Everyone in America's Compliant Media has set his/her stop watch to the firing of a Secret Service Agent over the Virgina Slims who slipped through the Obama State Dinner.
Only someone as "special' as Chicago's Own Lotto Ball Girl and John Rogers Ex - Desiree Rogers ( The Gal who blew up blocks of Mount Greenwood while Peoples Gas Champ) could be our Progressive Prowler Pivot Person'
Desiree should have taken the short yellow bus to school, but had her abilities overlooked due to her viscerally more appealing aspects - as the old story went "Desiree, You are sitting on a Gold Mine!"
The White House referred most questions to the Secret Service, but sources familiar with procedures during big White House events said that typically someone from the Office of the Social Secretary would be at one of the secret service checkpoints just in case there is any confusion. While rare, guests can be inadvertently left off a list, the source said.
Responding to a question about whether her staff was represented at any of the checkpoints, Social Secretary Desiree Rogers*, told AP: "We were not." Yet there were also no attempts by agents at the checkpoint to contact the social office, a source said.
NBC News anchor, Brian Williams, an invited guest, saw the couple arrive by car at the East Gate of the White House, yet said the Salahi's vehicle was turned away.
"Actually the first ring of Secret Service security had worked," Williams said on Thursday's nightly broadcast. "After their vehicle was turned away, they hopped out. What attracted our attention was there was at least one camera trailing them. And a makeup woman got out and fixed the woman’s hair and then started powdering the man's forehead."
Watch folks! This Tale will hit Desiree Rogers like a 9 Iron on Tiger's Noggin!
Desiree has handed real people more laughs over the years than we truly desereve! Blowing up Mount Greenwood and blaming the Unions in yellow boots and rain gear- Killer!
ccustomed to the spotlight, Peoples Gas President Desiree Rogers finds herself on the hot seat as regulators probe safety procedures at the Chicago gas utility.
Ms. Rogers must deal with three investigations — federal, state and internal. Peoples Gas faces questions about testing procedures for pipe corrosion and the possibility that some employees falsified test records. The Illinois Commerce Commission last week launched a legal process that could result in a $1-million fine. And if evidence shows that employees falsified safety reports, criminal penalties for those responsible could be in the offing.
Last week's news was another blow to a company already tarred by allegations that it conspired with Enron Corp. to overcharge customers. That case was settled last month after Peoples agreed to a $100-million customer refund without admitting wrongdoing, but the episode claimed the job of Thomas Patrick, CEO of Peoples Energy Corp., parent company of Peoples Gas. He agreed to step down by February 2007.
Unlike the Enron case, however, which focused on the parent company, the pipe-testing breakdown happened in the unit Ms. Rogers oversees and involves the most critical aspect of gas utility operations — safety.
Known for her communication skills and political savvy, Ms. Rogers, 46, faces multiple challenges that will test those abilities and require others she's not as known for. She must get to the bottom of the inspection problems without becoming identified with them; mend strained relations with state regulators, and then persuade them to grant Peoples a hefty rate hike, which the company expects to request in early June.
"Is this the biggest challenge of my career? Absolutely," says the high-profile executive, who is active on the city's charitable and social circuit and sits on numerous boards, including the Lincoln Park Zoo (where she's vice-chairman) and the Museum of Science and Industry. She joined Peoples as vice-president of corporate communications in 1997 after serving as director of the Illinois Lottery. She was named chief marketing officer in 2000 and president in 2004 of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas, which serve the city and some northern suburbs.
How she responds to this crisis will demonstrate whether Ms. Rogers' has the operational skills to match her other talents. She bristles at the suggestion that she's more marketer than manager, pointing out that in 21 months as Peoples president, she's improved response times at the customer service center, converted paper records of inspection results to an electronic system and eliminated a massive backlog of home gas meter inspections.
"We're going to see, and (Peoples') board is going to see, how good of an operational person she is," says Richard Mathias, former chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and currently Midwest liaison for regional electricity transmission grid operator PJM Interconnection. "It will be a real test."
Ms. Rogers is installing a new training and auditing regimen, and hiring quality-control employees to check compliance work. She promises the utility's safety procedures "will be a whole lot better in a year. A lot better."
LETTER OFFENDED UNION
First, Ms. Rogers must determine the extent of the corrosion-testing problems at Peoples. In a spot check recently of nearly 400 pipes that Peoples tested last year, state inspectors found that about 40% had inadequate corrosion protection. More seriously, at about 10% of the locations where Peoples had provided positive test results, the inspectors couldn't find any monitoring equipment to take a reading, raising questions about whether false results were being recorded. (Corrosion can lead to pipe leaks, allowing gas to escape, accumulate and potentially cause explosions.) No leaks have been found, and Peoples says its pipes are safe.
In a sign of how delicate Ms. Rogers' task will be, union leaders at Peoples took offense to a sharply worded letter she sent to gas distribution workers after learning of the ICC findings. The letter suggested some workers violated the company's code of conduct, putting at risk "their jobs and the reputation of the company."
"That was very accusatory in tone, and we took offense to it," says John Groenwald, business manager of the Gas Workers Union Local 18007, which represents 875 Peoples employees.
Ms. Rogers says she'll work with the union to address the problems, but doesn't apologize for her blunt approach: "It's not business as usual. It cannot be."
©2006 by Crain Communications Inc.