and the rest of the Williams corruption story

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Today, the Dayton Daily News has a very long story which is claiming to reveal new evidence in the Joey D. Williams investigation. They state:

The Dayton Daily News obtained a federal search warrant and supporting documents from the 2015 search of Williams’ Sunnyview Avenue home. Using those and other public records and interviews, our investigation found:

• United Demolition Excavation and Site Management of Dayton was the company Williams took a bribe to assist, and it ultimately did such poor work that the city withheld payment on those contracts.

• Mike Marshall, United Demolition’s co-owner and operating manager, is the confidential FBI informant who recorded Williams and another of the indicted defendants, Dayton businessman Brian Higgins. Marshall denies he is the informant.

Source: Confidential informants, secret recordings reveal ex-city commissioner bribery scheme  Mar 1, 2020 by Lynn Hulsey

Yet, readers of this blog, read that Marshall was the CI and Williams was wearing a wire back on May 6, 2019, days after the original April 30 Indictments. Of course, the Dayton Day-old news refuses to admit it, but they read stories here, and then write their own and claim they “broke the news.”

What ties the four folks indicted on Tuesday together is a former employee of Steve, Mike Marshall. There isn’t a lot online about Mr. Marshall, but what I did find wasn’t very positive. Apparently he’s an Army Veteran and he started a company called “United Demolition” with offices in 130 W. Second Street- right next door to the Federal Building. He also had a company called “Drywall Wizard” that has a horrible online reputation. How this guy can make it through the hoops to get contracts as a reputable contractor is beyond belief. (I recently had to go through the process to recertify as a Certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business and had to supply everything from tax returns to copies of contracts and bank statements). Just a quick check of legal actions against Mr. Marshall should have set off warning bells. Of course, if anyone was actually watching out for the public money- instead of themselves.

Earlier this month, Dayton commissioners approved a $248,000 contract with United Demolition in Dayton to remove and dispose of the equivalent of 13 commercial buildings, or nearly 1.7 million square feet of commercial space.

Source: Commercial properties bog down blight fight | DAYTON June 15, 2016

He is the link between all four of the indicted folks and has been working as an informant for the feds. Wiretaps, payoffs, contracts, partnerships with minorities to get contracts. That he chose to team with disgraced former State Rep Clayton Luckie should tell you that he’s not that bright. That the Feds perp walked someone with as stellar reputation as Joey Williams says they have concrete, rock solid evidence to guarantee prison time… unless, he….. flips and decides to spill the beans on all the others who’ve been running this scam in Dayton for a long time. CJ McLin is long gone 6 feet under, but his daughter is still playing puppet for the party on the Board of Elections (a sweetheart job that pays $20K a year to go to 2 meetings a month) to keep her from spilling what she knows.

Source: The Wire: Dayton Edition | Esrati

and then this about Williams wearing a wire:

We now know that Commissioner Joey Williams didn’t resign because of his job. It was because the FBI told him he’d have to. Yes, for over a year, Commissioner Williams has known he was going to get indicted, and probably longer. This was part of a deal he cut so that he could make sure his younger son could graduate from Stivers before he’d go to prison. As part of that deal, he agreed to wear a wire.

The most laughable line in today’s DDn is from City Manager Shelley Dickstein:

City Manager Shelley Dickstein will put in place reforms designed to keep a single city commissioner or employee from tipping the scales in favor of a company that does not have the lowest and best bid on a city contract. Dickstein said in an interview the new system would create “a stronger firewall between any kind of influencing interest in our procurement activity.”

Does that include her getting a job for her husband, Dr. Gary Dickstein at Dayton Public Schools, so that he can have access to a budget that is 2.5x larger than the cities, and a much easier place to steer contracts to friends and family? Remember, as part of my bid to the Dayton Public Schools I had to submit to Dayton’s Human Relations Council, the same one implicated in this investigation. Despite having passed the very rigorous standards of both the Veteran’s administration Center for Veteran’s Enterprise screening- as a Certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business and as a HUBzone business, my company was ranked considerably lower by DPS in their scoring rubric to The Ohlmann Group, who only included a minority subcontractor and a minority owned media outlet as part of their qualifications.

