hopie strickland

DeKalb LSBE Vendors Call For RICO Investigation and Criminal Forensic Audit

unhappy-taxpayer-and-voter-logo 1

MEMORANDUM

TO: DEKALB TAXPAYER AND VOTER AND MEDIA OUTLETS
FROM: VIOLA DAVIS WITH UNHAPPY TAXPAYER AND VOTER
SUBJECT: DEKALB LSBE VENDORS CALL FOR RICO INVESTIGATION AND CRIMINAL FORENSIC AUDIT
DATE: MAY 19, 2015

CC: DEKALB HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATIONS, PRIVATE AND PUBLIC ORGANIZATION IN DEKALB COUNTY, LOCAL AND STATE MEDIA, DEKALB WATCHDOG ORGANIZATIONS, GEORGIA WATCHDOGS, ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY JOHN A. HORN, DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF ETHICS, SPECIAL AGENT DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ATLANTA FBI, DISTRICT ATTORNEY ROBERT JAMES, BARBARA SANDERS, RESTORE DEKALB AND ALL APPROPRIATE PARTIES

DeKalb LSBE Vendors Call for RICO Investigation and Criminal Forensic Audit

I, Viola Davis, with Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, submit this memorandum detailing alleged criminal activity, wrongdoing and/or malfeasance within DeKalb County government. I have the support of Restore DeKalb, a group of citizens striving to “restore” transparency, ethics and accountability in our local and state government.

I submit this memorandum on behalf of Hopie Strickland, owner of Strickland & Son Construction, and Loretta Washington P.E., owner of LCW Engineering, Inc. Strickland and Washington, DeKalb Local Small Business Enterprise (LSBE) Vendors and others, have created videos to explain the reasons they are calling for a RICO investigation and criminal forensic audit of the LSBE program. Between the two, over 3-4 local and federal complaints were filed concerning alleged criminal activity. Last but not least, they are also requesting that federal investigator subpoena checks paid to LSBE Vendors who participated in the LSBE program to verify local small businesses were paid the 20% contractual agreement.

Video of Hopie Strickland – LSBE Vendor

Video of Loretta Washington – LSBE Vendor

WSBTV Video

Restore Public Trust Memorandum to the FBI, GBI and Inspector General

fbi

MEMORANDUM
TO: CHRIS CAMPBELL, SPECIAL AGENT WITH DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
FROM: VIOLA DAVIS
SUBJECT: RESTORE PUBLIC TRUST MEMORANDUM TO THE FBI, GBI AND INSPECTOR GENERAL
DATE: OCTOBER 23, 2014

CC: U.S. ATTORNEY SALLY QUILLIAN YATES, CEO LEE MAY, DEKALB BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY ROBERT JAMES, JERALD DALTON, BARBARA SANDERS, RESTORE DEKALB AND ALL APPROPRIATE PARTIES

Restore Public Trust Memorandum to the FBI, GBI and Inspector General
By Viola Davis RN BSN
October 23, 2014

Four reasons DeKalb County vendors/contractors request expansion of the investigation by the FBI, GBI and Inspector General into Purchasing and Contracting, Public Works, IT and Watershed.

I, Viola Davis, with Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, submitted a 2nd amendment to the ethics complaint to restore public trust against Kelvin Walton, former Director and Chief Procurement Officer of the Department of Purchasing and Contracting and Nina Hall, former Executive Assistant/Secretary to CEO Burrell Ellis, and former Project Manager in the Watershed Department.

With the support of Restore DeKalb, we presented evidenced in a Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint, Amendment I, that provided evidence and testimony of sworn statements by both Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall of lying to a special grand jury, taking money and/or service for personal gain, and engaging in alleged public corruption in purchasing and contracting within a DeKalb County government department. We have submitted over 420 pages of written documentation to justify Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall’s removal from the taxpayers and voters payroll.

DeKalb County has recently reorganized the Purchasing and Contracting Department that has allegedly caused ten people, thus far, to lose their jobs. Yet, the taxpayers and voters financed the salaries of Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall until October 7, 2014. Why?

It’s time for us to come to the reality that this local government has been in a crisis for far too long. As a watchdog group, we have complained for years about a “cloud of corruption” that gives DeKalb County a bad reputation as well as a black eye hindering economic development and decreasing public trust.

How can DeKalb County reorganize and cause ten people to lose their job while forcing the taxpayers and voters by continuing to pay two employees that clearly engaged in alleged illegal activity? Why did Interim CEO Lee May continue to keep Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall suspended “with pay” after such conclusive evidence and written documentation existed?

We need a full forensic audit to expose the “true” financial picture, shortfalls, and alleged criminal activity within the Watershed and Public Works Department. We need a full forensic audit of the IT and Purchasing and Contracting Department. We need an answer to the question, “Is there any criminal activity that should be prosecuted”?

