Miami Dade County Community Forum

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Open Letter to Mayor Alvarez About Fraud Found in Virginia Key Contract. by Jane Walker

RE: Article today in Miami Herald: 6 accused of trying to defraud Miami-Dade County
Authorities uncovered an alleged scheme to defraud Miami-Dade County in the awarding of a contract involving a wetlands restoration project.

Dear Mayor Alvarez:

The problem with American Earth Movers using a minority firm as a front to obtain a contract, I believe, should cause us to ask the larger questions. There is a red herring in this story.

1. How is it possible that there was so much fat in the contract that this company could afford to pay a kick-back to a fronting organization?

2. How many other non-minority contractors are using these tactics inappropriately?

3. How many other contracts are bid up with extra fat?

4. What are these potentially padded contracts actually costing the tax payers?

5. What is a minority:
In the US?
In Miami Dade?
and is the use of "minority", with our demographics, appropriate?

6. How is Dade County, at large, benefiting from minority-based contract awards?

7. Is this program, indeed, actually helping minorities? If so, which ones?

All businesses started as small businesses. Most businesses in Miami Dade County could be classified as minority businesses. What are we really doing here? I am requesting that the BCC take these questions on in a public forum.

Thank you for the work you do on behalf of the county and for consideration of these comments, questions and concerns.

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