Thursday, May 07, 2009

Infinitely Unsure

That's how I feel about what's going on in my mailbox right now.

Regardless, I think it's prudent to provide a little background on 3 companies which are surfacing around Nagin at the moment.  I apologize beforehand for the grammatical errors, type-o's, and haphazard structure, but I just don't have time to clean this up.  

First, in case you didn't watch Lee Zurik's special report the other night on WWL, please do so and check out Nagin's schedule on their website.

Nagin had numerous meetings with a man named Frank Fradella who was the former CEO for a company called Home Solutions of America (HSOA).  The company received numerous no-bid contracts from the Nagin administration and other lucrative contracts throughout the city including the 7 million dollar, renovation contract for the French Market.  Zurik is running another special report tonight on WWL which I am guessing will expose much of HSOA's gravy train with city contracts....although please note that the French Market Corp. is not a city government organization.  

HSOA was investigated by the SEC in 2008 for cooking the books and subsequently Fradella is in deep shit with the FED...I think he's headed for the clink.  Local businessman, Scott Sewell, was working with HSOA and jumped ship after the investigation started, claiming that Fradella was a crook and supposedly HSOA owes Sewell millions of dollars after he filed suit and received a judgement against them.  

HSOA spun off numerous shell companies, i.e., Associated Contractors, Home Solutions Renovation, Picke Construction, Home Solutions Restoration of Louisiana, etc., which recieved multiple contracts in the city from the Pirates Alley sidewalk renovation to the renovations at Louis Armstrong International....which I will expound on in a moment.  

Also of note is a subisidiary company HSOA owned called Cornerstone Marble and Granite, Inc......why is that imporant?  Well it just so happens that Nagin and his sons opened a company, Stone Age, which sold marble and granite countertops....use your imagination (although I have no solid evidence here).

HSOA was also the company which provided the G4 Lear Jet ride for Nagin and Muppet to the Chicago game.  Fradella himself was on the plane with them.

All and all, HSOA has reportedly reaped over 200 million dollars in no-bid contracts from the city.

Now the other person who was reportedly on the plane ride to Chicago is businessman Aaron Bennett, owner of a company called Benetech.  Benetech has also been the recipient of numerous no-bid contracts from the city, including the contract to remove all the flooded cars from the city in Post-K, and they were even running the city IT services on a no-bid contract in the interim period after Mark Kurt stepped down and Anthony Jones stepped in.  Bennett was also a partner in Associated Contractors with HSOA.  At this time I have not seen a tally on how much Benetech, or Bennett himself reaped in city cash up to this point. back to LAI.  HSOA and a contstruction company, JRDKS, got the bid to renovate the airport.  The bond backer for that project was a company called Infinity Surety (dig that slick website), owned by a Texas businessman, George Black.  HSOA is a Texas based company as well.  So HSOA and JRDKS just lost the airport job when it was discovered that Infinity Surety was fact they were very finite and very unsure, as Black had backed the 5.6 million dollar project with a lien on a measly 170k dollar duplex property in Texas.  However that didn't stop HSOA and JRDKS from getting a fat paycheck before the bad bonds were discovered.

Another local job Infinity backed was the C.J. Peete housing project in which many subcontractors under the general contractor, Dalrymple Corp. of Atlanta, were not paid.

I'm going to continue to add to this summary...I  just don't have the time and resources to devote to it right now.  Please read the comment section of the previous posts for more info. 



Leigh C. said...

Funny, at the SilenceIsViolence first anniversary of the crime march, the mayor was not there. I heard Ken Foster say he was in the Quarter instead, presiding over the beginning of the sidewalk reconstruction.

NOW I see why the Walking Id would see this as more important than the safety of this city's citizens. And I'm even more disgusted now than I was that day.

Clay said...

The Southern lawsuit shed a lot of light on the crime camera contracts...

... Looks like the same might happen with the airport.

PEJ said...

Actually, the French Market Corporation is a subsidiary of the city just like the New Orleans Building Corp, the Canal St Development Corp etc. The corps were set up under Morial and have boards but are quasi city agencies. The Mayor appoints the director and have direct oversighe. It was the brain child of David Marcello and is called a public benefit corporation.