forest Fire or not, or maybe he simply doesn't remember what he says one day to the next.

Sen. Kent Lambert, Black Forest Fire
  • Lambert's website
  • Lambert: Don't take what he says to heart.

In an interview on June 14 following the evening news briefing, Lambert said he had heard there were communications problems during the fire. When we asked him to elaborate, he said:

I’m not going to say exactly yet. Because I’m hearing this anecdotally. But I’m going to be asking some questions next week when the budget committee meets. I’d like to at least put down that we need to do an after-action report on this ... I think we need to look at it comprehensively, the whole thing.

Listen to the recording I made of the interview here:

We reported his comments as part of our coverage in the following week's paper.

On Monday, we asked Lambert if he had, in fact, followed up on asking the state to sanction an after-action report, and the following e-mail exchange ensued:

Lambert: "Right now, I only discussed about the solvency of our emergency fund balances through the end of the fiscal year, and so far we are OK. In the new fiscal year, another $42M should kick in. The county and the state will be doing damage surveys first. We will see what they come up with first."

Indy: "If you've changed your mind, we need to set the record straight that you WILL NOT seek an after action review and either misspoke last week or spoke too soon, or however you can help us to characterize your earlier statements."

Lambert: "There need to be some after action reports — probably from the county level, and maybe in conjunction with the state.... I never considered a formal study of fire operations as a budget-initiated action."

Indy: "Do you support or not support an after action review of a fire that was completely state funded? It sounds like you are in favor of having the county assess the response, is that right?"

Lambert: "You are right. You are really not getting it."

Indy: "I'd welcome the chance to discuss it later today if you're available."

No word since then from Lambert.

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