Friday, November 1, 2013

the illustrious Faustin Denis

A quick write up requiring some follow up regarding Biscayne Landing, North Miami, and someone I have written about previously, Faustin Denis. The blog I wrote was later and much more recently featured in Voters Opinion, in part of a series on corruption in North Miami. In that particularly series my own investigations and analysis of bids made for a work contract led me to believe Faustin Denis is engaged in some kind of bid-rigging.
The line of thought went like this: all the other bidders for the contract were third party bid brokers, that is, they do not themselves perform work, but simply middle the market out. What's more, all other bids other than that submitted by Denis' IMECO were all above the city's arbitrary cut-off where-by approval would require the city council vote. Denis' bid was just under the cut-off, meaning that the contract did not have to be approved, despite the contract leaving out many of the services that were part of the other bids.
There are many possible scenarios but the most likely look something like this: the other bidding companies were either told to bid too high, were given a different criteria for what to propose than IMECO, or gave their bids and somehow IMECO found out to short them. But again, note that IMECO's proposal included fewer services and guarantees than the other proposals.

All of this is for another time, just like the following, the reason for the post:

IMECO is in the news again because a pipe they installed at Biscayne Landing burst, causing 800,000 gallons of water/ammonia solution to seep in to the ground. IMECO was awarded the contract through the main contractor CH2MHill. Notable lines from the article:

Joe Celestin, former NMB Mayor and the site manager for the project said, “I knew from day one that the pipe was not doable and I asked them to modify their design."
“I ordered them to remove that pipe before it exploded"
“They were in the process of replacing but it already exploded.”

And the article notes, "The city did not select IMECO as the subcontractor, but rather CH2MHill awarded them the subcontract after a competitive bidding process. The city has no authority in who their main contractor selects."

That would not be worrying if it weren't for the aforementioned bid rigging, bribery, etc. and this, from the horses mouth, Celestin told the Herald, "Faustin Denis is a man I respect and a friend of mine. Until he’s proven guilty, I will not judge," in regards to allegations by CH2MHill that IMECO was negligent. They ended up firing him, but paid his company $700,000, despite this accusation of negligence. Wouldn't that be a criminal offense?

And I wonder if the bid information is public record since this whole project is done on the lease of city property.

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