City Misconduct Charge !

     Most readers of this blog already know that the OIG, (Office of Inspector General) for Broward County, has issued a report entitled -

       Misconduct by Fort Lauderdale in the award of the contract for the Design and Construction of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex

                                            

   [  I have been looking into the history of Fort Lauderdale's different renovation plans for the International Swimming Hall of Fame Complex, and it's quite amazing, but first a little more about the report - ]
 
                        ...........................................................................................

       The report from the OIG claimed the City "conducted an inadequate procurement and legal review process" ....... let a contract that allocated $67,000 for unidentified costs .... shielded $1.66 million from audit   ..... said the RFP (request for proposal) was flawed and sent "mixed signals that dissuaded competitive participation".


                                         
                                                         ISHOF Complex

      The report seems to place a large amount of the blame on just retired City Attorney Harry Stewart, but also criticized City Manager Lee Feldman.


                                         

    
Though I agree that these two highly paid employees of the Fort Lauderdale City Commission should have seen the problems with this RFP and publicly counseled against moving forward, I suspect they were trying to please their bosses ( the Commission), and finally get the Aquatic Facility redo done.

     . The tortured, controversial processes of revamping  ISHOF  has seen five Mayors, and has been in the news for nearly three decades, through two different renovations.


                             
                                     ....... five Fort Lauderdale Mayors

       
      Here are some headlines from the Sun-Sentinel over the years about ISHOF renovations


          ...........  Tues, April 4, 1989   ..... Residents Vow to Fight Beach Plan   

          
..........  Wed. June 28, 1989   ..... Pool Funds May Face Veto

          
..........    Mar. 31, 1991  ........... Gov. Chiles Refusing to Release $400,000

          
..........     Jan. 9, 1993   ........ Aquatic Complex Reopens- $12 million [cost] 

          
..........     Sept 6, 2001  ...........  Swim Center Improvement Plan Gains Support 

           
.........     April 24, 2002 ........    Swim Center Proposal on Hold

           
.........     June 5, 2002  .......      Lauderdale Turns Down Aquatic Plans

           
..........    May 6, 2009  ....... Fort Lauderdale Politicians Propose Aquarium (ISHOF)

            ...........    June 3, 2009  .......  Lauderdale Scuffles Aquarium Idea

             .........     May 20, 2010    ...... Aquatic Plan makes $76 Million Splash

            
...........    April 7 2011 ..... Ft. Laud. Background Check of (ISHOF) Developer

             ...........     May 4, 2011  .,... Projections Don't Add Up for Revamp

            
............    July 7, 2011 .... Review Slams Plan for Swim Project

            
...........     Aug. 12, 2011 .... Seiler Wants Revamped Plans for ISHOF Project

           
.............     Oct. 3, 2011  ... City Proposes New Vision for ISHOF complex

           
...........       Sept. 18, 2012  ... Swim Hall Contract has Price Locked In

           
...........       July 25, 2013   ...... Lauderdale Deal Violated Law - OIG says     


                                .....     so, what's next? ..... Tim   

    

    

    
 

