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Topic: Why Michigan is #50 in ethics-Republican donors

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El Supremo

http://flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?t=12377 lists the campaign conributions from non profits and 527 accounts that can be identified.

Oct 1, 2011 - Anthony Soave (with guests) sold City Management to Waste ... City Management's owner Anthony Soave (rumored to be part of the mob underground), also ... are Homrich Management Corporation and Homrich Enterprises, ...

http://www.mcfn.org/donor-tracking.php? follow the money in Michigan campaigns

Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:25 am; edited 4 times in total
Post Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:44 pm 
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El Supremo

VOICE OF DETROIT: The city's independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought Local, national and world news from a people's perspective

Posted on 10/01/2011 by Diane Bukowski

The big crooks who belong in the toilet: (l to r) beginning with the two Bushes, Carlyle Group co-founders Frank Carluccia and David Rubinstein, Synagro exec James Rosendall, former Kilpatrick aide Michael Tardif, investigated but not charged in Synagro and Systematic Recycling Council votes, Synagro legal counsel Alvin Thomas II, current Synagro CEO and "Underdover Boss" Dave Massa, and Synagro operative Pamela Racey, still employed despite numerous allegations that she originated bribery deals.

Fox 2 report attacks small Black water contractor Bankston in favor of wealthy white Homrich

September 30, 2011

By Diane Bukowski

U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox, appointed by Carlyle member former Pres. George W. Bush, used Carlyle/Synagro scandal as excuse for DWSD takeover

DETROIT One week before U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox issued his Sept. 9 order taking over the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), Detroits Fox 2 News featured an attack on a small Black-owned water department contractor and virtually every Black official connected with the Water Department contracting process.

It was clearly no accident. One of the problems Cox cited in court filings on the 32-year-old DWSD federal lawsuit was that the city has contracting procedures benefiting resident-owned businesses.

In the piece, aired Sept. 1, Fox 2 reporter Charlie LeDuff interviewed wealthy white suburban contractor Roger I. Homrich, who is contesting the citys grant of a two-year sludge hauling contract to Bankston Construction, a Black-owned, Detroit-based business. According to AFSCME Local 207 President John Riehl, Bankston has had DWSD ash-hauling contracts for many years.

Roger I. Homrich, suburban CEO of numerous Homrich companies; Fox 2 shows him here in front of Homrich trucks demolishing the historice Cass Technical High School building.

Remember Synagro, the company that greased more fingers in Detroit than a short order cook? Fox 2 asked. Its the scandal that rocked Detroit city hall, sent Monica Conyers to federal prison and threatens to send disgraced former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his daddy Bernard to lengthy prison stays themselves.

The comparison of Bankston Construction to Synagro is a giant stretch. According to the business search site Manta, Bankstons annual revenues run $1 to $2.5 million.

Synagro is a national white-owned technologies corporation owned by the Carlyle Group, an international cartel run by, among other former world leaders, George Bush and son George W. Bush. Carlyle, the worlds largest private equity firm, has $88 billion under management, and another $59.6 billion in equity investments, in 72 countries, according to Dan Briody, author of The Iron Triangle.

Fox 2 News reporter Charlie LeDuff

The Fox 2 report (below) featured photos of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, former City Council President Monica Conyers, consultant Sam Riddle, and others being flushed down a toilet. All but one of the officials in the toilet were Black. The sole white was James Rosendall, the Synagro executive who entrapped Black city officials and residents in a bribery scheme to obtain a $1.2 billion incinerator contract for his bosses.

Fox 2 made no allegations that Bankston similarly bribed city officials to get his contract.

The photo at the top of this story shows who really belongs in the toilet, among numerous others.

They are: George Bush and George W. Bush, Carlyle co-founders Frank Carlucci (U.S. Defense Secretary under Ronald Reagan) and David Rubinstein, Rosendall, Michael Tardif, a former Kilpatrick aide who was investigated by the federal government with respect to the Synagro and Systematic Recycling contracts, current Synagro CEO Bill Massa (for lack of available photos of former CEO Robert Boucher, Jr.), Synagro General Counsel Alvin Thomas II, and Synagro Vice-President of Business Development Pamela Racey (back to camera, hand in front of face).

Both this reporter and later, Jennifer Dixon of the Detroit Free Press, did articles exposing the fact that these Synagro top executives, as well as J. Paul Withrow, whose photograph was not found, KNEW of the bribery scheme. Articles by this reporter in The Michigan Citizen said Synagro had similarly entrapped Black officials in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

(Click on EVIDENCE Synagro payoff MC DB and Carlyle and Synagro escape charges DB MC to read two of dozens of stories by this reporter on the Synagro deal.)