It was pointed out that their “RFP process” kept favoring big firms, who they’d already worked with, and that the scoring rubric seemed to be off- especially since my firm had real diversity qualifications (Certified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business by the VA, HUBzone by the SBA, Ohio ED/GE). They also wondered how a team that included a photographer, Larry Price, who has won an Emmy and the Pulitzer prize for photojournalism twice, didn’t rank higher as “qualified.”

The city should have zero business in scoring minority business contracting. There is a statewide certification, there are certifications run through the SBA, and it’s time to shut down the “Human Relations Council” and move forward. It’s pretty obvious that contractors like Steve Rauch had figured long ago how to game the system by propping up other 2-bit politicians like Joyce Cameron with a shell trucking company which gained him considerable work from the city.

Also indicted were Steve R. Rauch, 64, of Germantown, the owner of demolition, trucking and landfill businesses; former Trotwood Mayor Joyce Sutton Cameron, 71, owner of Green Star Trucking; and her husband and Green Star employee James Cameron, 81. Each face one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and six counts of mail fraud in an alleged scheme to defraud the city of Dayton using its minority contracting program.

For years Rauch was the city of Dayton’s main demolition contractor. He obtained more than $4.7 million in city demolition contracts between 2008 and 2016 by using Green Star Trucking to meet minority contracting goals.

Ibid Source: Confidential informants, secret recordings reveal ex-city commissioner bribery scheme  Mar 1, 2020 by Lynn Hulsey

The only real “news” in the story, one which should have sent Williams away for much longer than a year is the part about cash to him for campaign contributions.

On one audio recording from August 2015, “Williams discussed apparent bribes that a Dayton area businessman had provided to public officials, including him,” according to the affidavit. Williams said the businessman gave him campaign contributions and and an envelope with $1,000 in cash that Williams said he returned several days later.

Agent Kepple noted in the affidavit that a different confidential source had previously told federal agents that that “bribe payment” to Williams actually totaled $5,000 and that Williams tried to return it only after learning that the businessman might have video recorded the payment. But the businessman refused to take it back so Williams kept it, according to the affidavit. The agent also notes that the businessman who allegedly bribed Williams is the same one who sparked the FBI investigation.

Yet, the paper still tries to cover for Williams publishing this bullshit:

As God is my witness though, there is nothing I have done for you … that I wouldn’t have done had we never talked about this, I just want you to know that,” Williams said, according to the affidavit.

The transcript says Williams told the informant, “I have been doing this for 14-15 years, I have never accepted a thing (and) the only reason I did this is, I didn’t realize what I was agreeing to when we started and it kind of blew up, and I said, ‘(expletive) it.’”

“I just want a good conscience, myself. I am a Christian and I like to do things the right way,” Williams is quoted as saying. “I’m also not perfect. I’m a sinner, too.”

The reality is, Williams ran with Nan Whaley, with Rhine McLin, with Jeff Mims, and under the auspices and endorsement of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, who have all taken envelopes of cash for their campaigns for decades, and yet, Williams is the only one who has been caught. Either FBI Special Agent Lance R. Kepple  is also taking bribes, or he just isn’t very good at his job. Neither are his co-workers. In the time since the first indictment, I’ve talked to multiple people who have been very high up in the city, including a former city manager, who have all said that routinely, Nan Whaley has trotted her favored vendors into a room full of city purchasing agents, asking them to give forecasts of upcoming contracts, or preference in bidding. There is a good reason Whaley had $450K to spend against AJ Wagner, and why no-one really felt up to running against her sizeable campaign chest last time.

The part about Williams wearing a wire that I reported last year and that Hulsey didn’t mention in her story? That’s why Williams got the single year. It’s time to showcase how this “Christian” talks about the people who supported him once and for all. Here’s a report of the FBI recordings that’s previously been unpublished:

in a report dated10/17/2015 for a interview on 10/02/2015 This document is marked “UNCLASSIFIED” although it has redactions on the file number- etc.

