Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The NOAH THIRTYISH AND COUNTING and Some Respectful Analysis for the Mayor [UPDATED]

According to the only information I have, since I am still waiting to get copies of actual executed contracts paid for under the Mayor's home remediation program, there were twenty contractors apparently put to work.

Remember that a previous press release from the Mayor's office announced ten contractors and we did some research based on that list.

Lee Zurik's WWL report indicated that 13 of 20 are in not in good standing with the Secretary of State.

One document that I have is printed on paper featuring the NOAH logo and lists the contractors used in 2007. Another document I have is on NOAH letterhead and lists additional contractors that do not make the other list.

The following refers to the first document listing contractors used in 2007.

1. Blue Carpentry Construction Co, Inc: NOT in good standing. This company was all clear in 2007 but is now late on its 2008 report.

2. Biagas Enterprises: NOT in good standing for 2008. Nor was it for 2007. Does not appear to be any evidence of an active form of Biagas on the SOS website, even with an expanded search.

3. General Contracting: In good standing. However, I have already described direct relationships between the Directors of General Contracting Company Inc. and city heavy hitters that call for further inquiry.

4. Myers and Sons Enterprises Inc: In good standing.

5. Moon Glo Developers: In good standing.

6. Affordable Trucking: In good standing.

7. Matthews Developers: I can't seem to verify the existence of this one within the Secretary of State's corporate database. I do have a certificate of liability insurance for a Matthews Developers based out of Algiers that was valid between December of '06 and December of '07.

8. Rotag Industrial Services LLC: good standing

9. Dominic Willard Painting: Nothing turns up in the corporate database. I have a certificate of liability insurance valid during 2007. Obvious questions arise related to family ties.

10. Gaines Heating and General Contracting: NOT in good standing. A 2007 annual report is required. (Though one NOAH document claims they were not used for the home remediation program)

11. Harris Construction and Truck Services: There is a partnership in good standing but a business corp that is not.

12. Execuservices: In good standing.

13. Carter's Renovation: This was one that we previously couldn't find anything on. Now I'm leaning to the conclusion that this refers to Norman Carter Contracting, Inc., which is NOT in god standing.

14. Iron Triangle Development: Nothing listed in the corporate database, no insurance certificate at this time.

15. Gert Town Gardening: In good standing.

16. Viking Construction Group: In good standing.

17. Training Connection Extension: In good standing.

18. E & E Home Improvement: In good standing.

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The above 18 were listed as the 2007 contractors.

I did leave one thing out, however.

Sandwiched within the list of contractor companies was the name of a church. With "volunteer group" listed below the church's name in parenthesis. One of the more disturbing rumors associated with this scandal is that NOAH sent out volunteers to gut remediation program homes in order to cover up the non-work by the people actually paid to do the job.

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The other list I have with NOAH letterhead adds a few more contractors to the list:

19. Hall Enterprises: Voluntarily not active.

20. General Contracting Co: In good standing. Flag this one for family ties.

21. Big Yellow Construction Co: NOT in good standing. Owes 2008 annual report.

22. "S & A Associates:" I think this is improperly listed in the document and meant to refer to Smith and Associates, which is in good standing.

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So what is it that we have here? Conflicting reports? Different document releases at different times to different people? General confusion?

I'm trying to figure out exactly which contractor companies received money via NOAH under the home remediation program and what exactly they were paid to do. To that end, I have requested the actual contracts signed between the agency and the contractors. I look forward to hearing from city attorney Penya Moses-Fields once she is able to collect the documents I've requested.

I have immediately flagged two contractors above for obvious political connections. Clarification is appropriate. If you click the links I've provided, you can see the names of the company proprietors. If you see a name that raises a red flag for you, throw it in the comments section.

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After watching the raw video of the Mayor's press conference last night, I can see that Mayor Nagin is very upset with this inquiry and the timing of the publication. He is worried about his credibility and perceptions of his administration while hosting Congressional leaders including the Speaker of the House.

I suggest the Mayor consider his current political situation and reassess his self-perception. I respectfully point out that the Mayor's abysmal approval rating indicates a total erosion of his base.