Former Kilpatrick aide Michael Tardif, married Michigan Citizen publisher Catherine Kelly in Aug. 2010; they are shown here at a benefit for the privatized Detroit Insititute of Arts

But only Rosendall went to prison, for 11 months. Meanwhile Rayford Jackson, a Black Detroit entrepreneur Rosendall used, got five years because he would not cooperate with the FBI in naming others. Meanwhile the federal government is busy taking down other Black officials involved, including former Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller and Emma Bell.

Mysteriously, former Kilpatrick aide Michael Tardif, who is white and was alleged by Detroit Free Press writer David Ashenfelter among others to have been investigated for his connections to Rosendall and Synagro, dropped from sight until he quietly married the publisher of The Michigan Citizen, Catherine Kelly, in August, 2010. There is still no mention of his being charged in current articles naming Miller and Bell.

(Click on: Eight named in FBI Kilpatrick probe including Michael Tardif forAshenfelter article, also http://voiceofdetroit.net/2010/12/08/southwest-detroit-wins-court-victories-against-polluter/ for articles related to Tardif connections.)

Synagro CEO Bill Massa (appropriate name) in series "Undercover Boss"

Neither Synagro nor Carlyle as corporate entities were ever charged in the deal THEY set up.

In fact, Massa was recently featured on the reality show Undercover Boss, indicating his companys continued acceptance in the world of corporate finance and big media.

In the center of the toilet photo above is Homrich, president of numerous companies bearing the Homrich name. After Synagro canceled its $1.2 billion contract to build a new private incinerator amid the scandal, the city kept using DWSD incinerators. Mayor Ken Cockrel, Jr. let a contract to haul the sludge to Homrich and Waste Management, Inc. The second company is well-known for federal investigations of its ties to organized crime.

Ken Cockrel Jr. and Dep. Mayor Saul Green at press conference announcing giveaway of Cobo Hall

WMI was a significant contributor to Cockrels campaign for Mayor. (Click on KEN CASH CONTRACTS DB MC to read this authors story on THAT questionable Sludgegate deal, which none of the daily media in Detroit raised a stink about.)

But LeDuff reported Sept. 1, Both the mayors office and the city council bent over backwards to give Bankston Construction the $47 million contract despite state law, city law and custom. Despite tax liens, law suits, lack of insurance and bonds and a credit score of 2 out of 100, Bankston got the deal.

LeDuff proceeded to attack Vincent Bankston personally, claiming he had several drunk driving arrests. (So has Oakland County Chief Executive L. Brooks Patterson, one of the moving forces in the DWSD takeover.)

Patterson stopped for DUI, let off by Oakland County cop; cartoon from Metro Times

According to records obtained from the City Council Research and Analysis Division (click on Bankston contract for full account of contract from RAD), the figure of $47 million was deliberately inflated. The contract is for $23.5 million over two years, with a possible additional two years that Council has not yet voted on. Bankston was the low bidder. Homrich bid $29 million. The citys Purchasing Division said the contract would save the city over $4 million.

This is not the first time Bankston has experienced problems in the generally mob-dominated sludge-hauling business. Bankston filed suit in 2000 against the city, a suit which was dismissed at all levels. (Click on Bankston lawsuit v Detroit to read Court of Appeals ruling.) However, the language in the COA opinion is illuminating:

Anthony Soave (with guests) sold City Management to Waste Management, Inc.

Specifically, plaintiff asserted that its offer to haul solidified stabilized sludge was implicitly accepted by the defendant after it submitted the low bid in July 1997, (VOD ed: it is common practice for city departments to have contractors begin work before City Council approval.) and that because the offer was accepted it was entitled to begin hauling solidified stabilized sludge immediately thereafter. Plaintiff contends that it had an output contract with defendant that entitled it to haul a specific amount of sludge, and that defendants award of emergency contracts to City Management in 1997 and 1999 to haul raw sludge breached its contract with defendant by reducing the sludge available for plaintiff to haul to an amount less than that established by the contract, causing damages to it by diminishing the revenues that plaintiff was able and entitled to earn under the terms of the contract.

Wonder why Bankston workers might have sued the company for non-payment, as alleged by Fox 2?

City Managements owner Anthony Soave (rumored to be part of the mob underground), also a contributor to Ken Cockrel and numerous other city officials campaign finances, later sold the company to Waste Management, Inc. Click on http://www.forensic-intelligence.org/waste/cttrash.htm to read The Offensive, Odorous Underbelly of Trash, published in the Cheboygan Daily Tribune.

Bankston is certified by the City of Detroits Human Rights Department as a Detroit-headquartered business, a small business, and a minority-owned business, while Homrich is certified as a Detroit-based business. Bankston, Homrich, and the Humand Rights Department director did not return calls for comment on this article.

