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Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc. - New Information about Paul Craft and Kate McGregor PDF  | Print |  Email
By Susan Pynchon, Florida Fair Elections Coalition   
June 23, 2006

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Florida Fair Elections Coalition has obtained the employment records for Paul Craft and Kate McGregor from the Florida Division of Elections (DoE). These employment records include disturbing information about the lack of credentials for both Craft and McGregor, two of the three partners in Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc., a private consulting firm that is in the powerful position of advising states (including California, Illinois and Maryland) about the accuracy, security, certification and purchases of their voting systems.

Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc. (FCM) is a Florida corporation and was formed March 23, 2006 when the name was changed from Paul Craft, Inc. to Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc. (The corporate papers were originally filed for Paul Craft, Inc. on October 3, 2005).

Paul Craft

Until his resignation from the Florida Division of Elections (DoE), effective November 30, 2005, Paul Craft was Chief of Florida’s Bureau of Voting Systems Certification. He continues to be one of 8 members of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) Voting Systems Board and one of 3 members of the Technical Sub-Committee of that board. He is also a member of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) for voting system standards for National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST).

We believe it is a conflict of interest for Craft to have a private consulting firm and to remain a member of the NASED Voting Systems Board, which puts its stamp of approval on voting systems, and on the TGDC Committee. (Many states require a system to be NASED approved before those systems can be purchased or used in any
election). Craft is in the position of approving testing by the so-called Independent Testing Authorities (ITAs) which are paid to do the testing of voting systems by the voting system companies themselves. The ITAs have shown on a number of occasions that their first loyalty is to the voting machine vendors.

Craft has been a vocal and ardent supporter of certain voting machine companies, particularly Diebold and ES&S. He appeared to speak on their behalf during the creation of the 2002 Voluntary Voting System Standards. When he was Chief of the Bureau of Voting Systems Certification in Florida, he frequently appeared to act for their benefit, rather than for the public good.

The great irony is that Craft appears to have no real credentials to be providing any technical information to anyone. The one technical designation we are aware of, “Certified Information Systems Auditor,” pertains to information system auditing and is quite different from a technical qualification such as systems engineer. The CISA designation is to electronic voting systems what a librarian is to a library – a librarian may know that all the books in the library are catalogued properly, but that doesn’t mean that he/she knows what information is in the books themselves. The CISA designation involves checking, or auditing, to see if specified procedures are being followed but does not require the expertise to determine if the software itself is accurate or secure.

Craft’s employee records show that his education and early background were in hotel and restaurant management. Interestingly, the name McGregor crops up early in his work record. He states in his DoE employment records that he worked at “McGregor’s” Restaurant, owned by Russell McGregor, at 1921 Tennessee St. in Tallahassee, Florida for one month in 1981. However, he does not mention in his DoE employment records that he was also a Director with Russell McGregor in a corporation, “McGregor and Associates, Inc.” that was formed in February 1977 and involuntarily dissolved by the state of Florida in December 1980, at the same Tennessee St. address. The record of McGregor and Associates, Inc., may be found at the Florida corporations website.

Craft did continue his education to obtain his Certified Public Accountant designation and worked for nine years as a Tax Auditor and Tax Audit Supervisor in the Florida Department of Revenue. He transferred to the Division of Elections in 1991 as a Computer Audit Analyst, and became Chief of the Bureau of Voting Systems Certification (BVSC) in 2001.

Despite Craft’s background in auditing, no audits of any Florida elections were conducted during his tenure. This past April in Pinellas County the first such audit was conducted by Craft’s successor, David Drury, who is now the Chief of the BVSC. (Drury’s DoE employment records may also be viewed at here.

Craft’s personnel file from the Florida Division of Elections contains a great deal of information that should be of interest to those around the country who are concerned with the concentration of power in a few individuals who are in positions to influence how we vote in the United States.

It is highly disturbing that a man who has such influence over the certification and purchases of voting systems in our nation and who holds himself out as an expert in this field turns out to have such paltry qualifications.

Kate McGregor

Kate McGregor is a partner and investor in Freeman, Craft, McGregor Group, Inc. She worked on and off at the Florida Division of Elections from December 2001 until her resignation effective January 20, 2006. McGregor reported to Paul Craft at the Bureau of Voting Systems Certification (a department of the state Division of Elections).