Note: CHS stands for “Confidential Human Source” in FBI lingo. It becomes obvious that the CHS is now Joey Williams. Only Williams had “Fashion Show” fundraisers and Williams was an investor in the Popeye’s franchise on Salem- an investment where he eventually lost his ass. Also note- this is talking about Willis Blackshear Sr. – not the 25 year old heir apparent who is running for State Rep- with zero qualifications other than his daddies name.

The CHS was asked to provide information about MARLON SHACKLEFORD According to the CHS, SHACKLEFORD was a “community guy” and “peace ambassador.” The CHS explained that SHACKELFORD and DARREN BYRD worked with ex-offenders in the community. The CHS said SHACKLEFORD worked with the Community Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence (CIRGV) but he was not a part of the “City apparatus.” The CHS explained that SHACKLEFORD was paid by OMEGA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (OMEGAC DCC). The CHS said OMEGA CDC was an arm of the OMEGA CHURCH. The CHS explained that OMEGA CDC received funding from the City of Dayton. The CHS explained OMEGA CDC began receiving City funds in 2008, and they received anywhere from $120,000-150,000 per year. The CHS said OMEGA CDC began receiving City funds under former Mayor RHINE MCLIN. The CHS said the money given to OMEGA CDC was supposed to be a collaboration between the City of Dayton, Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the City of Trotwood. In addition to the funds provided by the City of Dayton, property forfeitures added an additional $40,000 to the program. The CHS explained that Montgomery County provided the funding for a case Manager. The CHS said the Case Manager helped individuals through the various social services systems.
According to The CHS, SHACKLEFORD seemed to be very sincere and he had a positive message for those he came in contact with. The CHS described SHACKELFORD as a motivational speaker. The CHS explained that SHACKLEFORD had a pretty good reputation in the black community. The CHS said SHACKLEFORD was aneffective ”get out the vote” person. The CHS explained that if a person was associated with SHACKLEFORD it would give the individuals credibility. The CHS said SHACKLEFORD also had relationships with NAN WHALEY and JEFF MIMS. The CHS said SHACKLEFORD helped with his campaigns. The CHS said SHACKELFORD was one of the individuals highlighted at The CHS’S fashion show fund raiser. The CHS was asked if SHACKLEFORD and WILLIS BLACKSHEAR had a relationship. The CHS did not know if SHACKELFORD and BLACKSHEAR had a relationship. The CHS said BLACKSHEAR would want SHACKELFORD’S support. The CHS added that there might be people who used SHACKLEFORD for his connections to the community.
The CHS said SHACKELFORD and TOMMY OWENS (Entertainment Promoter) wanted to create a community outreach organization. The CHS told SHACKLEFORD  and OWENS if they started an organization they would need to ____ away (sic) to be sustainable. The CHS advised SHACKELFORD and OWENS to keep an arm’s length from politicians.
The CHS was asked to elaborate on BLACKSHEAR’S plans for his political future. The CHS said BLACKSHEAR was the type of person who would start planning for a run for Mayor six to eight years ahead of time. The CHS said BLACKSHEAR’S plan was to be appointed as the Clerk of Courts if GREG BUSH retired midterm. The CHS explained that BLACKSHEAR wanted BUSH’S job because it paid more and it would increase his retirement pay. When asked who would appoint BLACKSHEARto BUSH’S position, The CHS assumed it would be MARK OWENS and the
Democratic Party. The CHS explained that OWENS ran the Democratic Party (and he was also the Dayton Municipal Clerk of Courts). The CHS said the “key players “within the local Democratic Party were KARL KEITH, MARK OWENS, NAN WHALEY and DAN HARRIS (sic- probably Gehres).The CHS noted that WHALEY’S husband worked for HARRIS.