Oasis Trucking Center at 4195 Central

According to state records, Homrichs only Detroit base appears to be Suite H at 4195 Central Street, the address used for the companys certification. But no Homrich signs or equipment are visible there. This reporter was not able to obtain entry to Suite H on Sept. 28 because no one was in the office that day.

Manta says Homrich employs two people there, and has $98.000 in revenues annually.

But according to State of Michigan records, Roger I. Homrich owns numerous companies using the Homrich name, based mainly in Carleton and LaSalle Michigan.

Located at 12856 Allenhurst Rd. in LaSalle, Michigan, are Homrich Contracting, Homrich Environmental Remediation Services. LLC, andHomrich Industrial Services, LLC.

Aerial view Homrich LaSalle address on Allenhurst, appears to be lakefront property

Located at 200 Matlin Rd, Carleton, Michigan, are Homrich Management Corporation and Homrich Enterprises, as well as Regulated Resource Recovery, another company owned by Roger I. Homrich.

According to Manta, Homrich Wrecking has $7.1 million in revenues, with a staff of 60. It identifies Homrich Inc. at the Detroit address, but also says Homrich Inc. in Carleton rakes in $20-$50 million annually and has a staff of 100 to 249. Resource Recovery, which operates the land-fill on Matlin, has annual revenues of $5 to $10 million and employs 50 workers according to Manta.

Homrich was contractor on Hudson demolition

Homrich already has a huge share of both the City of Detroit and Detroit Public Schools contract pies, among them the notorious demolition of the J.L. Hudson Building, which caused a huge cloud of pollution to blanket downtown Detroit, the implosion of the Jeffries Projects to replace them with market-rate housing, only 20 percent for low-income individuals, and the current demolition of the historic Cass Technical High School building.

Of course, Fox 2s fly-by-night attack on Bankston and Detroit is not surprising, given that Fox is owned by Rupert Murdoch, known for his obscene wealth, anti-unionism, and corruption.

Four towers of the Jeffries Projects demolished by Homrich on April 29, 2011

According to Wikipedia, Murdoch has been listed three times in the Time 100 as among the most influential people in the world. He is ranked 13th most powerful person in the world in the 2010 Forbes The Worlds Most Powerful People list. With a personal net worth of US$7.6 billion, he was ranked 117th wealthiest person in the world in March 2011.

In July 2011 Murdoch faced allegations that his companies including the News of the World, owned by News Corporation, had been regularly hacking the phones of private citizens. He also faces police and government investigations into bribery and corruption in the UK and FBI investigations in the US.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News and world's second largest media conglomerate

So, Charlie LeDuff and Fox 2 News Detroit, when are you going to flush Rupert Murdochs photo down the toilet? Or are you afraid of being fired like other Fox outlet officials who reported on the Murdoch phone hacking scandal?

Murdoch of Fox News Admits Manipulating the News

Rupert Murdoch of News Corp / Fox News Admits Manipulating the News for Agenda Admits he supported the Bush Agenda in Iraq He is part of the Bilderburg group

Also click on http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bin%20talal to for account of the Carlyle Groups connection to Rupert Murdochs news empire. Turns out a major partner in the Carlyle Group owns the remaining stock in Murdochs News Group, parent company of Fox News.
Post Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:51 pm 
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El Supremo

Donations to the michigan Republican Party

http://www.mcfn.org/donor-tracking.php? Follow the money

PhRMA | $500,000 | 2013
* PhRMA | $621,500 | 2014

A large and successful lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical companies. How does this affect our prescription costs?

Other large donors are health related groups and hospital organizations.

Last edited by untanglingwebs on Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:36 am; edited 4 times in total
Post Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:47 am 
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El Supremo

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America -
PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, represents the country's leading biopharmaceutical researchers and biotechnology companies.
About PhRMAs mission to effectively advocate for public policy that
Leadership Our leadership includes some of the worlds top developers of new

Aug 03, 2016 Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA, is one of the largest and most influential lobbying organizations in

PhRMA | Facebook
Together with our member companies, PhRMA brought more than 60 researchers and scientists to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, founded in 1958, is a trade group representing companies in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States. PhRMA's stated mission is advocacy for public policies that encourage the discovery of new medicines for patients by companies engaged in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical research. PhRMA's current chairman of the board is Steve Ubl.
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El Supremo

Dems: Bojis should be banned from state contracts...

Mar 24, 2016 ... LANSING State Senate Republicans approved a $134 million office space project involving the politically connected Boji family while the ...

Justin A. Hinkley, Lansing State Journal 5:22 p.m. EDT March 24, 2016

(Photo: Lansing State Journal)

LANSING State Senate Republicans approved a $134 million office space project involving the politically connected Boji family while the Bojis owed back taxes, Democrats charged Thursday at a news conference in which they also called for the Bojis to be banned from future state contracts.

