Monday, September 2, 2013

Tremco Whistleblower Gets $61 Million Dollar Settlement in Qui Tam Case; Indiana Fraud First Exposed by this Blogger

It's fitting that the ressurection of this blog would occur to make an announcement about a former Tremco employee who was recently reached a $61 million dollar settlement in a Qui Tam/whistleblowing case against Tremco Roofing Corporation.  (Read this link for details.)

It's finally come full circle since this blog was first created in 2007 after Tremco sued this blogger and Taxpayers United for Fairness for exposing some of the same type of alleged fraud that the employee-whistleblower joined up with federal prosecutors to expose.  This blogger spent several years defending herself against Tremco's harassment in the SLAPP [lawsuit] when Tremco officials apparently had full knowledge that everything I had been claiming was true.

Imagine my surprise as I read through the 69-page complaint filed in The United States District Court for the District of Columbia and found out that Indiana was one of thirteen states represented in the lawsuit filed by Gregory Rudolph, former Vice President of Product Managment for Tremco. 

It shouldn't have taken a federal lawsuit for Indiana taxpayers to get an ounce of relief.   Attorney General Greg Zoeller was given mounds of evidence of fraud against taxpayers long before this lawsuit was ever filed.

Indiana Linked to Lawsuit
Tremco Lobbyists Convinced Lubbers to Turn on Taxpayers

Some of the fraud exposed involved school roofing projects that this blogger had complained about to state officials since 2005, including then-Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter, former Governor Mitch Daniels, and Senator Teresa Lubbers only to be ignored due to interference by Tremco-funded lawyers and lobbyists. 

Specifically, Rudolph alleged that Tremco "violated the Indiana False Claims and Whistleblower Protection Act, by...selling the State of Indiana or its subdivisions defective roofing products and installing defective roofing systems on state buildings and misrepresenting falsely the quality of lower-priced roofs to fraudulently induce purchase of more expensive, identical Tremco roofing products, including, but not limited to...Center Grove Community School, West Grove Elementary School, Indianapolis Metropolitan School District, North Central High School, Seymour Community Schools District, and Smith Green Community Schools."

I and others had warned about a failing Tremco school roof in Hamilton County as well as additional potential failures only to be scoffed at and ignored.  My own school district, Rossville School, reportedly had leaks in its roof within two years after it was installed.  Tremco and school officials were ruthless in their attacks against me during my repeated attempts to notify local and state officials of the tax fraud, waste, abuse, and potential safety issues related to school roof jobs.

Other Indiana projects were also listed in the complaint, including roofing products sold to the City of Valparaiso Waste Water Treatment Plant, and the Frankfort Post Office.

Dan Tyree Was Warned!

Dan Tyree
And I can't forget to give a shout out to Superintendent Dan Tyree of the Plymouth School District who viciously attacked me via radio and Internet  after I exposed his participation in a Tremco-related school roofing scam that he helped initiate with Plymouth, Indiana tax dollars.  What say you now, Dan?

I tried to warn you before you entered into a no-bid scheme with an Ohio-based corporation that is now known nationally for ripping off  local, state, and federal governments funded by taxpayers.   You should be held personally liable for all of it, especially since you were warned ahead of time!  You'd better check those roofs for leaks, Danny Boy!  Those leaks might destroy that computer harddrive that you're trying to keep out of the hands of FBI agents.

Former Tremco President Worried About Staying "Out of Jail"

Kratzer
 
Deryl Kratzer was president of Tremco when I was sued for exposing corruption.  I'll never forget his viciousness after we both appeared before an Indiana Senate Committee and once at the Tippecanoe County Courthouse where I was exposing his company's misdeeds. 

After reading through the complaint I fully understand why he is no longer employed by the disgraced Ohio-based roofing corporation.   Well, Deryl, remember that pit you tried to dig for me?  It's fitting that you fell into it yourself.

In his complaint, the former Tremco vice president alleges that he tried to warn Kratzer on two occasions that Tremco was "providing discounts to large non-Federal government purchasers that exceeded the Federal Government's 13.3% discount."  It was disclosed that Tremco sales reps had the discretion to discount up to 30%, and that Kratzer responded that "there were 'ways around' the Federal Government's preferred pricing requirements." 

You see, it's illegal to charge the federal government exorbitant prices while giving large discounts to private entitites.  It's called waste and abuse of taxpayer monies.

