WOW. Looks like bigbexardaddy knows whereof he speaks.
Little over a week ago bigbexardaddy commented on an item I had posted here about the Bexar Street boondoggle, giving away a lot of detail that sure sounded like it came from inside City Hall, including a claim that Dallas, even in advance of getting hit with a big HUD judgment in the 1600 Pacific case (that will happen this week) , has already had to pay back "hundreds of thousands" to HUD this year.
Councilman Philip Kingston decided last week to check that out. According to the email exchange, the payback is even bigger than bigbexardaddy suggested. What we don't know: What the hell was it for?
Note that the email to Kingston telling him the city has repaid HUD the better part of a million bucks over the last year says that $625,814 of it was money related to something called Project Reconnect, which is supposed to provide housing for recently released felons, all of it paid for with HUD fun money even though it's run by the city. You may have seen mention of this program here last February, when a City Hall employee confessed to the FBI he had been scamming the program to provide himself with an apartment for $5 a month.
An even more lurid description is in the Justice Department press release at the time: apparently when the city employee learned investigators were looking at him, he hurriedly placed another person in his fraudulent apartment as cover, but in the process he also successfully sought sexual favors from the person. Later when that person cut him off, he vindictively removed the person from the program.
Project Reconnect still exists, but today if you look it up on the city's web page, you're going to find an official description that is something less than encouraging: "The suspension of the Project Reconnect operations was only temporary ... We are announcing the new office location for the Project Reconnect Program. ...Although we are operational, we will not be accepting any new client referrals at this time."
The apartment the guy got caught scamming the city out of was only $980 a month, of which he paid $5 a month. So at $975 a month that he was stealing, he would have had to live in the apartment for 53 years to add up to $625,814 that the city had to pay back HUD. That was before there was color TV in Hawaii. That was before there was HUD. That was even before the movie, HUD. So would it be unfair for us to wonder if there were misdeeds involving more than one dude?
I have questions in to all the usual suspects at City Hall to tell me why the city had to pay back this much money. I'll let you know. And, by the way, what does it mean when Justice Department press releases about Dallas City Hall are more lurid than we are?
Here is the original comment by bigbexardaddy9 days ago:
Killingworth told to resign May 7, 2013 during lunch hour with Ryan Evans, Suhm. Around130 in rage he started sending emails announcing retirement. He was expendable when his arrogance,incompetence finally got HUD's attention, including IG. Project Reconnect 2 indictments and hundreds of thousands ordered repaid so far. All programs all years being examined.
JK, Zavitkowsky, Evans, Suhm smug, over-confident, and got where they are by being smart enough and willing to do, say anything. Orgs and corps missing JK and worried about possible KarlZ, Evans departure are those enriched by the current no bid, no rfp, no competitive application system.
Here are Kingston's emails:
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From: Philip Kingston [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 5:17 PM To: Perez, Mariza Cc: Scott Griggs (email@example.com) Subject: refund to HUD
Has the city paid, repaid, refunded, returned, or otherwise transferred any funds to HUD within the last year?
From: Perez, Mariza Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2014 9:02:26 AM To: Mitchell, Bernadette Subject: Re: refund to HUD
Good morning Ms. Mitchell from Councilmember Philip Kingston's office. Please see email below from CM Kingston and let me know if you can assist with his questions?
to Councilmember Philip T. Kingston
-------- Original Message -------- Subject: FW: refund to HUD From: "Perez, Mariza"
To: "Kingston, Philip" ,Philip Kingston CC: "Sanchez, Connie"
Good morning Philip, please see response below...
to Councilmember Philip T. Kingston
From: Williams, Chan Sent: Friday, July 18, 2014 5:49 PM To: Perez, Mariza Cc: Mitchell, Bernadette Subject: RE: refund to HUD
Hi Mariza - Bernadette asked me to help out with your request.
Yes. The City has repaid $811,181 to HUD within the last year (which includes $625,814 related to Project Reconnect). When funds are repaid to HUD, they are deposited back to the city's line of credit to be used for other eligible activities.
Chan Williams, Assistant Director
Office of Financial Services/Grant Administration