A state official, meanwhile, said no laws prohibit those with tax liens from doing business with the state. And a representative of the Boji Group said Democrats were on a baseless political witch hunt.

Building on a story posted Wednesday by TV station FOX 2 Detroit, the Michigan Democratic Party released documents showing Boji executives had racked up $1.8 million in state and federal tax liens dating back to 1979. That should have prohibited the Senate from signing a deal to buy office space at the Boji-owned Capitol View building, Democrats said at a news conference Thursday.

Though all of the liens cited by the Democrats have since been released because the taxes were paid, a more than $65,000 lien was on file against all of the Boji Groups properties, including Capitol View, when the group submitted its bid to the Senate in July 2014.

The Republican-controlled Senate allowed the deal to go through because the Boji family are generous donors to Republican candidates, the Democrats charged. The Bojis have also given to Democrats, though the family has given more to Republicans.

Randy Richardville, who was the state Senate majority leader when the bids were approved in late 2014 but was term-limited out of office that year, now runs a consulting firm that does work for a company in which the Bojis are part owners.

Its once again a reminder of just about everything thats wrong with Lansing, MDP Chairman Brandon Dillon said at the news conference in downtown Lansing, joined by state Reps. Christine Greig, D-Farmington Hills, and Scott Dianda, D-Calumet.

The Legislature is not beholden to the same purchasing rules as the executive branch, Caleb Buhs, a spokesman for the state Department of Technology, Management & Budget, said in an email to the State Journal. And nothing in statute prevents a vendor with a tax lien from contracting with the state, he said.

Greig, however, said it was just common sense that tax delinquents shouldnt get taxpayer dollars.

Richardville on Thursday noted that the bids were reviewed by career Senate staffers, not himself or other politicians, and that the Boji bid came out on top of a point system developed by those staffers.

The Senate bids, released last year by Richardvilles successor, showed Capitol View was not the cheapest of four bids that were reviewed but offered the most space for the price.

Richardville called it ridiculous to insinuate his current consulting work was the result of any quid-pro-quo.

I do not work for them, he said. I do some consulting work for a related company, and everything is 100% legal, 100% ethical.

Of the Democrats, he said: Go back to work or introduce a bill to be a part-time legislature if you dont have anything better to do.

John Truscott, a spokesman for the Bojis, said Thursday the Richardville contract wasnt even discussed until long after the Capitol View project had been approved.

Truscott said the tax lien at the time of the 2014 bidding process was related to questions over what taxes were due amid a lawsuit over Michigans elimination of the Michigan Business Tax. He said the taxes were already being paid back during the bidding process. That lien was released in August 2015.

On the older liens, Truscott said: The thing is, everything was paid Some people get behind, have hard times, but they get caught up.

Democrats also accused Republicans of hiding the Bojis tax issues from the public, pointing out that the Boji Group was the only bidder that did not provide written answers to a questionnaire asking if they had any outstanding tax obligations.

Bidders were not asked to provide written answers, Truscott said, but had he been asked to answer in writing, (Boji Group President Ron Boji) absolutely would have.

Democrats, especially those in the state House, have opposed the Senate office move since it was first proposed in 2013, and have unsuccessfully tried to stop it. Earlier this month, Dianda asked Attorney General Bill Schuette a recipient of Boji campaign donations to provide an opinion on whether elected officials should share office space with the Bojis, who are registered lobbyists.

And on Thursday, the Democrats again called for the Legislature to defund the move in the budget year that starts Oct. 1, which they couldnt do in the current budget year.

It wasnt immediately clear what would happen if the project was stripped from the budget, since bonds have already been sold and contracts signed. Dillon said defunding would work because the bonds were sold with the understanding they were appropriation-based.

A message seeking comment was left Thursday with the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which approved the bond sales.

Contact Lansing State Journal reporter Justin A. Hinkley at 517-377-1195 or jhinkley@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinHinkley. Sign up for his email newsletter, SoM Weekly, at on.lsj.com/somsignup.
Post Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:01 pm 
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El Supremo

Schuette has three accounts. Boji contributed,as well as Soave Enerprises, Matty Maroun and the Detroit International Bridge, Kojaian Proprties was in for $50,000.

