Where was I when all this was going down?
After all, I was The Bee’s City Hall reporter for pretty much the last six years.
I knew nothing about the bonuses. But several anti-Swearengin sources did tell me to check out the allegedly pricey benefit packages of some top officials in the Administration.
I chewed on the tips, only to file them away. There they sat.
I mention this because one day, about a year ago, I bumped into former City Manager Jeff Reid at City Hall. I was sitting on a bench outside the council chamber, feeling beat-up.
Reid asked about my long face. I told him about the pressure I was getting from sources to chase the “benefits” tip. Then I told him about what that might mean to my access to administration officials.
I didn’t have to go into detail. Reid has plenty of City Hall scars. He knows what it’s like to be stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“You pick your battles,” he said.
He didn’t have to add the kicker: Then you live with the consequences.
That’s the question facing the City Council and the Administration. Is it worth it to turn Bonusgate into total war?