Thursday, July 4, 2013
The Informants Meet With "The Boxers"
After our debut at City Hall, the boxers became local heroes. During the day, the city politicians, including the mayor and councilman wanted to take photos with the boxers. But at night, it was a different story. The knives came out.
The upset at City Hall sent a shock wave throughout the City, which pulsed throughout the citizens. "The Boxers" had stood up to the City, and that message alone enabled others to have the courage to do the same.
I had a Taiwanese friend of mine tell me once - "Paul, you never know what happens behind closed doors." It was after the following series of events that I realized this applies not only to households but to cities as well.
Julian, the head boxing coach, and I met with informants at diners and parking lots and at my house. In one instance, we were invited to meet at the most hidden corner table at Denny's. An informant began sharing with us about the years of history of city misappropriation of funds. Listening to all the damning information about how the city politicians and management team spend and take our money came with a cocktail of emotions. It was exciting and tantalizing, like hearing the most recent scandal. And it was cool to know we were hearing it first, before it hit the press. But it was also angering and upsetting for us because all we could think about was how the City kept telling us it had no money. It didn't have $1,500 a month for our little boxing club, but here we were being presented on the extravagant waste and theft of it. We were talking about figures that went into the hundreds of thousands. Even the waitress lingered around trying to snatch a piece of information here and there. In the emptiness and solitude of that diner, she knew we were speaking of something important.
In another case, Julian and I met with another informant at a parking lot at midnight. There was something definitely exhilarating about meeting with a secret spy who handed us a file, proving again the misappropriation of funds and again: waste. It implicated so many of the politicians and the management team once again.
Then there were the phone calls. People called us up to allege scandals that ranged from sexual misconduct to plain theft of city monies. They gave us account numbers to research and funds to trace back and the businesses that were part of the racketeering scheme. Where was the money?
I was told, by another informant, to meet with another person in the city, who then handed me another file of records. When I leafed through it, I thought, What the hell?!!! Are they truly doing this?
Finally - people in the inner circle wanted to tell me things. I felt like I was clergy. I provided them a chance to confess their owns sins and wrongdoings and also to condemn others. I hope absolution came to them. I just listened and listened to the whispers of what happens in my sin city.
All this happened because the City said there was no money for our boxing program. Why then was there so much money available for them?
Join the fight with the boxers against the City. Share this story.
Updated on 8/11/2013:
More informants have still been coming forward since our City Hall meeting.