Flint received a HUD finding for giving Boji $550,000 to buy property on Clio and Person to build a new state FIA building. HUD stated inappropriate as this was a state contract and Flint was to repay the funding. The State MSHDA got a similar HUD finding over a state building in Detroit.
Post Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:19 pm 
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El Supremo

Discuss Detroit


Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 1:53 pm: Edit PostDelete Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)
http://static.record-eagle.com /2006/oct/15allen.htm

You really need to read the above article.

http://www.forensic-intelligen ce.org/waste/resoave.htm

Interesting article on Soave and some of his political contributions.

http://www.campaignmoney.com/p olitical/contributions/anthony -soave.asp?cycle=08

You can search his Federal Campaign Contributions back to 2000. Most are Republican

http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/by state_detail.php?zip=48236&las t=SOAVE&first=ANTHONY

another Contribution site

One of the big garbage disposal businesses in the Detroit area is
an outfit by the name of City Management Corporation, a major
player in importing garbage from Canada for disposal. City
Management Corp was at the time headed by one Tony Soave. Not to
be confused of course with Tony Soprano, though it would be an
understandable mistake since as we'll soon see, Mr. Soave has
alot more in common with Tony Soprano than just a similar
sounding name.

For a start, there's the company he keeps. Soave has had links to
Detroit mob figures, including an early 1970s partnership with
Frank Mudaro, described in 1963 U.S. Senate hearings as a section
leader in the Detroit Mafia. Earlier, Mudaro had been a business
partner of William "Black Bill" Tocco, one of the five ruling
dons of the Detroit Mob. Soave has also met regularly with others
in the trash business with dodgy backgrounds, such as John Riggi,
an ex-labor union official alleged to be the boss of the
DeCavalcante crime family in New Jersey. Soave himself was
indicted and arrested in 1971 in a federal gambling conspiracy
investigation, though his case was dismissed on a technicality
because the wiretap was not correctly authorized.

Soave also spends quite alot of time giving out bribes - oops, we
mean "campaign contributions" - to various local politicians. One
of these was former Wayne County Executive Edward H. McNamara who
is currently being investigated on bribery and corruption charges
by the FBI. McNamara's son also works for Power Vac Service Inc,
a company owned by Soave that was also given a lucrative road
sweeping contract by McNamara. Such irregularities and conflicts
of interest are not uncommon in Soave's business dealings. In
late 1991, Soave acquired a landfill from Crawford and Otsego
counties despite another bidder offering 50% more. He also
brought a trash hauling business from another local body

Then there's the nasty things that happen to his business
competitors. Another one of his companies, Warren Waste Transfer,
was awarded a garbage collection contract - with no competitive
tendering - after a rival company was mysteriously firebombed in
1991. The arsonist, a small-time punk by the name of John Pree,
later claimed that he and his accomplice Carlo Bommarito were
acting under orders from Detroit mob boss Vito Giacalone.
Bommarito and his father, Francesco, a longtime associate of
Giacalone, were later charged with arson and conspiracy. Quirino
D'Alessandro, a crony of Warren Mayor Ronald Bonkowski and who
has also faced illegal gambling and money laundering charges was
fronting for Soave as head of Warren Waste Transfer.

Soave has also been connected with toxic waste dumping. A former
CMC subsidiary, USL-City Environmental Inc, was investigated in
1999 for illegal waste disposal. Employees claimed that large
amounts of untreated toxic waste was routinely dumped down
Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:45 am 
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El Supremo

June 24, 1996
In Warren: Mayor in no rush to pick hauler

By Hawke Fracassa / The Detroit News
Who wins Warren's lucrative trash hauling contract still is up in the air despite a rapidly approaching deadline.
Mayor Mark Steenbergh appears in no hurry to recommend the next trash hauler, even though the existing deal with City Management Corp. expires Sunday.

Plans to have a recommendation ready for the City Council by Tuesday have fallen through, said Marilyn Donlin, Steenbergh's chief of staff.

That means Warren will either have to call an emergency council meeting when Steenbergh's ready, or the city will be without an agreement when the old contract expires.

Right now it looks like the work will continue to be done by City Management through an extended agreement, city officials said.

City Management has been carting off Warren trash for $16 million a year, a deal Steenbergh brands as an old "sweetheart" contract negotiated by the earlier administration under former Mayor Ron Bonkowski.

Four companies trying to win the new contract -- including a subsidiary of City Management, Pine Tree Acres -- have tendered offers which are millions of dollars less than City Management received.

Pine Tree Acres wants $60,000 less than the next lowest offer from Standard Disposal Services at $7.3 million. Browning Ferris Industries is third at $7.8 million and Waste Management came in fourth at $8.1 million.

But some residents and city officials contend that neither Pine Tree nor Standard Disposal -- even though they made the lowest offers -- should get the contract.

Council President Jim Fouts said Standard Disposal is a bad neighbor that doesn't deserve the business.

"Kids across the street from their plant puke and vomit because of the stench from Standard Disposal," he said. "Standard is not the lowest qualified company because it violates neighborhood standards. This is one of the most important points about this contract."

Dominic Campo, executive vice-president of Standard, threatened to sue Warren if his company, which made the lowest original offer, doesn't get the deal.

