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Leslie Steffensen’s Lack of Integrity

Having served as junior warden in 2014, which covered the flood in the church undercroft, perjuring priest Bob Malm’s accident, and the failure of the HVAC system due to substandard work during the 1994 renovations, you’d think I’d get some degree of courtesy, wouldn’t you?

But as evinced by the attached statement Leslie Steffensen gave to a background investigator, that’s not the case. Far from it.

In her comment about “his contract done for the church,” Leslie appears to be referring to AES, the HVAC company I brought in to replace the incumbent, which not only didn’t do commercial systems, but had repeatedly screwed up Grace’s HVAC system due to its inability to manage the control system.

Several key points:

  1. I was completely transparent about the fact I am on friendly terms with AES, including sharing that fact upfront with perjuring priest Bob Malm.
  2. AES services the Mount Vernon estate, Fort Belvoir, numerous high-end government facilities, and more. They have a stellar reputation, and the co-owner used to head up the Fairfax County HVAC licensure program.
  3. AES is one of only a handful of vendors who do churches. Why? Because churches defer maintenance, want everything at a deep discount, want it done yesterday, and want to issue change orders repeatedly during projects, all at no cost.
  4. Leslie and perjuring priest Bob Malm have repeatedly shown they have absolutely no clue as to what is involved in HVAC work, including staffing requirements when working around live natural gas lines and electrical service entrances.
  5. Neither Leslie nor perjuring priest Bob Malm ever made any effort to assist with, for example, the failure of the outside HVAC line, which involved me taking a week off from work to assist the vendor. Given that perjuring priest Bob Malm was making almost $200K a year, a little engagement on his part would not have been inappropriate.
  6. I have never had an issue awarding contracts to other vendors went in the best interest of the organization and have placed contracts with other vendors repeatedly.
  7. AES provided a number of freebies to the church, including the advice NOT to run the HVAC system before flushing the lines following the rupture of the outdoor line in November 2014. This advice was ignored, resulting in early failure of several AHU’s (air handling units) in the complex. Fortunately, I was no longer responsible for the physical facility by that time.

Most importantly, any jack rabbit with even basic business experience knows that, both as a matter of good governance and as a matter of basic respect and courtesy, if you think you are being overcharged or there is a problem with the underlying bidding you address it then and there, face to face. You don’t address it via a whisper campaign.

The fact that Leslie thinks it’s okay to run her mouth to third parties, when she doesn’t have the integrity to discuss the matter face to face, illustrates why third parties routinely refer to Grace Church as “loathsome,” “disgusting,” “appalling,” and “disgraceful.”

And while I might be inclined to cut the church some slack if this were the only time we’ve seen behavior like this from the church, the church’s decision to try to subpoena my mother, in violation of state law, even as she was dying; Bob Malm’s perjury; Sugarland Chiow’s fabrications; the behavior of Lisa Medley, Lucy Medley, Kelly Gable, and Alison Campbell; all show that this sort of behavior is woven into the very fabric of the church. Then, like any good narcissistic organization, Grace Church turns around and loudly announces itself welcoming and inclusive, even as it bloviates about the baptismal covenant.

Needless to say, with so little respect and personal integrity coming even from Grace’s clergy, my reaction is, “No thanks. You can keep it.”