The Missing LINC: City Says Texas Trib's Payroll Database Has At Least One Oopsie

I've been pestering Frank Librio in Dallas City Hall's Public Information Office for The Official Word on Harold Nogle, who, according to Texas Tribune's city payroll database, is the fourth-highest-paid city official. And, while he was at it, maybe he had some more info about the city's dependence upon the good ol' LINC operating system, which, per the city auditor just last spring, was still running "applications critical to the City." The audit also frowned upon the city's inability to find a programmer capable of supporting the platform.

Here's what Frank offers in response:

Harold Nogle retired from the City several years ago.

He is a temporary employee assigned to Communication and Information Services (CIS) who was brought back for the implementation of the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. We only show two payments to him -- one was 8/4/06 for $2,828 and the other was 8/31/07 for $1,200.

He hasn't worked for CIS since 8/31/07. His fee is $100 per hour. $100 X 2,080 working hours per year would result in the $208,000 salary -- but he was only paid the amounts I have supplied to you.

When Mr. Nogle worked for the City he wrote code for the LINC system. There are other employees currently working in CIS that know the LINC code as well. Over the past several years CIS has worked to transition major systems off of LINC, such as CAD and SAP (DWU's water billing system). These systems now stand alone and are not on the mainframe. The Records Management system transition is nearly complete. The only full application still on the LINC system is the Court System -- which is scheduled to be transitioned off in three years.

I asked Frank if he had a picture of Nogle and his LINC, from the good ol' days. No such luck. Incidentally, Nogle's still listed in the City Hall phone directory.

But, more important: Librio's response makes me wonder if there are other discrepancies in the database. (Discrepancies in the Database, incidentally, is the name of an unreleased Gary Numan album.) I've asked TT editor Evan Smith, via e-mail, a few questions. I'll update when he responds.

Update at 3:54 p.m.: Smith forwarded my questions to Matt Stiles, who responds.

We last updated the Dallas database a few days before our Nov. 3 launch. We're working out a system in which these data sets can be regularly updated. The problem is we have to request them from 47 different agencies individually, a costly and time-consuming process.

We don't fact check the database, which has 480,000 people. It would be impossible. We assume that cities know who they are paying. Perhaps not in this case.

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