Campo said he wants to give Thompson Elementary School an expensive air-conditioning system without charge.

"We're not a bad neighbor. We're willing to put up to prove it," he said. "The offer stands whether we get the contract or not."

Resident Cecelia Stevens said she is against both Standard Disposal and City Management because they're dogged by bad public relations. She cited the complaint that Standard's plant stinks, and that City Management got the so-called sweetheart $16-million deal from the previous administration.

"The best choice is obvious. It's BFI because it avoids even the appearance of impropriety," she said. "The others have too much baggage."

Copyright 1996, The Detroit News
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El Supremo

Sunday, July 21, 1996

Who will take out the garbage?

Next round coming up in Warren trash conflict

By Robin Fornoff
Detroit Journal Staff Writer

Not since Warren's last mayor was smeared by scandal and a federal investigation has a garbage hauling contract raised such a stink.

First, there was a low bidder Mayor Mark Steenbergh didn't like. So he renegotiated sealed bids.

When the new low bidder turned out to be a friend and big-money contributor to Steenbergh, outraged city council members tried to give the multimillion dollar deal to their favorite contractor and campaign contributor.

And when no one wound up with a contract, the owners of both firms stormed out of a raucous city council meeting, rolled up their sleeves and started slugging it out on the city hall lawn.

Hardly the sort of decorum one might expect in Michigan's third-largest city. But, then, this is Warren, where, as attorney and veteran Councilman Chuck Busse observes, "politics is a contact sport."

"It really is kind of an embarrassment," said Councilman George Dimas, who added it's anyone's guess what will happen Tuesday when the council meets to try to award the contract and end months of fighting.

The competition has apparently narrowed to two firms. Steenbergh's favorite is Pine Tree Acres, until now a landfill operation in rural northern Macomb County run by Anthony Volpe.

Volpe is a longtime supporter of Steenbergh, who took office last year on a pledge to end the kind of scandal blown up by former Mayor Ronald Bonkowski's steering of a $14-million, five-year garbage contract to a pal.

Bonkowski's friend happened to be a business partner of Anthony Soave, the multimillionaire Michigan garbage magnate who owns City Management and myriad other trash firms. The deal wound up under federal scrutiny after John Pree, an admitted organized crime hit man, testified that the whole thing was set up by reputed Detroit mob figures friendly with Soave.

No charges ever came from the probe. But the contract had Warren paying almost double the garbage fees most other cites in the county were paying.

Now it turns out reform Mayor Steenbergh's pick, Volpe, is also a business associate of Soave. And many city council members who barely survived the last scandal find Volpe's connection to Soave intolerable.

The council majority prefers Standard Disposal, which has been blamed for making children sick at its operations near Hoover and Topfer streets on the city's south side.

Standard Disposal is an unlicensed trash-transfer facility operating within yards' distance of Thompson Elementary School. The city and state have tried and failed repeatedly to shut the operation down, but its owner, Gus Campo, holds an iron-clad appeals court decision that permits it to operate.

The council and mayor had agreed to a compromise on the garbage contract. All firms were asked to submit new sealed bids to be opened at a special meeting last week. The council agreed the low bidder in that round would get the contract.

But the bids were never opened because the council majority refused to approve the agenda. The fight on the lawn followed immediately.

Dimas called it "unbelievable" that anyone on the council could support Standard Disposal. "The neighbors out there are just in a rage," said Dimas. "We had a chorus line of mothers, children, teachers and school administrators here last fall begging, pleading with us to do anything to shut it down."

Indeed, at Dimas' suggestion, the same council voted unanimously last year to take any steps necessary to shut down Standard Disposal.

Busse, one of the majority of six who had supported Standard Disposal, said Campo had promised to reduce operations near Thompson Elementary 80 to 90 percent if he got the contract to haul the city's garbage.

"The contract would be contingent on his living up to that bargain," said Busse. The agreement could be enforced by making Campo turn over records of garbage intake for the last three years, Busse contended.

Steenbergh went on vacation right before the last council meeting. His representative Marilyn Donlin said, in all the posturing and dealing, the cost to Warren taxpayers of hauling garbage out of the city has been slashed by at least half.

The bids all have fallen to around $7 million, to be paid over five years, compared to the $14 million contract under Bonkowski.

Even so, at least until Tuesday, the latest stack of sealed bids remains locked in a special police evidence safe alongside piles of drugs, guns and money confiscated by cops when they aren't busy separating grappling garbagemen.

"It's all so juvenile," said Donlin.
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El Supremo

Metro June 27, 1996
Warren gives trash contract to Standard

By Hawke Fracassa / The Detroit News
Warren Mayor Mark Steenbergh is expected to decide today whether he will veto a $7.3-million five-year trash-hauling contract awarded by the City Council to Standard Disposal Services Inc.
Unless he vetoes the contract by 5 p.m. Friday at the City Clerk's Office it will go into effect Monday.

