We all have a boss. Even CEO’s are overseen by a board. Victor Mercado has learned that the hard way. He was CEO of the Bexar Metropolitan Water District until last night. He was hired in November, 2009. His troubles started in May. that month, he hired a lawyer to address the board and tell them that hey were micromanaging the utility. The board is elected, so they probably did not appreciate the message or the messenger. See San Antonio Express News report.
In August, Gilbert Herrera, a Bexar Met business analyst told a San Antonio Express News reporter that the utility was overstating its revenue by $3 million. He said the utility was resisting his advice to properly classify a supposed revenue source. Then, $25,000 was somehow stolen from Bexar Met that same month. An audit team hired by Bexar met confirmed Mr. Herrera’s assertion about the $3 million item
In September, Mr. Herrera was fired, surely leading to a whistle blower lawsuit. See my prior post on this topic. The outside auditor then refused to sign the annual review of Bexar Met until the utility changed the classification on the $3 million item. Bexar Met’s bond rating was lowered.
In October, the board rated Mr. Mercado’s job performance at 2.28 out of 5.0. Throughout this period of time, he had been telling the board he had to go to Detroit so often merely because he was a witness to possible corruption. He always assured them he was not a "target" of the grand jury investigation. Yet, he had hired a Detroit lawyer to represent him before the grand jury.
Well, the grad jury indicted him yesterday in Detroit – along with former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. It appears that he mis-lead his employer regarding the actual status of the investigation.
The board fired him last night. Unless an employee can show some sort of discrimination, the employer always gets the last word.