Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Role of Lobbyists in CityTime Fraud : What did SAIC and Technodyne want ?

Keeping in mind that Mayor Bloomberg is skilled at funneling campaign money in many ways that go undetected and undisclosed, a skill he shares with Speaker Quinn, who still maintains her shady City Council slush fund. These experts at funneling and slushing money around in opaque structures and technicalities are the ones, who never detected the massive $600 million CityTime Fraud. Really ?

During the 3 terms of the Bloomberg administration, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn kept approving each year's city budget, which included all the approvals and sign-offs on the CityTime cost over-runs.

During the Bloomberg-Quinn administration, lobbyists for the primary CityTime contractors, Scientific Applications International Corporation and Technodyne, kept teams of expensive lobbyists on their payroll to do exactly what ? Were lobbyists being paid to prevent any government agency to investigate the 2003 Richard Valcich letter ?

2003 02 19 Richard Valcich Letter SAIC CityTime Corruption Scandal

In 2003, Mr. Valcich was the Executive Director of the Office of Payroll Administration. In his 6 page letter to SAIC, Mr. Valcich questioned the motivations behind SAIC's poor performance on the CityTime contract ; SAIC kept dragging out deadlines and delivering product that Mr. Valcich described as "below acceptable standards."

As of the time of the writing of Mr. Valcich's letter, New York City had spent $35 million thus far on the doomed CityTime project. Current cost estimates put the price tag at over $700 million, of which $600 million has been described as "fraud."

During all this time, though, the principal outsourced companies working on CityTime were dispatching teams of lobbyists, to keep the cost over-runs being paid, and maybe for other motives.... The newsroom of WNYC, the public radio station, cannot pinpoint the exact role of the shady CityTime lobbyists.

"What prosecutors have yet to publicly discuss is the role played by former city officials from both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations that acted as lobbyists on behalf of SAIC and subcontractors such as New Jersey-based Technodyne. ...

"The city's lobbying database shows a small army of former prominent city officials who did work for SAIC and Technodyne. Defense contractor SAIC has retained former City Comptroller Liz Holtzman, Peter Powers, who served as Mayor Giuliani's top deputy Mayor for operations, and Seth Kaye, who worked in both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations. Technodyne's lobbyists include former Bloomberg Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Gino Menchini and Agostino Cangemi, who also held key posts in both administrations.

"National Strategies, the lobbying firm that employs Menchini and Cangemi, says the firm had no role in CityTime and discontinued working "on general business procurement" for Technodyne as soon as the criminal allegations surfaced. (Another Technodyne lobbyist of record, Sal Salamone, was director of the Mayor’s Office of Computer Planning and has worked for SAIC.)"

No journalism outlet has yet to report the extent of lobbying by other CityTime subcontractors, such as Spherion and Gartner. If the lobbyists were trying to thwart any investigation into the $600 million CityTime fraud, would those lobbying activities rise to the level of obstruction of justice ?

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