A veto would force the council to reconsider the issue July 9, said City Attorney George Constance. Six votes would be needed to override Steenbergh.

The contract with the existing hauler, City Management Corp. subsidiary Warren Waste Transfer, expires Sunday. The company is not obliged to provide services after that.

Constance said Wednesday the mayor has the legal authority to hire a company of his choice to haul the garbage without a contract until a new hauler is approved.

Standard and the company Steenbergh recommended, City Management Corp. subsidiary Pine Tree Acres Inc., both said Wednesday they would work without a contract if necessary until the contract is decided.

"City Management would not walk away from the city of Warren," said Pine Tree spokesman Jim Sharp. "That would be irresponsible. Since it's an emergency situation and a health issue, we'll do the responsible thing if we're contacted."

Standard Disposal Executive Vice-President Dominic Campo says his company is ready to start Monday -- with or without a contract.

"I don't want anybody's trash sitting on the curb with nowhere to go for any reason," he said.

Standard Disposal won the contract in a 6-3 vote at the end of a six-hour council meeting early Wednesday after Campo agreed to cut the price by $60,000 to match Pine Tree's $7.309-million offer.

Campo was surprised his company won.

"Justice has been served," he said. "I thought the process of renegotiating prices was offensive, but smart business people adjust. We did and got the contract."

Pine Tree Acres isn't angry it lost.

"When two elephants fight, we don't want to be the grass," Sharp said of the difference of opinion between the council and Steenbergh.

The revised deal was renegotiated in public by Campo and Councilman Charles Busse. Standard had the lowest original offer but was undercut at the last minute by Pine Tree Acres during face-to-face negotiations with city officials. Busse said it was only fair to give Standard another chance.

Copyright 1996, The Detroit News
Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:14 am 
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El Supremo

FBI serves another subpoena on Warren for grand jury

By Norb Franz, norb.franz@macombdaily.com@NorbFranz
POSTED: 10/21/12, 12:32 PM EDT | UPDATED: ON 10/21/2012 0 COMMENTS
Federal officials have ordered the city of Warren to provide additional documents as part of a grand jury investigation of a city administrator and government contracts.

For the second time in seven weeks, officials recently demanded information about Deputy Public Service Director Gus Ghanam.

According to documents obtained by The Macomb Daily under the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI served a subpoena, dated Sept. 25, for the city to provide:

Personnel, salary, payment method and contract records for Ghanam.

Bids, purchases, invoices, receipts, memos, emails and other records regarding Able Demolition.

Contracts, proposals, bids, communications and other financial documents with the South Macomb Disposal Authority.

The subpoena does not explain why federal investigators are interested in Able Demolitions activities in Warren. The city hired the company, of Shelby Township, for three razing projects: the Olympic-size city swimming pool in 2009; a commercial strip on Van Dyke, south of Nine Mile Road; and the Warren Co-op historic barn.

Able Demolition has pictures on its website of the Warren pool grounds, near Veterans Park on Campbell Road near 11 Mile and Hoover roads, being filled in.

After 27 years of use during which it was considered a recreational gem, the pool was shuttered in 2004 by then-mayor Mark Steenbergh after city council members refused to put a tax increase on the ballot. The closed pool and surrounding structure became blighted and the target of vandals. In 2009, the council awarded a $105,265 contract to Able, the lowest of five bidders.

The project also is listed on the companys website as among those that were especially proud of

Able Demolition includes Warren in its list of references. It also handled the razing of the former Universal Mall, at Dequindre and 12 Mile roads, for redevelopment of the shopping center.

According to Able Demolition, the FBI once hired the company to demolish a horse barn in Milford in the search for Jimmy Hoffa.

The Macomb Daily unsuccessfully attempted to reach Able Demolition president John Koresky for comment. A woman who answered a phone call to the company Friday said he was at a demolition site and not immediately available.

Messages left for Warren Mayor James Fouts were not immediately returned Saturday.

The subpoena, requested by the U.S. Attorneys Office in Detroit, is an indication that the grand jury investigation has widened its probe.

As first reported last month by The Macomb Daily, the FBI delivered a federal subpoena to Warren City Hall on Aug. 8. Federal officials requested records involving the citys purchase of garbage trucks since 2008 and parts and tires for those rigs; documents including the citys contract with Detroit Renewable Energy and/or Detroit Renewable Power, the company that operates the Detroit trash incinerator; and all emails that Ghanam sent, received or was copied on.

