I said I was pissed and I was going to turn up the heat....I had no idea what was going to boil to the top.
I got in touch with Grant Holcomb, the man asked by the DOJ to spec. the 2003, 7 million dollar. interoperable communication systems grant which would have provided the city with a storm proof communication system for all of our first responders....pre-Katrina.
He has sent me a wealth of information which helps shape the story of what happened to the grant and how Meffert undermined the process and killed our chances of implementing the technology.
There is so much information here....I am going to have to break it up into pieces....many pieces. The first exhibit, and probably the most contentious, is a letter Holcomb sent to Meffert challenging him to a public debate on exactly what went down during the grant process.
Let's see if ImagineANON #1's deafening silence lasts or if they have the balls to respond:
To Greg Meffert - Deputy Mayor and CTO of the City of New Orleans,
I would like to arrange a public debate between the two of us. I waited until after the Mayoral elections to eliminate one more of your excuses and false accusations.
I want the largest possible public audience so I can state that your unethical and unprofessional conduct contributed to the loss of life during hurricane Katrina.
I want to prove that you are an unqualified and incompetent appointed public official who has undermined public safety and national security through the serial abuse of authority.
Regarding the $7 million U. S. Department of Justice public safety grant that you intentionally misdirected, my business relationships were disclosed in advanced and received a legal opinion authorizing me to proceed. This was done well before the U. S. Department of Justice received the City of New Orleans grant submission. I challenge you to fully disclose all of your business relationships as I have done.
Regarding your recent statements to the press, you continue to assume everyone you talk to is stupid. You are claiming that I attempted to commit a fraudulent act against the U. S. Department of Justice, an organization comprised of lawyers who convict people of crimes for a living. Your claim also implies that every lawyer and public official I worked with along the way had a lesser legal authority than your associate Sherry Landry.
Does the public know that your first act as an appointed public official was to give yourself and Sherry Landry a raise? At a salary of $150,000.00 per year the public should gain some meaningful benefit, like addressing issues of public safety.
Does the public know that you have a liberal arts degree and do not have the engineering credentials to be the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of anything, particularly the City of New Orleans? Ordering Microsoft Software and Dell computers and hiring a third party to set up a web site does not make you "technical", nor should it cost the taxpayers so much a year.
Does the public know that Sherry's legal opinion against me was rendered after multiple failed attempts by you to kill the $7 million public safety grant? Here is the chronology of events that I witnessed first hand:
1.) The U.S. Department of Justice awarded the City of New Orleans a federal grant based on my team's engineering research, efforts, experience, and expertise. The City of New Orleans staff wrote and submitted the grant based on our input. The grant would not have been awarded had Tulane University not invested nearly a million dollars in labor and research and development.
2.) All of my actions were conducted under the direction and authority of the City of New Orleans Director of Homeland Security and the Tulane University General Counsel. The relationship between the City of New Orleans and Tulane University was approved and was just as legal as the other 27 contractual relationships in place between the two organizations at that time.
3.) On the evening the Mayor announced the grant award, where the City had me demonstrate the same working technology to the press that I had demonstrated to your assistant 4 months earlier, you called the City's Director of Homeland Security and angrily complained how upset your business partners were about the grant announcement.
4.) Two weeks after the grant award announcement, during our first face-to-face meeting, you walked into the room in front of over a dozen witnesses and accused me of and I quote "ABM - Anything But Microsoft". Instead of focusing on how to allow the region's first responders to communicate during a crisis, you focused the entire meeting on how you could direct the federal money through your business associations just to the City of New Orleans. You clearly stated that you did not want any of the surrounding Parishes to receive any of the grant money. Since you still had not read the grant request or response, you did not know that it was a U. S. DOJ requirement that the money must be used for improving regional communications.
5.) At first you attempted to delay the final grant acceptance paperwork by missing and postponing the meetings scheduled for the grant acceptance signing. The Director of Homeland Security had to embarrass Mayor Nagin into signing the documentation at a party literally minutes before the overnight shipping deadline. What leverage did you hold over Mayor Nagin that would make him turn down such a critical federal grant?
6.) Within days of our meeting, you or a member of your staff copied all of the emails belonging to the Director of Homeland Security into a public Internet folder. You or a member of your staff then contacted all of your business associates, directed them to the location of these emails, and then directed these businesses to write formal letters of complaint to Sherry Landry. They all complied with the request at the same time. Sherry confronted myself, my boss, and a member of Tulane's legal staff at a meeting she requested. Sherry accused us of numerous fraudulent acts. We were shown the complaints containing the original emails she claimed got onto the Internet accidentally. Any technically literate individual knows, and can easily prove in a courtroom, that this type of "accident" is impossible. You are responsible for the email system for the City and you allowed information critical to national security to pass into the public domain. Why didn't you use any of this "evidence" or complaint materials in your letter to the U. S. DOJ? Why wasn't I fired for wrongdoing? Why has this important evidence of wrongdoing on my part and Tulane University not been given to the press? You and Sherry did not act on this because you knew any investigation by the U. S. DOJ or the FBI would have surfaced your unethical and illegal conduct on this matter.
7.) You retained an engineering consulting company called BearingPoint to draft a statement that the technology my team had developed was not real or valid. I was read the statement produced by BearingPoint, which was given to Mayor Nagin. I went to BearingPoint's office and attempted to turn over a working solution for their evaluation. I was denied access to their office. The Director of Homeland Security put our solution through months of testing to ensure everything worked as advertised - before the grant submission. If you had bothered to really check out my past (NASDAQ stock symbol TGCC) you would have determined that the basis of the technology was developed at a cost of over $20 million dollars when I was the CTO of this publicly traded company. A commercial version of the primary software had been sold for many years before I became a Tulane University faculty member. You did not release the BearingPoint statement to the U. S. DOJ because you knew a reasonable person could easily verify the reliable functioning of the technology.
8.) Your final attempt to kill the grant was a very subjective letter to the U. S. DOJ stating that my team and I at Tulane did not comply with City and State procurement regulations and there was a "conflict of interest". If you had wanted to, you could have just as easily argued in our favor. Again, as seen by your actions above, you were pursuing your own personal interests instead of the safety and security of the citizens of the region. Please explain how Tulane University, a not-for-profit institution and the largest employer in the region, is not the better business partner for the City than Dell Computer? Did you buy 3,000 or 4,000 Dell computers, I cannot recall the exact number? A Dell employee called my lead engineer asking for advice on the grant implementation and implied that they were taking over the grant. Why is it that you can select Dell computer, without following procurement regulations, yet my actions are illegal after following all local, state, and federal guidelines managed by multiple experienced staffers from both the City and Tulane?
9.) After you reminded the Tulane General Counsel that the University had 27 active contracts with the City of New Orleans, I was told by the Tulane administration that they would no longer pursue the grant or take legal action to stop you.
Even an appointed public official must serve the interests of the community. Your actions reflect that you only serve your own interests.
I am an honor graduate of the United States Marine Corps Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare Defense School. I am a combat veteran. I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. After attending the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, I taught Electrical Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy. I have over 25 years of experience behind my claim that the inability to communicate during a natural disaster or terrorist attack directly results in the unnecessary loss of life. The grant submission presented how vulnerable the citizens of Southeast Louisiana are during a disaster. You intentionally ignored this critical information.
You abused your position and you ignored the safety of the citizens of the City of New Orleans. I personally think your negligence was criminal in nature because your actions were deliberate and intentional.
I pray that Mayor Nagin is successful in rebuilding the City of New Orleans and protecting its citizens. His first act should be to fire you immediately and start a grand jury investigation.
Grant K. Holcomb