Several months ago, Deerfield Beach Mayor Peggy Noland announced she was getting rid of the entire board of commissioners from the city's housing authority.
Over concerns that federal taxpayer coin was being wasted in the housing authority, Rep. Allen West hopped on the case and asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General to come investigate. HUD is in town looking into the agency, but Noland has failed to follow through on the removal of the board.
That, among a few more possible legal violations alleged against the agency, has led activist Chaz Stevens to invite West to an official "Root Beer Summit."
"Obama had his beer summit," Stevens writes on his website. "I asked Allen West to come have a Root Beer Summit with me."
That he did:
Not willing to leave well enough alone, returning back to your well of help, thankful for your previous assistance, and knowing yours to be a crucial voice in my fight for a better community, I invite you to a Root Beer Summit where over cold mugs of A&W a cordial chat can take place about Deerfield's systemic problems of political corruption, the challenged ethics of our elected local leaders, and possible ways out of this morass.
West's letter to HUD OIG included a request that they look into "allegations of criminal conduct that may involve nepotism, bid rigging and procurement violations" -- one of which Stevens would like to discuss with him.
In a recent complaint filed with the Broward State Attorney's Office, Stevens claims a
Deerfield Beach Housing Authority fee architect named Kimberly Dellastatious awarded a no-bid contract to her husband's construction company.
Florida law requires the authority to go through a "competitive procurement" for service or commodity contracts larger than $25,000.
Stevens alleges there was no formal bid process, no quotes were received, and Dellastatious' husband was awarded a contract worth just over $40,000 -- which also includes a 7 percent commission payment to Dellastatious for successfully completing the bid.
In Stevens' letter to West, he also involves the housing authority's executive director, Pamela Davis, in the aforementioned allegation, alleging she lied to the agency's board of commissioners on several occasions.
Newly appointed housing authority Commissioner Michael Weiss wrote about the alleged violation in an email to the agency's members and members of the media, claiming, "The Procurement Corrective Action Plan submitted to the DBHA Board by ED Pam Davis in February, 2010 fails to inform the Board that a relationship existed between the parties."
Weiss has been attempting to get Davis to answer a specific series of questions about the procurement policy since he became one of the agency's commissioners. She has yet to respond to any of them.
The issue with Dellastatious is just a small part of the concerns Weiss raised when the board was informed HUD OIG was coming to town, as you can read here.
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Click here to read the letter to West inviting him to the "Root Beer Summit."