Ghanam was appointed deputy public service director by Fouts in late 2007, shortly into the mayors first term. Ghanam oversees the citys sanitation division and receives an annual salary of $90,400. He was the point man for the city administration in convincing the City Council to buy new, larger rubbish trucks and to award a contract with the incinerator operators that would allow the trash from Michigans third-largest city to bypass a transfer station for direct hauling to the garbage burner. Warren administrators predicted the city would save $750,000 a year in trash disposal costs starting in 2010 and total savings of $9 million.

Warren spent $2.3 million to buy a dozen Mack Truck cabs and chassis plus 19 truck bodies in a move to sever ties with private rubbish haulers and have the citys sanitation employees take garbage directly to the Detroit incinerator instead of Pine Tree Acres landfill in Lenox Township.

Prior to his appointment as deputy public service director by Fouts in 2007, Ghanam worked for Rizzo Services, a private trash disposal firm.

Until last month, he served as Warrens most recent representative to the SMDA board, where he held the post of treasurer. The SMDA is a joint venture of five southern Macomb County cities Center Line, Eastpointe, Roseville, St. Clair Shores and Warren to manage trash disposal.

The FBI recently served a subpoena on the SMDA for financial documents and communications involving Detroit Renewable Energy, and records involving Ghanam including emails.

Eastpointe Councilwoman Wendy Richardson, that citys representative to the SMDA board, said Ghanam had been heavily pushing for other SMDA leaders to switch to the Detroit incinerator to save money with reduced disposal rates. Warren has paid $14 a ton to burn its municipal garbage, while the other four SMDA towns paid $24 a ton, according to the Warren Public Service Department.

Richardson said Ghanam had represented himself as an SMDA representative when he obtained bids without direction from the incinerator management company. She said the SMDA is not considering the incinerator but other cities wanted to explore potential savings.

Roseville Mayor John Chirkun said he turned over information obtained by Ghanam to Roseville City Manager Scott Adkins. Chirkun, who chairs the SMDA board, recently said the authority is fully cooperating with the FBI to expeditiously and thoroughly give them everything theyve asked for to the best of our ability.

The mayors of the five towns have traditionally served as the respective representatives to the SMDA board. After Fouts was elected mayor in 2007, he attended the first few meetings before he selected Public Service Director Richard Sabaugh to fill Warrens seat. Sabaugh handed that duty off to Ghanam in May 2008 because of Ghanams experience dealing with rubbish.

However, observers say only a communitys governing body has the power to select a delegate to the SMDA.

After media reports of the grand jury investigation, Fouts reinstated Sabaugh to sit in at SMDA meetings and designated Ghanam as Warrens alternate.

Also in the wake of the probe, Fouts announced that he has removed Ghanam from any decision-making or financial capacities until the outcome is known.

If the outcome is negative, if he is charged with something, he will be terminated, the mayor said recently.
Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:19 am 
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El Supremo

Progress Michigan Blasts Bill Schuette for Ducking Accountability, Filing Frivolous Appeals
November 16, 2017
Progress Michigan
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Progress Michigan Blasts Bill Schuette for Ducking Accountability, Filing Frivolous Appeals

News from Progress Michigan

November 16, 2017

Contact: Hugh Madden, 734-250-2070, hugh@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Blasts Bill Schuette for Ducking Accountability, Filing Frivolous Appeals

Attorney General seeks to delay lawsuit demanding release of emails from personal accounts used to conduct state business

LANSING Progress Michigan is calling out Attorney General Bill Schuette for filing frivolous appeals to delay a lawsuit that seeks to make public the contents of personal email accounts used for state business by Schuette and his staff. The lawsuit was filed by Progress Michigan after the Attorney Generals office denied a Freedom of Information Act request seeking release of all emails from personal accounts used to conduct state business.

We already know Bill Schuette is as shady as they come, but using taxpayer dollars to defend his irresponsible use of personal email accounts to hide state business from the public is low even for Schuette, said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. Bill Schuette doesnt seem interested in defending the people of Michigan but he sure knows how to use their tax dollars to defend himself.

The appeals could delay the case for months, keeping the people of Michigan in the dark about state business done with the secrecy of private, personal email accounts. Progress Michigan intends to continue to hold Bill Schuette and any of his staff accountable for using personal email accounts.

Bill Schuette seems to think hes above the law and only accountable to his corporate donors and not the people, Scott continued. It seems Bill Schuette is trying to hide the contents of these emails and will use any means, and as many public dollars, necessary to keep the people of Michigan in the dark.


Tags: Bill Schuette, FOIA

Progress Michigan
About Progress Michigan

Progress Michigan is a first-of-its-kind organization. Our mission is to provide a strong credible voice that holds public officials and government accountable, assists in the promotion of progressive ideas and uses state-of-the-art web based new media to creatively build grassroots support for progressive ideas.
Post Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:23 am 
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