Universities are people too? WSU gets a fine and a gag order on H1B visa scandal

Right hand sues left hand, in senseless exchange of public tax dollars in the name of Justice.

Sounds like a headline from The Onion, but unfortunately, it’s the latest volley in the folly that’s known as the Wright State University self-enrichment program for trustees and their friends- or H1B visa scandal.

If you’ve been hiding your head under a rock for the last 3 years, here’s the recap. Wright State University President David Hopkins who is universally loved, gets played by the local Military Industrial Complex and their cronies to extend the university umbrella to cover a bunch of projects/programs/initiatives to “save the base.” Next thing you know, WSU isn’t in the business of granting mediocre students degrees (WSU is open enrollment- meaning if you graduated from an Ohio High School- you are guaranteed admission), it’s a research institute and training facility for “the next generation war fighter” (cue patriotic music and wave a flag). All of this is because of the BRAC, Base Realignment And Closing act of Congress might cause “job losses at WPAFB“- which is “Ohio’s largest single location employer.” Note, anything in italics is meant to be said in your best hyperbole voice.

It doesn’t help that WSU has severe University of Dayton envy- where they run a very successful “Research institute” to gain government contracts and funding for research. Of course, a university with a pretty good engineering school that has hired top base scientists for years has the jump on Wright State. A friend of mine who taught in the Wright State engineering department used to call it “the best recruiting tool UD had.”

Hopkins puts a plan into place to build a similar structure at Wright State creating “affiliates” of the university- the Wright State Research Institute and Wright State Applied Research Corporation- and then goes to get contracts for them to “do research stuff” and “provide opportunities for Wright State students” and create “World class something or other” which was going to make Wright State a global player right behind MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech…. and Boise State, all giants in engineering and smart folk stuff.

Instead, WSU Trustee Nina Joshi who owns a company named UES, and Michael Bridges who owns a company named Peerless Technologies, and this other local company, Lexis Nexis, and a fall guy, Vijay Vallabhaneni, who owns WebYoga (which has the worst website I’ve seen in the last 5 years) all start hiring tech staffing at discount prices through these new, “affiliate” entities- and avoiding government regulations. Wright State adds a nice little markup on the tech folks- much like a modern day human trafficker. The program is called an H1B visa, and it is supposed to restrict the number of people who come into the USA to work from places like India and China- where they have more engineering students than we have people. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle etc- fight over the allocation of these visas every year. WSU used its educational facility exemption to skirt the limits and bring in brainiacs by the boatload. The conditions for the academic exemption are that the “students” are supposed to be working for WSU and managed by WSU. This wasn’t the case. Instead, they were supposedly building a product called “SpiderXchange” for WebYoga and doing other stuff that wasn’t kosher.

When the curtain got pulled back from the scam, the university started to clean house. The President, the Provost, the Lawyer, the DealMaker, the Candlestick maker- all got ousted, while the board of Trustees got a reprimand. Nina Joshi resigned from the board – without shame. Bridges stayed on. Governor Kasich rewarded LexisNexis with a representative on the board to be privy to all these legal messes right in the middle. Sean Fitzpatrick works for LexisNexis- which is being investigated- yet, he, like Bridges, signed off on the “Non-Prosecution Agreement” tendered today by the US DOJ attorney, Benjamin Glassman. How this is even allowed to happen is bewildering, but, since WSU also agreed to a gag order, no one is talking.

Now here’s the crazy part: Wright State, a state owned entity, is to pay the US Treasury a million of yours and mine tax dollars as a “fine” to make sure “Wright State” isn’t naughty again in the H1B visa space. This is to stop anyone from being a dirty rotten slave trader of tech workers. Oh, and we may still prosecute some of those people in the future…. but we won’t say who.

Remind me how this happened? Was it the Wright State students who came up with this scam? Or was it the taxpayer of Ohio? Because, last I checked, while “corporations are people too” thanks to Citizens United, public entities are still managed by people who can and do commit crimes, and that’s what the US Attorney is supposed to do- find those people and prosecute and punish them.

