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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
The Intrepid Brotherhood: Public Power, Corruption, and Whistleblowing in the Pacific Northwest by Gordon Graham is an account of the author's experiences leading up to his controversial filing of a whistle-blower petition with the Chelan County Public Utility District. Organized under state statute as a non-profit municipal corporation, the organization functions as a customer-owned public cooperative energy district. It provides electric, water, wastewater, public utility, and telecommunications services in Chelan County, in north-central Washington, USA. When Sonny Smart announced his retirement as General Manager in 1997 and a new manager was hired under questionable circumstances, an autocratic style of management became the norm. As director of its Information Technology Department, Gordon Graham tried to do his job under stressful circumstances but matters finally came to a head when he was unceremoniously fired. This is his story.
Gordon Graham’s The Intrepid Brotherhood exposes what went wrong at the Chelan County Public Utility District when an ambitious Chief Financial Officer set out to take over its management and succeeded, albeit temporarily. In eight interesting chapters, the author logically and objectively presents the way the organization was manipulated and mismanaged. The aftermath included overspending, irregular payments for work that wasn’t performed, inadequate implementation of a new system, and collusion in approving contracts to preferred vendors. In telling his story, the author provides not only the full picture behind his filing of the whistle-blower petition but also guidelines on how to manage a business or an organization through the use of best practices and ethical leadership. This book is a must-read for all managers and every member of the workforce. Highly recommended!