On January 5, 2006, Paul Craft submitted Kate McGregor’s resumé to Bruce McDannold, Interim Director of California’s Office of Voting Technology Assessment. In his accompanying letter, Craft touts McGregor as a “very capable ‘special projects’ person successfully completing very difficult and risky assignments.” Craft goes on to state that McGregor’s “involvement in certifications included work in all three areas of a certification test team director, driver, and recorder.” (McGregor submitted her resignation to the Division of Elections on
January 6, the day after Craft’s email to McDannold).

McGregor’s DoE employment records, however, paint a very different picture. According to her DoE personnel file, McGregor, an Art History major, worked as a temporary employee, through a temporary agency, from December 2001 until September 2002, although it is difficult to tell from her personnel file if she actually worked that entire year. During that time, her job does not appear to have involved any technical work with voting systems. At any rate, she left in September 2002 “to move to Australia,” and returned in November 2003, again as a temporary worker working through a temp agency. It does appear, however, that she worked again as a temp worker for 2-3 weeks in April of 2003. A chart below compares the claims made on McGregor’s resumé with her DoE employment records.

Notably, McGregor’s FCM Group resumé states that she was a partner in “Creative Computer Consultants” for 71/2 years (from March 1994 to December 2001) in Tallahassee, Florida. However, her DoE employment records state that during this entire period and longer (from December 1992 through September 2002) she was working as the Manager of the Leon Pub, a bar in Leon County. She lists her job duties at the pub as serving customers, preparing product orders, preparing tax returns and maintaining accounts payable. Additionally, we have been unable to find any record or history of "Creative Computer Consultants" ever having existed in Tallahassee, Florida.

(McGregor’s applications to the DoE are also in conflict with each other. A typewritten application says she worked 65 hours per week managing the Leon Pub until 12/6/01. An earlier handwritten application says she managed the Pub until September 2002. Her DoE file is unclear as to exactly when she began working at the DoE as a temporary worker, or how consistently).

According to McGregor’s DoE employment records, she was self-employed as a consultant preparing tax returns and redesigning interior spaces for local bars and restaurants at the same time she was working at the Leon Pub. It is hard to believe she could have devoted much time to outside work when, by her own statement, she was working 65 hours per week at the pub.

McGregor's FCM Group resumé claims that she was a "Voting System Analyst" with the DoE from December 2001 until January 2006, but her DoE records show no such title. For at least part of her employment with the DoE, she was a government analyst whose primary job was to review forms, not systems.

McGregor's Perfomance Evaluation at the DoE, signed by Paul Craft on July 29, 2005, states that “Ms. McGregor has not had an opportunity to perform an actual system validation examination.” There is no record to show whether McGregor got to perform an actual system validation after July 2005, but she would not have had long to learn since she resigned 6 months later. This appears to be far different from Craft’s statement, in his letter to McDannold, that McGregor’s “involvement in certifications included work in all three areas of a certification test team director, driver, and recorder,” which would be unusual even for someone with extensive experience.

It seems clear that McGregor was no computer whiz. Her July 2005 DoE Performance Evaluation states, “A key element of her present assignment is utilization of an MS Access database. This at times has been a source of frustration that Ms. McGregor is seeking to mitigate by investing time in her database skills
through formal training.”

As if the discrepancies in McGregor's FCM Group resumé versus her DoE personnel records weren't disturbing enough, McGregor is also now involved in the national qualification of voting systems for the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED). In an email dated March 10, 2006, McGregor writes to 5 members of the NASED Voting System Board, and states: "I have reviewed the changes to the InkaVote report. All of my concerns have been answered to my satisfaction. Unless anyone else has any open issues, we can go ahead an [sic] assign a number to the InkaVote."

Assigning “a number” is the NASED equivalent of approval of that voting system.

Why is McGregor involved in certifying voting systems for NASED? She does not hold a NASED position that we are aware of. And why would anyone with her limited qualifications have any input whatsoever into the approval process for voting systems? It seems clear that she does not have the technical background presented in her resumé. Paul Craft must also be faulted for providing a misleading resumé for McGregor – as her supervisor at the DoE, he signed off on her Performance Evaluation. It is clear he knew her background and capabilities.

In our opinion, it is unconscionable that Kate McGregor is in a position to influence the selection of voting systems that will be used to elect the leaders of our nation.

In the PDF version of this report, a chart presents, to the best of our ability, some of the discrepancies between McGregor’s DoE personnel records and her resumé presented by Paul Craft to Bruce McDannold.

Thank you to Anita Lapidus, Kitty Garber, AJ Devies, John Gideon, Jody Holder and John Washburn for their input and/or editing assistance.
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