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Comments

  • 7/27/2013 9:36 AM Peter wrote:
    They should scrap the plan and start over. This deal has an overripe smell to it.
    Reply to this
    1. 7/27/2013 12:55 PM tell the truth wrote:
      agreed but it won't happen
      all the payola has been dispensed
      Reply to this
  • 7/27/2013 10:01 AM vicki wrote:
    You seem to be trying to soft peddle what happen here (counterpoint to Rynerson's outrage?). A tortured history is not an excuse for breaking the law. At the end of the day, the City Manager and the City Attorney are paid by taxpayers to protect their interests and abide by the law, not ignore it to make their bosses (some among them also lawyers) happy. They should be saying "I know you want this, but this is not the way to handle it" Alas, there is so little integrity at the highest levels of local government. So what else is new?
    Reply to this
    1. 7/28/2013 8:32 AM Tim wrote:
      Vicki.... I agree with your comment (except the soft peddle part)..... I think the mistakes made are inexcusable, but Harry is gone and what do you suggest we do to Feldman? It was pretty clear that the politicians relied on the Manager and the Attorney to determine whether the RFP needed to be rebid, and the Inspector General also didn't call for a rebid at this point. Having said that, I think they should rebid the project, it's not good enough and has attained a certain smell that will not go away!
      Reply to this
      1. 7/28/2013 11:42 AM Anonymous wrote:
        and whether or not those responsible on the 7th and 8th fl of city hall EVER wanted the project to succesful, drawing tourists, citizens, etc., it will not be. (but the cronies made big buck$)
        Sadly it may end up like the Riverwalk complex downtown - an empty decaying eyesore that will suffer the neglect that the current ISPHoF has since Hurricane Wilma in Oct 2005
        Reply to this
      2. 7/28/2013 3:16 PM Raymond Dettmann wrote:
        Tim, I thought the City had a time limit where they must spend the CRA funds or they lose it is ? is that correct ? do they have time to rebid ?
        Reply to this
        1. 7/28/2013 4:58 PM Tim wrote:
          Ray ..... the beach CRA has, I think, 7 years left, and the money would have to be appropriated by then.....
          Reply to this
        2. 7/28/2013 8:58 PM Anonymous wrote:
          If any of the 4 want any ounce of credibility, let alone future elected office and public trust from citizens and constituents, they better do a mea culpa real quick and rebid the project.
          now if they do not then it is clear the 4 are complicit and truly do not give a hoot. Don't whine about no termination clause in the contract, and don't snibble about how your ignorance is a defense because the two lawyers know it ain't so.
          This report hit the streets right after the last commish metg and now the break till aug 22. funny how not a peep out of the 4 who must be behind closed doors breaking the sunshine law vows trying to save their fatt butts.
          Reply to this
    2. 7/28/2013 9:18 PM Sam wrote:
      Vickie- Pity- you seem to be an intelligent person, yet your comments reflect that you are an Earl Rynerson fan- What exactly has that negative man done for his community between his failed attempts to run for Mayor in a city where he hasn't even been a neighborhood president???
      I for one am tired of people saying "this is not the way to handle it",complaining, and not coming up with any other solutions..............
      Reply to this
  • 7/28/2013 1:26 PM Cit activist Robert walsh wrote:
    First of all some of the other blogs are running the same story. Ok City Staff reports to them etc (Comm). They as a comm. cannot call any of them. They have to through the City Manager(look @ the charter). To call them 'Poltical whores" Really. The true whores are the people etc that go before them, lie, are deceiptfull etc. I filed my own OIG complaint against two subjects in the City, that have gone before this Comm. only to cover up certain information that was conveint for them to omit. I will not allow some of you to make a mockery of this process. To say that this comm. are poltical whores is outrageous. To say that if you give them money, that entitles you to call any one of them and demand this or that- please. I guarantee to you, you would get your money back(that day-). Ok so the OIG stated that their was misconduct in regards to the bid for the Pool. So their was only one bid(fine). This comm. cannot direct people, companies etc to bid. They have to go w/ the City Staff and the information City staff gives them. And if retired City att.Harry Stewart did not give them good legal advice, than the blame falls w/ the grand-daddy-Harry Stewart. It is no secret that Stewart was not fond of this comm. and esp. could not stand Lee Feldman(sneaky Pete huh). So the comm. takes the heat since some of you cannot get along. I am sure the Mayor will address the OIG findings in his Mayor' report in the up coming months. Again the true poltical whores are some of you that go before them, that I am catching time and time again. You are the true whores. Sue me, harass me etc. I could care less. I can substanchiate every thing I say. Make a move some of you....
    Reply to this
  • 7/28/2013 9:55 PM grateful suscriber wrote:
    Tim- Obviously,Vickki hasn't read the paid reporters versions of this story- they glazed over it, and just reported it- even Cal Deal didn't elaborate...
    You, on the other hand, as you do with all your blog pieces, took the time to investigate the facts,reported them, and gave us your insight- no soft peddeling anywhere
    I for one am grateful to you for keeping us all informed, so much more than headline news, or a tiny blurb stuck in the middle of the local digest- keep up the good work!
    Reply to this
  • 7/28/2013 9:56 PM grateful suscriber wrote:
    Tim- Obviously,Vickki hasn't read the paid reporters versions of this story- they glazed over it, and just reported it- even Cal Deal didn't elaborate...
    You, on the other hand, as you do with all your blog pieces, took the time to investigate the facts,reported them, and gave us your insight- no soft peddeling anywhere
    I for one am grateful to you for keeping us all informed, so much more than headline news, or a tiny blurb stuck in the middle of the local digest- keep up the good work!
    Reply to this
  • 12/15/2013 9:44 AM Steve G wrote:
    Ok, we are stuck with the design build contractor that the city picked through a flawed process. However, it seems the complex is less than ideal for swimming competitions. For example, the dive well is elevated to a hight that will be dangerous for diving competition due to higher wind speeds. Since the contractor is a "Design Build Contractor" can they at the City's direction change the building plan so the complex will be better suited for swimming competitions?
    Reply to this
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