Rudolph also alleged that Kratzer expressed concern that "if the government ever audited Tremco's discounting practices, Tremco 'would get killed.'"  Those concerns eventually became Kratzer's nightmare.

The lawsuit also states that in or around 2005, Tremco hired a compliance officer, Angela DiTommaso who Kratzer allegedly stated that "it was DiTommaso's job to keep him 'out of jail.'"

Many are wondering why that hasn't happened yet with the mounds of evidence presented to the Feds by more than one former employee.  And what did the RPM Board of Directors know about all the allegations?  Stay tuned to find out.  I'm just getting started.

Stay tuned to this blog for Part II, Part III, and beyond.  There's 69 pages of sordid details to report. 



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Plymouth Citizens Appeal to Governor in Last Ditch Effort for Justice


Breaking State News:

 
The following was sent to media outlets and Indiana government officials by Plymouth residents in a last ditch effort for justice...
 
Indiana Inspector General Dave Thomas has refused to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate alleged cover ups by the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Education of alleged criminal computer tampering believed maliciously committed by Plymouth public school superintendents Dan Tyree and John Hill (retired) on 10/4/07. Mr. Thomas’s  denial is contrary to his stated responsibilities:

 "We (the Inspector General's Office) only have jurisdiction to investigate criminal, ethics, and efficiency violations in the Executive Branch of Indiana Government and its administrative agencies.” (IG website)

Both the ISP and the IDOE are departments in the executive branch.

When requested by Plymouth, Indiana citizens (spokesperson Dare Hawes) for Mr. Thomas to explain why the Inspector General refuses to  investigate the ISP and the IDOE for their acknowledged refusal to investigate this alleged  public crime  (IC 35-43-1-4) and civil violations (IC 20-28-9-212) of “immorality, insubordination, neglect of duty, good and just cause” by these two Plymouth public school superintendents, Thomas responded by email on 9/25/12:

 “My decision was based on Indiana law.”  What? IG Thomas refused to explain.

 This is most disturbing to Plymouth citizens as this crime is fully substantiated with strong testimony from respected educator Michael Edison, fully documented evidence of criminal computer tampering, and expert analysis of that data.

 Since the Statute of Limitations of this alleged crime expires on 10/4/12, Plymouth Citizens have urgently appealed to both Mr. Thomas and Governor Mitch Daniels to take expedient legal action to appoint a Special Prosecutor under IC 4-2-7-7.  There in, it is stated that this appointment by Thomas and Daniels can take effect if   “ . . .  the governor finds that the appointment of the inspector general as a special prosecuting attorney is in the best interests of justice.”

Governor Daniels has yet to respond, despite the clock ticking down. In the interests of justice, Plymouth citizens  assert either these state leaders will finally seek justice, or obstruct justice in this fully documented public crime.

 

Hawes asks citizens to expediently call Governor Daniels at 317-232-4567 and plead with him for all Indiana citizens' welfare o appoint a Special Prosecutor "at the last hour" to intervene in this public school corruption /white collar crime case. The Statute of Limitations is October 4, 2012...just a few days away. this is urgent!

 

 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Judge Loretta Rush Will Serve the Supreme Court with Honor

Governor Daniels made a wise choice when he appointed Judge Loretta Rush to the Indiana Supreme Court today.  As a CASA, I have advocated for abused and neglected children in Judge Rush's court for several years, and she is, by far, at the top of my list when it comes to public officials who have earned my complete trust and respect.

Along with her common sense, she has many outstanding qualities, but the one thing I admire most about Loretta Rush is the fact that she is not afraid to stand up for what is right in spite of political consequences. 

Unlike some juvenile judges throughout the state, Rush is clearly not a rubber stamp for the Department of Child Services.  Rush recently appeared before the state legislature and gave clear and concise testimony about serious flaws in the system while she was being considered for the Supreme Court.  The constructive criticism was risky, politically speaking, but Judge Rush stood by her convictions, and she did so, because she knows what is at stake, and she understands that lives may depend on her intervention.

As a CASA, I have only seen a small glimpse compared to what Judge Rush has seen.  Knowing that, I don't know how that woman sleeps at night.  I also know that the Department of Child Services has serious problems, and I applaud her for wanting to fix what is clearly broken.  Sometimes, I feel like my role is to protect children from the system rather than abusive parents, so I can only imagine how she wrestles with all the problems she is faced with.

