Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bloomberg Gave Verizon $175 Million Contract 9 Days Before Company Was Cited For Helping Contractor With Fraud

The outrages from the Mayor of Outside Consultant Corruption continue:

The city awarded a $175 million contract to Verizon, just nine days before the communications giant was cited by special schools investigator Richard Condon for "facilitating" a $3.6 million fraud by a technology consultant.

City officials insist the timing was coincidental, noting the two-year deal for phone and data services approved on April 19 was actually retroactive to Jan. 1.

On April 28, Condon issued a scathing report that accused both Verizon and IBM of playing roles in an alleged six-year swindle by consultant Willard Lanham, who was accused of shielding his thievery through layers of contractors and subcontractors in a project to wire public schools for the Internet.

Condon charged that Lanham was able to pull off his scheme by hiding the consultants as workers for Verizon and IBM, which billed the Education Department for their services at marked-up rates.

Nick Sbordone, spokesman for the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, defended the deal with Verizon.

"We will evaluate Verizon proposals in the future with knowledge that it was mentioned in the special investigator's report, but not implicated in the criminal case," he said.

Verizon claims they were duped in the Lanham case, but Condon found otherwise.

As for the mayor, it seems there is no wrongdoing a private entity can do that would make him want to cancel a contract or criticize a company.

He still maintains the $770 million CityTime boondoggle is working great now despite going $700 million and years over budget, most likely due to contractors extending out the work as part of a kickback scheme.

And he maintains that Verizon helping a DOE consultant steal $3,5 million is not a big deal because they weren't actually charged with a crime.

But if these entities had been unionized teachers, the mayor would be screaming up in Albany and on every TV channel that he needs new powers to deal with the "bad actors".

Business guys can do no wrong, unionized teachers do no right.

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