Full disclosure: Joey Williams and I first met on the campaign trail when I was running for Mayor to unseat Richard Clay Dixon and he was running for school board. I consider Joey a friend. I’ve watched him get married, his kids grow up, and his career do exactly what he wanted to do. I’ve broken bread with him, and I’ve always gotten a call back.
Brian Higgins is one of my closest friends. He was there for me when my dad was dying, and also when my mother was passing. A trained mortician, he’s been an amazing steadying force for me through the last 3 years. I did work for him when he owned Sidebar, and have done other work for him. Brian is a fellow veteran, and because of Dayton’s strange 1.2 degrees of separation rule, one of the first people I met in Dayton in 1983 was the man he calls his Dad, SGM John Powell, US Army Ret.
Today the US Attorney, the FBI and the Ohio AG made a spectacle out of the arrests of four black men in our community. Benjamin Glassman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio called it “A culture of corruption” and that this was the first step in a series of indictments. My phone has been blowing up since the story first broke. I went and recorded the press conference and then asked the question “Why are you only indicting black men?”
I’m not into race baiting. But, if $150K is the size of the contract that rates as a “culture of corruption” with some payoffs of up to $20K, you are wearing some serious blinders. $130M went missing at Wright State. No one did the perp walk, no one placed in cuffs. But, oh, that’s right, they hired a former congressman to a contract for $150K to a shell 501c3 called Double Bowler. What did Steve Austria do for Double Bowler? No one cares. The deal for the former WPCU headquarters was over $5M of our money- getting handed off to the guy who is now the chairman of the board of trustees- and no one lifts a finger? Doug Fecher is head of a bank (credit union)- but untouchable, Joey Williams is not. One is white, one is black.
There was the case of Kent Development that was hiring X-cons to deconstruct homes in Dayton instead of demolition a while back that I wrote about. Kent had to bid to get more work on a $250K contract, but somehow, someone who had a measley $30K contract in place got their contract amended to the tune of a million and a half. Kent decided to close up shop. Was this looked into? Who paid someone off? It wasn’t Kent.
Minority contracting? Really? I got a score of 0 from DPS despite not only being a certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business and also HUBzone qualified- and the Ohlmann Group got a score of 10. Because they had listed a subcontractor who is black and were planning on spending some money with Dayton Weekly, a Black owned newspaper. The Ohlmann Group does work for the City of Dayton (a bad logo for $25K please) and for Dayton Public Schools (parent shaming billboards) and for Sinclair. My bid was for an effective rate of $41 an hour and under the RFP cap, there bid was for $125 an hour and over the bid cap. Guess who got the contract?
So, to sum up the indictments, Joey Williams ostensibly got some work done on his patio cheap, and then pushed to get the contractor a contract for $150K through Citywide (an organization I’ve called a quasi-government slush fund for over 25 years). RoShawn Winburn was accused of taking bribes of around $20K to steer contracts to folks. Clayton Luckie, who is already a convicted felon, was trying to get demolition contracts using his minority status for someone who would do the work that wasn’t a minority. Who is stupid enough to partner with a convicted felon to try to win government contracts? Well, that person is probably the same person who worked a plea deal with the feds, and is white. Unlucky for Brian Higgins, who hired him after a huge fish tank leaked in his house, that guy threw Brian in under the bus as a bonus. In reality- the insurance company now has the FBI and US Attorney working for them to collect on their civil case. Odd how that happens, isn’t it?
I can’t collect a $72K judgement against an embezzler in Montgomery County- where the County Prosecutor can’t manage an indictment against her. But, if the person is black, we have no problems going after them. She also stole $3K from the Service Disabled Veteran that I am Power of Attorney for, the Dayton Police Department still haven’t charged her. That’s federal money she stole? Can I get the FBI involved?
Talk about a culture of corruption? Really? When I called every official in the State including Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost who was the Auditor then, about the non-residency of Dr. Adil Baguirov on the School Board, his voter fraud, and the undisclosed shell companies I got no where. Same thing when I exposed Qbase for donating over $17K to then Congressman Steve Austria via 17 individual donations. Did I mention the FBI came to my office on that? Did I mention that Qbase was the darling of the Dayton Development Coalition? Another quasi-governmental slush fund that has zero oversight. Like when they hired Congressman Mike Turner’s wife’s firm to do the “Get Midwest” stinker of a promo-campaign for the region. I also exposed that her firm had done work for the Army Corps of Engineers while he sat on the Defense Appropriations Committee, and that she had worked for the Home Depot Political Action Committee. No cuffs there.
Do I need to go on. It would take me hours to just do the back links to all of these stories. But, they are all here on Esrati.com
I used to be good friends with Cathy Ponitz. She hasn’t talked to me since I wrote this post: Who’s the criminal? SCLC, Montgomery County, Caresource? She heads the CareSource foundation btw.
Raleigh Trammell did the perp walk. The person who signed off on paying him all those years (so he could help deliver votes for the Democratic party) is Deborah Feldman, the former county administrator who is now the head of Children’s Medical Center. Did I mention that her husband was part of the group that extorted over $8M from the county to buy the land for Riverscape and the giant fountains back around 2000? What, we have a newfound “culture of corruption” Mr. Glassman? Nope, it’s been there all along.
Being me has its costs in Dayton. You may have noticed my campaign signs say vote Truth to Power. Now, maybe you’ll understand.
I’m uploading the four indictments just for easy access. The real question is when is the guy who paid the bribes going to get indicted?