That didn’t happen today. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, nothing happened, except tax dollars were once again wasted at Wright State, but that’s par for the course. That’s all the place is really good at lately. Today at the Board of Trustees committee meeting if you were listening carefully- you heard about how Wright State lost $1.3M when the building they helped build for ATIC– was sold out from under them- and they got to absorb the loss. Of course, the building was built by Wright State “benefactor” Bob Mills, who keeps showing up on almost every bad real-estate deal the university has been involved in. There was also discussion of creating the Douglas Fecher Boondoggle Memorial Respectability Center for the Preservation of His State Bailout… to which Trustee Langos said he wouldn’t vote for until the University had delivered a true “Space Plan” (not to be confused with Trump’s Space Force” where the utilization of physical spaces and classrooms is appraised and analyzed with our new lower enrollment. The meeting was held in the Fecher Boondoggle space- Fecher, who is the CEO of Wright Patt Credit Union (and a former EMT- as he shared today) sold his former HQ to the Wright State sham shell corp Double Bowler so he could move into the former CSC building which was owned by Bob Mills. The building has been a giant sucking sound on the WSU balance sheet- but now- it will become the new home of the Wright State Archives.

Apparently the Wright State Library isn’t a safe place for storing books, with every kind of problem down to insect infestations and no fire suppression system. So, $450,000 was raised to move the collection to this building and only this building. I’m pretty sure Mill’s will get the construction contract to do the retro-fit, and then, Wright State will have a building across the street from campus to hold a collection that’s supposedly worth about $20M, and used by approximately 4500 people a year (note, many of them are WSU students ASSIGNED to do homework utilizing the collection).

Two questions come to mind- where is the $150M that donors gave to the University in the Rise and Shine campaign that was touted as a great success, and why doesn’t the university sell off the collection and the cost of maintaining it to someone else- they need the money… to pay fines to the US DOJ.

thumbnail of U.S. Attorney Southern District of Ohio Non-Prosecution Agreement

Click to download complete PDF of the Wright State Non-prosecution agreement

I’ve got the entire “Non-prosecution Agreement” as a PDF for you to read, but, I thought I’d just pull out the pertinent bullshit that should make your head spin as a teaser to read the whole thing- it’s the shortest document I’ve seen in the Wright State drama, weighing in at a brief 5 pages plus a signature page. It’s even written in clear English, which I guess is what you get for a million dollars to pay for a Harvard Law Grad to slap you on the wrist.

This Agreement does not provide any protection against prosecution for any crimes except as set forth above and as described in the attached Agreed Statement of Facts, and applies only to WSU. This Agreement does not apply to any other entities (other than those identified above as being part of WSU) or individuals. WSU expressly understands that the protections provided to it by this Agreement shall not apply to any businesses or agencies that are merely affiliated with WSU. Additionally, this Agreement does. not provide any protection against criminal prosecution of any present or former trustee, officer, employee, agent, or consultant of WSU for any violations committed by them.

Note that last line- “Former trustee” making you wonder if the current trustees are buying immunity?

It is understood that WSU accepts and acknowledges responsibility for the acts as set forth in Exhibit A, which is incorporated herein by reference. WSU further agrees that it will not through its present or future Board of Trustees, attorneys, officers, or senior management employees, who are employees that hold a position of Vice President or higher, make any public statements contradicting any of the facts as set forth in Exhibit A. Any such contradictory public statement by WSU, its present or future Board of Trustees, attorneys, officers, or senior management employees shall constitute a breach of this Agreement, and WSU would be subject to prosecution by this Office pursuant to the terms of this Agreement. The decision whether any public statement by a member of WSU’s Board of Trustees, its attorneys, officers, or senior management employees contradicting a fact contained in Exhibit A will be imputed to WSU for the purpose of determining whether WSU has breached this Agreement shall be at the sole discretion of this Office. Upon this Office’s determination that such a contradictory statement has been made by WSU, this Office shall notify WSU and its counsel. WSU may avoid a breach of this Agreement by publicly repudiating such statement within forty-eight hours after notification by this Office. This paragraph is not intended to apply to any statement made by an individual in the course of any criminal, regulatory, or civil case initiated by the United States against such individual unless the individual is speaking on behalf of WSU.

This is the don’t talk about Fight Club clause. The district attorney has eyes on you, don’t talk, don’t mention this mess, and maybe, it will go away.

