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"

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. 


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing..

Unigov said...

This is a very big deal. You've done more to clean up state government and expose BS, than anyone else in the state.

guy77money said...

Sounds like you could sue for harassment! You got the proof.

Unknown said...

WOW! Ms. Vice, you are a strong cup of tea. Awesome job at the research to expose the corruption of taxpayers' money.

I would like to help cause some healthy changes in our community. Please contact me directly about more shady activity that uses taxpayers money in the Plymouth Indiana area, and it involves the schools. It is time to make our schools reflect the students' achievements, not the greed of the administration.

Your are an inspiration most (and cause perspiration for others)!

With admiration,
Shannon Best

Unknown said...

I, and the 3,700 members of "Roof Consultant's Alliance" stand with Diana.

We want to rid our discipline of the "Predatory Sales Models" that steal from our schools, and therefore, our children. WE WILL NOT TOLERATE IT!

The problem is epidemic in proportion, and staggering in scope.

The "Vehicle" for such pain is "Purchasing Cooperatives", and their perverted distortion of fair competition laws already in place.

They use terms like: Line Item, Pre-Ciompete, Job Order Contracts,etc.

You may not "Compete" on a project you've never seen. You may not buy a roof based upon a single "Line Item".

The contract method is flawed, illegal, and indefensible. NOBODY can stand in a court of law, and successfully defend the elimination of FAIR competition.

Every bit of this is designed to INFLATE PRICING, so the Purchasing Cooperative's 4% "Commission" increases on high dollar items like roofing.

Roofing, and Roofing Services have no place in the hands of Purchasing Cooperative Administrators. They are without credential, and authority.

Your tax dollar (for roofing) breaks down like this: 4% for the purchasing cooperative, 25% sales commission (straight into the pocket).

So, your "Dollar" just turned into "71 Cents" without anything to show for it.

I admire Ms. Vice, and have for a long time. She,and Ms. Janet Campbell, have been "Taxpayer Champions" for a long time. The work is greasy, hard, and rarely a kind word spoken in return.

She sacrifices mightily for all of you, and her determination defines the "American Spirit".

The soulless creatures she fights against wouldn't know determination, honor, valor,integrity, or decency if they tripped over it.

Roof Consultant's Alliance considers her a "Hero", and the standard for others to follow.


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Director, Roof Consultant's Alliance
Public Procurement Analyst
CCC 1325620

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Doug Copley (one of the key Tremco players in this) is now running for school board at Southwest Allen County School District. Voters watch out!

Unknown said...

It's really appreciable message for everybody thanks for sharing this information. Roofing services Edmonton

Diana Vice said...

I'm sorry I missed all these nice comments from a couple of years ago. Thank you. I am humbled. Does anyone know how I can reach Ron Solomon?

Anonymous said...

Diana -

I was trying to email you directly but the email bounces back. I would love to visit with you regarding your research and ongoing monitoring of these roofing industry practices of improper co-op bidding and writing proprietary specifications into the roofing contracts. Is there another way I can reach you?

Thanks - I look forward to hearing from you!
Rebecca Bell-Stanton

Diana Vice said...

Sorry, this blog has been inactive and I just saw the message. You can reach me at