Because I spend so much time monitoring national media perception of New Orleans and the recovery process, I would argue that New Orleans does not need to worry about this report "hurting this recovery" or about Lee Zurik or local bloggers "hurting this recovery" or "hurting this city."

That's ridiculous.

You have hurt this recovery and hurt this city Mr. Mayor. You're a laughingstock.

And it wasn't the embarrassing soundbite gaffes that did that to you.

It was your recovery ideology. Your disengagement, your incompetence, your policies, your "experts," your administration.

Everyone knows that the number one social need in this city is housing and you have done nothing but demolish public and private housing stock. You have tried to villainize the homeless. You have stood for an ineffective police chief and an embarrassing former district attorney before your own constituents. You have opened this city up to your business friends as "an economic buffet" while the people that voted for you languish in poison trailers, tenement-style residential situations, and cities hundreds of miles away. From Alphonso Jackson to Karl Freaking Rove, you have bent over backward to accommodate evil men bent on profiting from our disaster.

That is what is unacceptable, not a reporter with the guts to call you out.

Having just spend the weekend in Austin with a group of nationally-minded progressives probably amongst the most sympathetic toward New Orleans and New Orleanians, I don't think the Nagin administration has to worry about the media damaging his reputation. It's done. Nagin's recovery has NO credibility.

This report HELPS our recovery. It proves to the rest of the country that we New Orleanians refuse to sit on our hands. It proves that we are engaged to our own recovery process. More than anything, it proves that we are not our leaders.

The Mayor's credibility and reputation are so shot to shit that it's critical WE ALL differentiate ourselves.

It wasn't your administration's power point that forced the Congressional Democrats to promise the erase the state share of levee costs. They did it in spite of you.

It was us. The people. Our determination to rebuild, our emerging determination to change our municipal leadership to reflect the love we residents have for each other.

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I look forward to hearing back from the city attorney and look forward to clearing up this NOAH mess as soon as possible so that you guys can go back to whatever it is you do.

Also, to Mr. Ed Blakely: Your reputation is finished as well. Lots of people in Austin asked me what the hell your problem is.

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AFTERNOON UPDATE:

Just received a new database of homes apparently serviced by NOAH. This list has 870 properties on it though some appear to be doubles. The list also notes which contractor was assigned to each property. There are some new names here that have not appeared on any list of contractors hired that I have seen to date. This list was furnished to me directly from city attorneys and appears to

Shall we?

23. "Central City Property": Nothing listed on the SOS. database.

24. "Pannia": Nothing specific or similar listed on the SOS database.

25. Parish Dubuclet: In good standing.

26. Doucette: It's either this one or this one. Both are in good standing.

27. Pearson Group: In good standing

28. "Packnet" or "R. Packnet": Nothing like this listed on SOS corporate database. There is a "Robert Packnett" who shows up on a search for individuals and is part of some grass cutting LLCs, NONE of which are in good standing.

29. "Payton": Could be either Payton Properties or Payton Enterprises.

30. "Brown Lawn Services": M.I.A. on the SOS database.

31. "Jenkins": No obvious hit on the database, too vaguely described on NOAH spreadsheet.

32. A-LUG-AS: In good standing.

33. Crescent City Property: In good standing.

34. "Tra": Sounds like some dude but the spreadsheet shorthand could refer to one of these companies or LLCs. Either way, "Tra" only did one house and got paid $200.

Confused? Me too.

We might be treated to some clarity if the city would cough up the actual contracts NOAH signed for the home remediation program. That would help pin down exactly how many people/contractors got paid and how much. In the mean time, we're left to wonder about "Tra."

3 comments:

bayoustjohndavid said...

Considering the political connections of some churches, can you tell us the name of the church?

E said...

I am hoping to speak to the volunteer coordinator for the church later today or early tomorrow. After that or once I'm blown off, I'll publish more information identifying the church. Fair? Fair.

swampwoman said...

WWL-TV just reported (6pm 7/30) that S&A Associates is owned by Nagin's brother in law, Cedric Smith.