Vendors and Contractors have requested a full criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Inspector General (under RICO) into alleged criminal activity to include:

I. Hopie Strickland’s complaint to the Inspector General:

Bid-rigging (See Exhibit A)

Bid-rigging – Exhibit A Link

False Documentation (evidenced of fraudulent checks – See Exhibit B, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)
Part 1:

False Documentation – Exhibit B Part 1

Part 2:

False Documentation – Exhibit B Part 2

Part 3:

False Documentation – Exhibit B Part 3

Violation of the False Claims Act – (See Exhibit C)

Violation of the False Claims Act – Exhibit C

Fraud – (See Exhibit D)

Fraud – Exhibit D

Kickback, Up-Charging and over-billing – (See Exhibit E)

Kickbacks, Up-charging, and Over-billing – Exhibit E

Tax Fraud – (See Exhibit F)

Tax Fraud – Exhibit F

II. Complaints from Vendors/Contractors alleging criminal activity:

A majority of the documentation above involves a vendor named, Hopie Strickland. DeKalb County staff members were present and/or involved during a majority of the meetings detailing complaints of alleged criminal activity.

However through an Open Records Request, we have identified additional vendors and complaints alleging violation of policy and procedure, violation of the LSBE Ordinance and alleged criminal activity to include:

1. R. Harris requested assistance from Purchasing and Contracting:
a. Complaint of Pass through
b. Disagreement with practice of co-signing checks to another company
c. Complaint of fraud

2. M. Mikell’s letter to Purchasing and Contracting:
a. In March 2010, the DeKalb County Auditor questioned Mikell concerning payments
b. Felton Williams and Sharon Walker were contacted by M. Mikell; however, no follow up on concerns
c. Complaint of fraudulent acts
d. Complaint of major “cover up” by DeKalb County staff
e. Requests and concerns have fallen on “deaf ears”
f. Complaint of unethical behavior and alleged fraudulent schemes/tactics

3. Email from A. Jones to Park and Recreation Department/ Purchasing and Contracting:
a. Complaint of alleged illegal activity involving single bid process
b. Purchasing Department and Parks and Recreation Department set out to target a specific entity which is illegal in itself
c. Complaint that the business did not exist at the time of the RFP

III. The 2012 Special Purpose Grand Jury strongly recommended the District Attorney criminally investigate over 10 people in addition to Burrell Ellis:

A Special Purpose Grand Jury was impaneled on January 20, 2012 pursuant to O.C.G.A 15-12-100 to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the bidding, awarding and management of contracts in the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management during the period of January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2010.

The special grand jury’s final report and presentment of its yearlong investigation into alleged corruption in county watershed department stemming back to the beginning of former CEO Vernon Jones’ administration strongly recommended the District Attorney criminally investigate the following individuals for possible indictment in addition to Burrell Ellis to include:

A. William “Wiz” Miller – Obstructing a criminal investigation.
B. Jabari Simama – Manipulation of selection committee process, perjury and bid-rigging.
C. Roy Barnes – Bid-rigging, kickbacks and perjury.
D. Hadi Haeri – Theft, false writings, perjury and bid-rigging.
E. Nadine Maghsoudlou – Theft, false writing, perjury and bid-rigging.
F. Vernon Jones – Bid-rigging and theft.
G. Paul Champion – Manipulation of the ITB process, false writings, theft and perjury.
H. Kevin Ross – Interference with government operations, manipulation of the RFP/ITB process and bid-rigging.
I. Jeffrey Walker – Theft, bid-rigging and perjury.
J. Christian Vann – False writings
K. John Willis and possibly, other individuals with Brown and Caldwell – theft, bid-rigging and perjury.

We need the FBI, GBI and/or Inspector General to expand their investigation to include the people mentioned in the special grand jury report if District Attorney Robert James continues to place his focus on Burrell Ellis instead of the ten people recommended for investigation and possible indictment.

IV. It is alleged that a Commissioner’s personal property was repaired with taxpayers’ money:

We were approached by several people alleging a DeKalb County Commissioner’s personal property was repaired with taxpayers’ money. Upon receiving the complaint, we submitted Open Records Request to obtain documentation to support the complaint. We spent over two weeks trying to get our Open Records Request answered. However, we would often experience excuses and one mistake after another that limited the information we received. Due to the number of mistakes (intentional or unintentional), we have reason to believe there are some validity to the allegations. We were given permission by one of the people making the allegation to forward the complaint to the FBI and Inspector General. We were informed the initial complaint was made to the District Attorney’s officer; however, no actions were ever taken against the Commissioner in question.

Until we place restoring public trust as a top priority, taxpayers, property owners, homeowners and business owners recommend the Board of Commissioners, those that remain, to immediately demonstrate the value they place in restoring public trust in our local government by enacting the following changes:
• Establish and fund an Internal Auditor.
• Creation of a new anti-corruption unit within the DeKalb Police Department, in concert with the FBI and GBI.
• Support the Board of Ethics and maintain its independence.

We are asking the FBI, GBI and Inspector General to demonstrate the value they place in restoring public trust in our local government by expanding their investigation to include Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall as well as staff persons in the Purchasing and Contracting Department, Public Works Department, IT and Watershed.

There are many DeKalb County taxpayers and voters that value restoring public trust and removing this “Cloud of Corruption”. We need the law enforcement agencies to take immediate action to restore public trust by removing this “cloud of corruption”.