While speaking of WHALEY, The CHS said she was an emotional person. The CHS said small things, such as someone shaking one of WHALEY’S opponent’s hand could set her off. The CHS described WHALEY as being thinned skinned but at times very tough. The CHS said,”loyalty is everything to her.” The CHS added that WHALEY’S loyalty went both ways, meaning that if you were loyal to WHALEY, she would be loyal to you.
The CHS was asked to provide information about CITYWIDE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (CITYWIDE). According to the CHS, CITYWIDE was started by the City of Dayton in the early 1990’s. The CHS described CITYWIDE as the economic development arm of the City. The CHS said CITYWIDE was responsible for making loans for economic development and other projects such as home improvements. The CHS said approximately two years ago, CITYWIDE became independent of the City of Dayton. The CHS added that CITYWIDE still relied on the City for help with funding. The CHS thought the money given to CITYWIDE came from the City of Dayton’s general fund. The CHS said he did not know the process for moving funds from the City of Dayton to CITYWIDE. The CHS thought the funds were given to CITYWIDE on a project by project basis. The CHS explained that the split from the City gave CITYWIDE more power. The CHS said Cl1YWIDE always had a Board of Directors and he thought some of those individuals were appointed by the City. The CHS was a member of the Board that oversaw the PHOENIX PROJECT. The CHS described the PHOENIX PROJECT as a collaboration between CITYWIDE and GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL
_____ CHS said a man (name unknown) came to the Commission meetings and would give updates on the various demolition projects. The CHS said the man would have been mentioned during the Commission meeting and his name should appear in the minutes of the meeting. The CHS explained that AARON SORRELL, current Director of the City’s Community Development and Planning Department, is deeply involved in all city demolition projects. The CHS said the man and SORRELL were “very close” to the decisions regarding demolition. The CHS explained that SORRELL was a “key player” and “go to person” regarding the NSP funds. SORRELL was also involved with CITYWIDE and funding their demolition projects on City of Dayton’s behalf. The CHS was asked why STEVE RAUCH was receiving all of the demolition contracts with the City of Dayton. The CHS was told that RAUCH had a monopoly because he was the only Contractor who had the capacity to do the work. The CHS said RAUCH did get into some trouble for not properly filling basements. The CHS wasn’t a big fan of the demolitions and was disengaged with the project at first. The CHS said WHALEY (who was a Commissioner
at the time) was incredibly engaged with the demolition projects. The CHS said that Mayor MCLIN played “coy” about her involvement with the demolition projects. The CHS said at that time, WHALEY was doing MCLIN’S bidding. The CHS said WHALEY was MCLIN’S protege.
The CHS described SORREL as the person who wanted to be an up and comer. The CHS said SORRELL seemed like the type of guy who would go a little extra to look good. The CHS explained that SORRELL had done well with the money for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and was being looked at for other positions within the City. The CHS said there were several years when the City of Dayton hit their NSP fund expenditure goals when other cities did not. The CHS said he was never suspicious of the NSP fund expenditures. The CHS said SORRELL’S NSP reports gave the impression that the City had their “stuff together.”