WSU accepts and acknowledges responsibility for the acts of its current and former employees who were involved in the conduct set forth in the Agreed Statement of Facts in Exhibit A. WSU further agrees that the factual statements set forth in the Agreed Statement of Facts are accurate. WSU condemns and does not condone criminal conduct, including the improper conduct set forth in the Agreed Statement of Facts, and has undertaken and ‘ completed substantial changes throughout WSU to prevent such conduct from occurring in the future, including, but not limited to the remediation measures set forth below.

Except, WSU can’t go directly to jail, it can’t pass go, it can’t collect $200 Mr. District Attorney, because WSU isn’t a criminal or a person. It’s a public entity. The criminals are still running around Dayton doing business, or have retired to South Carolina, and you haven’t done a damn thing about it. It’s like someone farted in a room, and everyone knows it smells, and even know who did it- but no one is willing to actually call them out- including our Harvard trained lawyer. Yet- since I haven’t done my job (yet?) others may… seriously, when you read this next part, all kinds of people still might be smart enough to go after people who actually committed crimes and benefited from it.

It is further understood that this Agreement does not bind any federal, state, or local prosecuting authority other than this Office. This Office will, however, bring the cooperation of WSU to the attention of other prosecuting and other investigative officers, including but not limited to Department of Defense, Department of the Air Force, Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, National Security Agency, United States Secret Service and National Institutes of Health, as requested by WSU and to the extent any federal, state or local prosecuting authority submits a request for information to WSU as a result of this Agreement or the federal investigation.

Let’s play abbreviation bingo just because it’s fun: DOD, DAF, DOL, DHS, DHHS, NSA, USSS, NIH – did we miss any? I’m guessing the DOJ is acting on info uncovered by the FBI- but, I’m not a lawyer except when I play one in my own defense on TV.

The big problem is the lie the attorney tells in the last paragraph of Exhibit A:

Upon being notified by this Office of the federal investigation, WSU’s Board of Trustees immediately addressed the H-lB visa employment issues. WSU removed the faculty and employees responsible for the contracts and completed substantial remedial measures. This included restructuring key departments such as the General Counsel’s Office and the Department of Compliance in order to insure all existing and future H-lB employee applications comply with all federal laws and regulations.

If the trustees had truly addressed this- there would be 2 less trustees on the board, and at least some folks in an 8×8 cell. Instead, the taxpayers are paying a million dollar fine while the people who were implicated were paid to go away, or walked away with retirements and separation pay.

There is no justice in this action by the Justice department.

I hearby crown US DOJ attorney, Benjamin Glassman with Hue Jackson Job Security award. The HueyJ award is where you get paid a lot of money, to successfully do nothing, and even after getting fired, end up with a job again smelling like roses.

Just remember, from now on, universities are people too.

 

 

 

100 years of wars to end all wars

Veterans Day, 2018. 100 years after the signing of the armistice that ended World War 1. It was supposed to be “the war to end all wars” and yet, wars have not stopped, and the world hasn’t figured out how to end our differences without looking down the barrel of a gun.

Before World War I, there were other wars, but, this was the first “global war.” We’d had wars over borders, we’d had wars over slavery, hell, we’d had wars over tea and taxes. As early as the Bible, we started having rules about how to “do war correctly.” Then came treaties like The Lieber Code, the Hague Convention, the Geneva Convention, all as attempts to make warfare more fair and “humane.”

This is a problem. War is inherently unfair. Children die. Children who are not old enough to have a say, and children of parents who think their sons and daughters are going off to fight a noble cause. Elders die as well- collateral damage. And, we, as the human race, have gotten so much better at war that we can wipe out entire cities- Hiroshima and Nagasaki should have made war obsolete, “mutually assured destruction” was even a “strategy” for winning the battle against war. But wars continue.

We have wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and points elsewhere that we go about our daily business and ignore. Blue Star Mothers still become Gold Star Mothers- the one “promotion” you never want. We continue to build “new and better weapons” to “support the war-fighter” when the reality is we have the weapons to destroy the world many times over, what we don’t have is the smarts to know how to end their use.

The United States spends more on our military than out nearest half-dozen competitors combined. We have huge corporations getting fat and rich by selling machines of death to almost anyone with a buck. We have a huge standing military, yet there are generals complaining that their service is too small, that they don’t have the ability to fight two battles or three at once.

