Wednesday, February 18, 2009

CAMERON WORKS HAS BEEN SUED FOR FAILURE TO PAY FORMER SERVICE PROVIDER - THE CLAIMS INCLUDE VIOLATION OF THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT AND BAD-FAITH NEGOTIATIONS AS CAMERON WORKS AWARDS THE SERVICE CONTRACT TO NEW COMPANY

Sorry for the late post - My fatigue related to the sleep apnea has me down.

At the end I will comment on Sorry Charlie Atkinson’s conduct at last night’s meeting.

The way I understand it after reviewing several documents, One-Stop Management, L.L.C. (OSM) has sued Cameron Works for failure to pay $59,303.75 after services were rendered. The case is pending in Travis County Court at Law No. 1, cause number C-1-CV-08-003087. I cannot speak to the merits of the case, but I can speak to my experience with these type cases.

Part of the lawsuit is filed under a sworn account. It is very difficult to defeat a lawsuit when you have been sued under a sworn account cause of action. This means the plaintiff is basically putting before the court the contract, the bill, and a statement it has not been paid. This goes back to 2007.

The backdrop to this alleged breach of contract includes a meeting which occurred on November 20, 2007. "The County Judge, Carlos Cascos, the Cameron Works, Inc. Board Chair, Lee Reed, Board Member Davil Merrill, and Executive Director of Cameron Works Inc., Frank Castellanos, had a meeting in Brownsville, Texas and called the workforce staff at the workforce center in Harlingen, Texas to discuss some of the issues that were intended to be addressed in the public meeting on November 21, 2007. This meeting was not posted, the other board members were not informed of the meeting and the other Chief Elected Official, the Mayor of Brownsville, Texas, Pat Ahumada, was not made aware of this meeting. Neither the public nor the media were made aware of this meeting in which decisions occurred circumventing the called special meting. "

Before this period during the Summer of 2007 the Cameron Works board voted to extend the contract of One -Stop Management to operate the Cameron Works Career Centers. At the meeting the Executive Director (Frank Castellanos) recommended the extension and expressed no reservations with the performance of OSM.

OSM and Frank Castellanos eventually reached an agreement as to the terms of the new contract. The allegation goes that Frank Castellanos repeatedly represented that the new contract was being sent overnight express mail to OSM. It never arrived. Fast forward, the contract without proper bidding protocal being followed was later awarded to UMOS. The allegation is, Frank Castellanos "selected a new Career Center operator with no competitive or open procurement process and manipulated information concerning the negotiation to make it appear that there was a breakdown in the process, when in fact, there were no negotiations only evasion and deceit."

The final claim is, Frank Castellanos had previously worked with UMOS, which had never "operated a career center in the complex and unique Texas Workforce system."

If the claims being made are true, I am compelled to ask, what exactly is the purpose of the Cameron Works Board other than to allow its Executive Director to run Cameron Works as his personal Fiefdom? Why is taxpayers money being spent to defend a lawsuit for Cameron Work’s failure to pay its bills?

This is so typical of how it works, whether it is the City of Brownsville City Commission, BISD’s Board, or Cameron Works, these commissions/boards are all too willing to spend our money defending their incompetence and personal agendas.

SORRY CHARLIE

I did not see last night’s meeting. I had a dinner engagement. According the to Herald, Sorry Charlie Atkinson wanted to take the Charter changes into Executive Session. He was shot down. He then tried to raise the issue of healthcare benefits for the commissioners. While I personally support extending healthcare benefits to the commissioners, if they do not have it otherwise at their job, only a complete idiot would push for it now. But you see, Sorry Charlie Atksinson is not facing reelection in May - it means nothing to him to throw Camarillo, Garza, and Cisneros under the bus on the issue on the eve of an election.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Sorry Charlie Atksinson is not facing reelection in May - it means nothing to him to throw Camarillo, Garza, and Cisneros under the bus on the issue on the even of an election".

What a friend!

Anonymous said...

FOR THE RECORD:
Mayor Pat Ahumada has been at the forefront to bring change to Cameron Works by asking for resignations of rogue board members, which were ignored. The Mayor even wrote the governor and State Workforce Chairman Tom Pauken to intervene, based on the numerous complaints from CWI board members and the community since there is a severe lack of transparency and accountability, along with other complaints. Unfortunately, they did not intervene and the Mayor has been forced to wait for expiration of terms in order to appoint people who would bring transparency, integrity and accountability to the board, which was sorely lacking.

Anonymous said...

Check out some of the Weslaco history of Frankie "The Count" Castellanos.
Ask the Workforce people in Hidalgo County.