While Rush's departure will be a huge loss for children in Tippecanoe County, her appointment as Supreme Court Justice will benefit all Hoosiers.  With a huge lump in my throat, my heartfelt congratulations to The Honorable Judge Loretta Rush, a woman I truly respect and admire.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lawsuit Forces School District to Abandon Practice of Co-Op Roof Purchasing

Taxpayers scored a huge victory in Pennsylvania as another death knell tolled for the no-bid roofing scheme perpetrated by the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA). 

Nicholas Shears and Michael DuCharme, employees of Carlisle SynTec Systems, filed a lawsuit in June 2009, contending that the district’s use of a purchasing cooperative bypassed state competitive bidding laws, resulting in higher costs for taxpayers. Indiana officials associated with the AEPA were eventually deposed as witnesses in the Pennsylvania lawsuit.  The lawsuit was recently settled out-of-court after school district officials agreed to stop using the shady practice of purchasing school roof jobs via the controversial procurement method.

The scheme came to a screeching halt in Indiana in 2008 after the former Indiana Attorney General issued an official opinion declaring its illegality.  As a result, Indiana's nine educational service centers abandoned the shady practice of purchasing multi-million dollar roof jobs via the buying co-op. 

The scandalous procurement method of the AEPA gained national scrutiny after Indiana taxpayers were sued by Tremco, the Ohio-based roofing manufacturer that was awarded the sole contract for providing school roofing projects without going through a legal public bidding process as outlined by various state legislatures.  The lawsuit turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it served as a catalyst for public and law enforcement officials to look into complaints that began piling up nationwide.

Nicholas Shears and Michael DuCharme, employees of Carlisle SynTec Systems, filed the lawsuit in June 2009, contending that the district’s use of a purchasing cooperative bypassed state competitive bidding laws, resulting in higher costs for taxpayers.  Indiana officials associated with the AEPA were eventually deposed as witnesses in the Pennsylvania lawsuit.

Here's what the victors had to say to a Pennsylvania news reporter after scoring the huge victory:

"We’re glad the school district understands it can save taxpayer money by competitively bidding projects requiring roof work to ensure that the most qualified option is selected," said DuCharme, director of product marketing for the company.

"Unfortunately, the well-intended cooperative purchasing method has resulted in inflated costs due to the inherent complexity of construction work," DuCharme added.

You can read the entire story at this link.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guest Column: Andre' X a/k/a Andre' Carson


Andre’ X a/k/a Andre’ Carson

By Callum Dalgliesh


According to former IndyStar reporter, Ruth Holladay, in her blog, Andre’ Carson “…was influenced, as a teen-ager, by the biography of Malcom X, and by NOI (Nation of Islam) members and an offshoot group, the Five Percent Nation or the Five Percenters.”  Louis Farrakhan (born Louis Eugene Wolcot) is the leader of the Nation of Islam and that controversial Muslim that endorsed Andre’ and preached at the funeral of Andre’s grandmother, Congresswomen, Julia Carson. 

The ChristianNewsWire.com said about Andre’s conversion to Islam that, “he (Andre Carson) asked for spiritual guidance from Iman Muhammad Siddeeq who also counseled Mike Tyson.  Siddeq is a former assistant to Louis Farrakhan.”

Accordingly, it was not surprising to learn from an Indiana Muslim reporter that “Andre’ X” is the Muslim name adopted by Andre’ Carson.  It appears to be in recognition of his reverence for the work of Malcom X. 

But, you won’t see Andre’ X on any election ballot. 

The majority of the campaign money funding Andre’ Carson’s run for Congress is from the Muslim and controversial sources.  When Congressman Carson ran against Democrat David Orentlicher in the 2008 primary, the following YouTube video discussing that issue was posted.  While Orentlicher denied authorizing this YouTube broadcast; he did not either condemn it or urge its posting to be pulled down from YouTube.  It remains today.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSIMR-yKb8k&feature=plcp 

The controversial Andre’ X’s (born Andre’ Carson) political contributions continue to be from out-of-state and suspicious sources.  Some say that many of his contributors are tied to Muslim extremists and some on the Homeland Security’s No Fly List.  More on this important subject at a later date.