We, here in Dayton, believe that Wright Patterson Air Force Base is the key to our survival, when in fact, it holds the keys to humanities destruction. We invest in war as economic policy. We elect tough talking hawks who have no problems buying weapons of war, but can’t find the money to fix Flint’s pipes- or ours for that matter.

Our country mocks government health care, yet the VA and the Military’s own health system does a better job (despite what the media says) than our corporate run health system.

The same guns used in battle, are killing civilians here at home, but we’ve forgotten the part about a “well regulated militia” as being a part of the 2nd Amendment. We’re better at killing our own at home than foreign enemies are at killing soldiers over there- but, then again, we’re “making things safe for democracy” by killing them, their children, their loved ones, with efficiencies that are devastatingly unmatched. But, we don’t watch them on the National News like we did in Vietnam, we fight a sanitized war. We’ve re-branded our enemies to be terrorists. Ones who fight dirty and don’t follow the rules of war. It’s as if there is some kind of “balance of power” that makes war just or injust. Yet, we have some god-given right to have the upper hand.

In the last election, how many candidates did you hear talk about bringing the troops home? Cutting military spending? Fighting for the health and safety of our own children- from the weapons of war, the misery of poverty? You heard a lot about the opiate epidemic- a natural outcome of a failure to have proper health care though.

War is the failure of statesmanship. I am not the first or last person to write a essay on the reasons to end war and wage peace. You are not the first to read one.

But on this veterans day, 100 years after, please think about how we all can stop the violence and create a world where statesmen are held accountable and are the first to suffer their failures, not the last.

~I served my country during what was mostly peacetime, from 2001 to 2007 in the United States Army. I fully believe in universal conscription as a fundamental building block of citizenship.

The post election shuffle: winners and losers

Elections have unintended consequences that the average voter never takes into account. The political junkies have entire scenarios modeled in advance. No matter who wins and who loses- jobs are affected, careers changed and dreams created and hopes dashed.

For Ohio- kiss legal abortion in this state goodbye. DeWine will sign a “heartbeat bill” and more restrictions will be placed on providers including strict enforcement of the bogus “transfer agreement” laws.

You can also figure that redistricting won’t really change much in 2020- no matter how the process was changed. A full house of R’s won’t do much to fix the horrible gerrymandering.

The State Supreme Court is actually a bright spot- but, a few more D judges won’t change much.

The Ohio Democratic Party needs to have a housecleaning- as does the Montgomery County Democratic Party who have let our county go from Blue to Red over the last 10 years thanks to their protection of the “Friends and Family” plan.

Russ Joseph is a prime example. His 10 years of experience and believed “political acumen” lost him a job he should have been a shoe in for. He raised more money- but instead of talking about issues, talked about a man’s family. Of course, he won’t be unemployed in January- the Party takes care of it’s own.

The biggest award is the vacant county treasurer seat that will be open when Carolyn Rice takes over Dan Foley’s open seat. Will it go to Joseph as a consolation prize? Or John McManus? Or Dan Foley? This is how we roll. For Dan Foley, if he isn’t handed a patronage job or Carolyn’s seat, he’ll have to find a job in the real world for the first time in his life.

The bigger loser in this is Dayton School Board member Mohamed Al-Hamdani who got a job in the clerks office thanks to his buddy Russ. With Mike Foley taking over, Al-Hamdani will need a new “Friends and Family” job. Maybe they’ll give him the recorders office? Who knows.

Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of Adil Baguirov and his deplorable illusions of grandeur. He ran Dayton Public Schools into the ground, while committing voter fraud and living outside the district without redress. His business deals that he engaged in were questionably self-serving. If we’re lucky, he’ll pick up stakes and go back to advising crooked congressmen from a base of operations in D.C.

With Sheriff Phil “the Torturer” Plumer now a state rep, the running of the house of death will fall to the local Republican Party to pick. They’ll have 2 years to put their name on every cruiser, badge, and sign at the jail at tax payer expense, to get ready to defend the seat in 2 years, if at all. The local Montgomery County Party hasn’t been able to find someone to run for Sheriff reliably, and let Phil run unopposed last time.

The only place local Dems did really well was in running for judge- where the “D” label wasn’t on the ballot.

Everywhere else, they took a spanking.