Should CEO Lee May continue to refuse to enact a forensic audit of Purchasing and Contracting, Public Works, IT and Watershed, we respectfully request that the FBI, GBI and Inspector General exercise its given power to expand its investigation to include these department as well as Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall, based on our presentments to the Board of Ethics, such as:

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – Original

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – 1st Complaint

1st amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – Original/Initial Complaint

2nd amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

1st Amendment – Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

We strive to present enough documentation and evidence to have this case classified as a RICO case.

Respectfully submitted,

Viola Davis
Community Missionary

DeKalb Residents: Fire Purchasing Director

By April Hunt (4/22/2014)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Several residents and business owners gave DeKalb County Commissioners an earful Tuesday morning for interim CEO Lee May’s decision to suspend but not fire the county purchasing director.

Purchasing Director Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall, the former secretary of suspended CEO Burrell Ellis, will still earn salaries during their suspensions that began Monday. May said he removed them because of allegations they were part of the contract corruption that Ellis was indicted for last year.

Read the rest of the story at the following link:

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/dekalb-residents-fire-purchasing-director/nffcN/

Or view the video:

DeKalb Corruption Against LSBE Vendors

DeKalb Corruption against LSBE Vendors

Published on Sep 29, 2013
DeKalb Corruption against LSBE Vendors

Dear Local Small Business Enterprise Vendors,

We ask that you join Hopie Strickland with Strickland and Son Construction and Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter to call for a federal investigation and forensic audit of the Local Small Business Enterprise (LSBE) program to include:

• DeKalb County Government
• Contract Compliance Division
• Purchasing and Contracting Department

We strive to expose:

• Bid rigging
• Kickbacks
• False documentation to secure funding
• Stealing
• Extortion
• Etc.

We demand transparency, ethics, and accountability from our elected officials and government agencies. Help us ensure our tax dollars are used for the best interest of the public.

If you have experienced any corruption while doing business with DeKalb County, please send an email to unhappytaxpayers@gmail.com or phone 770-256-0034.

Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint – DeKalb County Board of Ethics

unhappy taxpayer and voter logo1
Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint

Viola Davis
909 Rays Road
Stone Mountain, Ga. 30083

March 17, 2014

DeKalb County Board of Ethics
Clark Harrison Building
330 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue
Decatur, Georgia 30030

Dear DeKalb County Board of Ethics:

I, Viola Davis with Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, submit this ethics complaint to restore public trust against Kelvin Walton, Director and Chief Procurement Officer of the Department of Purchasing and Contracting and Nina Hall, Former Assistant to CEO Burrell Ellis, and currently Project Manager with Watershed Department. I presented evidence during an executive meeting of Restore DeKalb on Friday, March 14, 2014 which included the complaints of two vendors, one complaint by a disabled veteran, and a federal complaint filed September of 2013 to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.

I have received the full support of Restore DeKalb to submit a Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint against Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall concerning the public corruption case related to purchasing and contracts within the Watershed Department. We agreed that the following actions need to be address to restore public trust in DeKalb County to include:

A. Demand Kelvin Walton and Nina Hall be reassigned to other departments until a full criminal investigation and forensic audit of the Watershed Department is completed.

B. Demand a forensic audit of the Watershed Department due to a long history of complaints of criminal activity and systematic charges of thievery.

C. Demand the GBI lead the investigation as an external neutral third party due to the fact that two-three independent Constitutional officers have made serious accusations against one another to include:
a. CEO Burrell Ellis charges against DA Robert James and Interim CEO Lee May
b. District Attorney Robert James charges under the RICO statue.
c. Interim CEO Lee May’s statement of a need for additional evidence before removing Kelvin Walton from the Purchasing and Contract Compliance Department.

D. Demand a federal investigation into DeKalb County’s Purchasing and Contracting and Contract Compliance departments and prosecution of people who are found to violate the local, state, and federal laws.

If we are to restore public trust, we request that the DeKalb County Ethics Board examine the following evidence submitted and submit an opinion and/or board action to the necessary elected officials and department heads (local and state level) to complete this Restore Public Trust Ethics Complaint:

1. Vendor 1 – Hopie Strickland with Strickland and Sons Construction
a. Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter filed a federal complaint with the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, September 2013 concerning a complaint by Hopie Strickland of bid rigging, kickbacks, and false documentation, etc. (See Documentation below)
b. Video titled, “DeKalb Corruption against LSBE Vendors” featuring Hopie Strickland.

2. Vendor 2 – Alessandro Salvo with GS Construction
a. Link to WSBTV story on Alessandro Salvo complaint
b. Link to Video of FBI investigation of Watershed Extortion case (Documentation provided on request of Ethics Board)

3. Private Citizen – Disabled Veteran complaint concerning tree removal demonstrates systematic problems and/or corruption that unfairly targets private citizens and lack of executive oversight.

4. DeKalb County Special Purpose Grand Jury Report 2012-2013 … Civil Case #12CV1000.

In the name of transparency, ethics, and accountability, we submit this ethics complaint to restore public trust.

Sincerely,

Viola Davis
Community Missionary