As Gov. Edwards and U. S. Rep. Garret Graves exchange verbal attacks over flood relief, the contract for that relief becomes even murkier from recent court filings.


U. S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA).

 

 In our previous Sound Off Louisiana feature, we featured U. S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) grilling Gov. John  Bel Edwards on recent actions of Louisiana State Contractor Board attorney (and convicted felon) Larry S. Bankston.  In our latest feature, we capture the highlights of a feisty exchange between Gov. Edwards and U. S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) and, thereafter, provide a few documents of interest in the IEM litigation entailing the flood relief contract:

Edwards / Graves Exchange (plus quick segment of Meadows grilling Edwards for those who may have missed it previously).

Meanwhile, in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, IEM, the successful bidder for the flood relief contract (at $250 million), has filed court documents indicating that the second-place bidder, PDRM (at $315 million), falsely represented that two companies were part of the “PDRM team.”

Both companies say such assertions to the Division of Administration are “categorically false” and that the use of their names was “unauthorized:”  See letters of Core Construction and Roy Anderson Corp.  

 

To the contrary, within IEM’s application for a residential contractor license, which was received by the Louisiana State Board of Contractors on February 17, 2017, glowing letters of recommendation for IEM Vice President Jon Mabry are included.  Who supplied the glowing recommendations?:   Core Construction and Roy Anderson

 

The application was further buttressed by a strong  letter of recommendation from U. S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).  Nevertheless, on March 9, 2017, convicted felon Larry S. Bankston, acting as “advising attorney” for the Louisiana State Board of Contractors, provided his assessment of IEM’s licensure status.   In so doing, he declared both IEM and PDRM as “disqualified” due to their lack of a residential contractor license at the time proposals were solicited.  That development is what led to Meadows’ sharp attacks of Gov. Edwards in the final minute or so of the above video.  [Note:  CLICK HERE for the IEM application in its entirety.]

Should be interesting to see just how this flood relief contract quagmire is resolved.

Update:  April 13, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m.

The Edwards administration resolved the matter by announcing that IEM was, for the second time, awarded the contract.  That action was smart on Edwards’ part because to have done otherwise would have only intensified the spotlight exposing underhanded dealings and corruption in Louisiana at a time when flood victims have no tolerance whatsoever for such.  Those victims merely want to be able to make progess toward recovering from the disasters of March and August of 2016 as qickly as possible.

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