The CHS thought SORRELL wanted to be considered for the position of Assistant City Manager. The CHS said former City Manager TIM RIORDAN at first thought very highly of SORRELL.The CHS said by the time RIORDAN left office, it was clear that SORRELL needed more experience. The CHS explained that SORRELL started having problems (racial issues) with the African American employees under his supervision. The CHS added that SORRELL was also in charge of creating a plan to move away from Community Priority Boards to Neighborhood Associations.
The CHS explained that WHALEY had a conflict with Priority Board President, PAT RICKMAN. The CHS thought WHALEY convinced SORRELL to make the change from Priority Board to Neighborhood Association. The CHS said the plan proved to be an unpopular decision.
The CHS said several years ago LASHEA SMITH, the former head of the Parks and Recreation Department was moved over to serve as the Director of the Finance Department. The CHS described SMITH as “by the book.” The CHS said SMITH would take a position on an issue, explain why she took that position and then stick with it. The CHS recalled an occasion when Commissioner MIMS used the wrong credit card for City business. After being made aware of the issue, SMITH sent out a”blast” email regarding the incident. The CHS said WHALEY questioned SMITH on her decision to send out a “blast” email about the incident. The CHS said WHALEY explained that SMITH was”dead to her.”
While speaking of City departments, the CHS explained that SHELLY DICKSTEIN would likely become the permanent City Manager. The CHS said JOE PARLEITE, the head of the Parks and Recreation Department was promoted to the position of Assistant City Manager to fill the vacancy left by DICKSTEIN. The CHS presented the Investigative team with a copy of the new organizational chart for the City of Dayton. The CHS explained the organization chart was purposed (sic) by DICKSTEIN. (A copy of the organizational chart will be attached to the report.)
The CHS was asked about the appropriate course of action for dealing with the tax debt on a property that had been demolished. It was the CHS’S opinion that the tax debt should be erased for the properties demolished by the City.
The CHS was asked to describe the affiliation with BRIAN HIGGINS. The CHS claimed to not know HIGGINS very well. The CHS first met HIGGINS through a private Banker (NICOLE JOHNSON) with Chase Bank. The CHS explained that HIGGINS was JOHNSON’S client.The CHS said at one time HIGGINS had a “hot” bar and restaurant in the downtown area. The CHS explained that HIGGINS was also involved with service that transported dead bodies. The CHS said HIGGINS portrayed himself as a person “dripping in money.” The CHS explained that DR. MICHAEL IRVIN (sic Ervin) made the CHS aware of some issues with HIGGINS. The CHS was told by IRVIN (sic Ervin) that HIGGINS hadn’t paid some of his employees. The CHS added that HIGGINS came to the CHS about investing in his new restaurant, QUINCY’S. The CHS said after dealing with the problems from a failed business (Popeye’s Chicken), the CHS wasn’t interested In the QUINCY’S investment. The CHS explained that HIGGINS got a bad reputation and the____ backed away from him. The CHS said HIGGINS never came looking for favors. The CHS said HIGGINS had a relationship with DEBBIE LIEBERMAN and JUDY DODGE. The CHS said LIEBERMAN was very interested in HIGGINS opening QUINCY’S.
Before the interview concluded, The CHS was asked to provide information about LIEBERMAN The CHS said LIEBERMAN had a reputation for being an alcoholic. The CHS said LIEBERMAN had a “diva like” reputation. The CHS said LIEBERMAN’S husband (DENNIS) was the former Chairperson of the Democratic Party. The CHS said LIEBERMAN and WHALEY were always at odds with each other. The CHS said LIEBERMAN was neither an ally nor enemy.