There are ways to fix the Montgomery County Democratic party, but they involve bigger thinking than their “brain trust” can handle. The real issues choking Montgomery County are ones of duplication of services and too many banana republics. You can read more on www.reconstructingdayton.org

There will be recounts in some races, some ballot squabbles, and the state will remain divided and red, until the party of patronage learns how to be the party of the people.

In the mean time, the backrooms will be hard at work planning how to keep their friends in jobs- instead of worrying about their dismal failures.

 

Winners and losers

One of the things that separates me from so many of you- is that I’ve run for office and lost. Many times.

I know almost all the people running locally- and, whether you like them or not, late Tuesday night and into Wednesday night is going to suck for exactly half of them.

They are all human beings, who believe in our country, our system, our process and have put themselves out there- which isn’t easy. They’ve had to give up nights home with their families to campaign, had to ask strangers for charity, had to answer uncomfortable questions on issues they will have no control over, and had to put their life on hold, just to try to win a job that doesn’t pay very well, and usually makes you the enemy of half the people, all the time.

You’ve seen the attack ads, you’ve read the dirt on their personal lives. You’ve been exposed to all the dirty underbelly of our way of politics- but they were living it.

All of them, even the evil ones (and if you read my blog- you should know who they are), are still people with feelings and emotions- and will have to adjust to a new perspective come Wednesday.

While people often thank me for my military service- we should also thank our candidates for their service- even though they don’t sign the check to the country payable with their life- they do take a lot on, that most won’t.

Something to think about.

Do not vote for Adil Baguirov for County Recorder

Dr. Adil Baguirov slowing down the process of hiring a new school superintendent

Dr. Baguirov is a time bomb. Don’t elect him to anything.

Frequent readers of this blog know the amount of time I’ve spent writing about the sheer audacity of this shyster. He’s committed voter fraud, he broke the residency rule for school board, he was responsible for the entire Rhonda Corr shit-show (not that he didn’t have lots of help from n00bs like Sheila Taylor and Joe Lacey, and Ron Lee), he personally got involved in a real estate deal that he had a conflict of interest in with selling the Patterson Co-op site to CareSource for half the market value, he totally engineered the bus deal- where he has a business that does business with the benefactors, but, on top of all that- he’s the biggest liar I’ve ever met.

The local Republican party should be locked up and put in jail for even letting him get on the ballot.

The local Dems should be locked up for failing to do anything about all of the above when the smoking gun of this video was released:

Before you buy into his “I was a poor refugee from evil Russia” schtick, he left out the part that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and that spoon is still feeding him, without him filing the appropriate paperwork identifying him as a foreign agent.

He put $90K into his campaign, of his own money. He’s trying to out-SEO my posts, and fill up youtube with a bunch of videos. Do NOT believe a thing he says. There is zero reason to vote for him.

There are a lot of things that should have, could have been looked into by our prosecutors office, the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Secretary of State- but, all of them, ignored it, because, frankly, we have the best government money can buy, and he has plenty of access to cash. Read about how a quarter million arrived in his bank account, right after he “won” in his unopposed race for School board- where he came in dead last: Dayton’s International Man of Mystery, Adil Baguirov, has ties to Russian “Laundromat”

I dumbed down the headline from Azerbaijani Laundromat to Russian at the time, I probably shouldn’t have, but, international diplomacy and intrigue isn’t everyday reading material for most Daytonian’s and understanding the Armenia/Azerbaijan conflict is kinda hard when most of you have never heard of either. Needless to say it’s sort of like the Hatfield/McCoy Feud- with lots of money and espionage.

I don’t expect him to win, or even come close, mostly because I don’t think there are a lot of hard Republicans willing to vote for “Baguirov” vs the guy with the same last name as Bruce Willis’s character in Die Hard, but, who knows anymore. If he does win, I’d be questioning the validity of our voting system, and if it had been hacked. That’s the technological skill set that Baguirov probably has behind his race. Think the whole Russian interference in the 2016 election- he’d be the person to test if the Russians can fix an election- and you’re the crash test dummies for it- since he’s already gotten away with fraud in the past.

Please, share this with everyone you know. Please go to Youtube and down vote his videos in record numbers, but don’t watch them.

Please realize the only mystery about Adil Baguirov left is why he isn’t already in prison for the voter fraud of claiming the house on Maryland Ave as his and his business partners residence.

Trust me- he NEVER lived in that house. And, you don’t want him in charge of the records for your house either.