Astute readers should now clearly understand why Whaley and the party chose to run Reverend Daryl Ward for Williams seat against Reverend Darryl Fairchild in the 2018 special election. Williams had already been turned, and they were fearful of someone outside of the “Friends and Family” getting on the commission and spoiling the gravy train. Luckily, only 2 candidates were in the race, and Fairchild narrowly prevailed. However, Fairchild has had zero effect on changing the balance of the commission or ending corruption because, as former Dayton Mayors Mike Turner and Gary Leitzell will tell you, without three votes on the commission, you will be rendered impotent.

How Dickstein can say the following with a straight face is a laugh:

Williams said he advocated in favor of the informant’s company to Dickstein, who was then assistant city manager, and when Williams complained about how long it was taking, she told him that the city was engaging in “due diligence.” Dickstein said last week United Demolition was the only company Williams ever approached her about.

Maybe it’s because most of the time, it’s Whaley telling Dickstein who to give the contracts to. The failure to ask that question is epic. There is no doubt that the entire bid process is rigged and that pay to play is standard operating procedure in the city of Dayton. Until the FBI and the DOJ actually arrest people who meddle in contracts or award them due to “political influence” nothing has changed. The case clearly states that the city did award contracts to Mike Marshall and United Demolition despite his absolute incompetence. This is no different than when I pointed out School Board Member Adil Baguirov had no business negotiating the deal to buy 120 new school buses for the school district as a board member. This process is supposed to be conducted by a professional purchasing department, not by a board member who does business with the very same businesses in his private life. Same goes for his managing the deal to sell the former Patterson Co-Op site for a fraction of it’s value to CareSource for their HQ2. Baguirov also owned a home health agency that receives payment from CareSource directed Medicaid.

The real problem is that Dayton has allowed a intertwined web of what I call quasi-governmental slush fund organizations. CityWide Development being one of the first and dirtiest. They had a horrible reputation in the South Park neighborhood of buying homes and doing half-assed renovations. It didn’t stop the city from pushing millions their way. Their long time Director, Steve Budd, conveniently retired in January 2018 as this investigation was in full swing. Budd had more than a passing interest in the Schwind building which sat next to the old Dayton Daily News building- which botched demolition under Aaron Sorrell, was probably the final straw with Rauch, who walked away from his demolition contract like a spoiled child when he didn’t get to charge more than his original bid, after he had “mistakenly” torn down a part of the DDN building that he shouldn’t have. Budd, and now Heitkamp, both make money on par with Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein to run a much smaller organization.

Another quasi-public gem of a slush fund is the Downtown Dayton Partnership, which is funded with a Special Improvement District tax that is strong armed onto downtown property owners with threats from city hall of cutting HUD money if you don’t pay to play. This is now run by Sandy Gudorf, also making north of $200K and more than the Dayton City Manager despite having a staff less than a tenth the size and a much smaller budget. This was the weigh station for former Dayton City Manager Maureen Pero, on her way to working for CareSource which now gets sweetheart deals from local government entities (see above). Throw in the recently created “Preschool promise” tax funded slush fund, and you see how the ways tax dollars get put in the hands of people who are friendly to the friends of Nan and crew- end up doing well, while the city suffers. There is zero reason for the Preschool promise to receive any funds for education of kids- that money has a legally established (yet illegally run) entity called DPS to manage pre-school.

Throw in the Dayton Development Coalition which gets more press and kudos for “supporting the mission of Wright Patterson Air Force Base” and you have the ultimate shitshow. I firmly believe that WSU would never have “lost” $130M or done half the illegal stuff they did if these local lobbyists/charlatans were not in existence. But, that’s another story.

The reality is, with more than 30 political jurisdictions (not including school boards) alone to keep an eye on in Montgomery County, and then throw in organizations like Metroparks, the Dayton Metro Library (that hired a lot of demolition work,,,, hint FBI if you are listening) and MVRPC and the Human Services Levy as well as Sinclair Community College, there are way too many fingers for any journalist or watchdog to keep an eye on. For recent proof- see my story on the Culture of Corruption in Huber Heights- where an illegally serving city commissioner (residency issue) was using his personal email to advise and structure a deal with a developer that the city is now going to move forward with. Or the felony election fraud case that’s being passed off by the prosecutor and the sheriffs office to be handled as a misdemeanor.

There is only one possible solution to stop this kind of fraud in Montgomery County and it’s not just by having a wholesale roundup and indictments of 50 or so folks in power, it’s eliminating most of the banana republics and cutting down the number of elected and un-elected bureaucrats/politicians which makes this kind of graft possible.

To do this, I founded a 501(c)(4) non-profit almost 2 years ago, Reconstructing Dayton, to examine and make a case for reform. I’ll be making a major announcement about this organization in the near future. I hope to publish yet another story later today (here it is 2 weeks late) about a case of contract steering at the County level, that I told the FBI about last week. If you are thinking about early voting, you might want to wait until you’ve seen the fallout from that story. It’s one you’ll read about in the Dayton Daily news, in a few weeks, without giving credit to me for breaking the story.

Thank you for reading. For your information, this story took about 3 hours to write, has 4650 words, and I didn’t get paid to do any of it.

 

 

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