Friday, May 15, 2015

Vision Fleet Wants A Do-Over On Electric Car Lease Contract

The man who runs Vision Fleet, the totally untested and unknown company the Ballard administration awarded a 7-year, $32 million no-bid contract to furnish a fleet of hundreds of electric and hybrid cars for the City of Indianapolis, is now asking for a do-over after recent disclosures have revealed the administration illegally entered into the contract with the company in an effort to bypass the City-County Council's approval. The original contract signed by the company's CEO, Michael Brylawski, was clearly a lease of vehicles. For reasons only the Ballard administration can explain, it later rewrote it to become a Master Fleet Agreement and backdated the contract to make what was actually a vehicle lease agreement to read like a services contract to manage the city's vehicle fleet. The lease agreement had to be competitively bid and was subject to council approval, while a services agreement is not subject to competitive bidding procedures or council approval.
It appears that someone changed their mind on the type of agreement they wanted to have with Vision Fleet and it appears that they went back and revised it and tried to make it seem as if the Master Service Agreement was the original agreement,” said [Council CFO Bart] Brown after he met with council democrats in caucus Wednesday night. “We had a contract that was executed on time and then it appears that a new contract was signed later that was to replace the original contract, however, there is no evidence to show us that the original contract was ever rescinded.”
Brown told CBS4 News that he thinks the Ballard Administration wanted the Vision Fleet contract to take effect without council oversight or potential delays.
“We see this as a lease/rental agreement that needed to go through Purchasing and had approval through the council,” said Brown. “This was probably for expedience sake. They wanted to make sure that they did it to where nobody would interfere.”
Brown said that strategy, at the very least, is a violation of city procurement ordinances.
Councilman Frank Mascari thinks the Department of Public Works may have violated the law and has asked if the Marion County Prosecutor should investigate.
“I think they found their mistakes and then tried to backdate things to cover themselves,” said the Beech Grove democrat. “I don’t know if it’s even legal what they did.
“It makes it way more outrageous,” said Mascari. “The big thing is, they didn’t rescind the first one, so that means, what lease are we actually dealing with? Are we dealing with the rental agreement or the lease agreement? That’s the big question.”
Naturally, the Ballard administration had no comment on its latest corruption scheme. Mascari is whistling Dixie if he thinks Terry Curry will actually conduct a public corruption investigation. He's taken a pass on every major corruption scheme occurring on his watch as Marion Co. Prosecutor despite a campaign pledge he first made when he ran for office to step up investigation and prosecution of public corruption.


Anonymous said...

I vow to publish a letter of known corruption in Boone, Marion, Hamilton and more to this day very soon and heads shall roll.

Anonymous said...

Any contract should be terminated immediately on the grounds that it was signed in violation of state law and city ordinances.

There should be no thought of doing business with this group, whose sole purpose for creation was to take taxpayer money from the people of Indianapolis.

Anonymous said...

A services contract. Was there ever an rfp issued? If so Did anyone compete against this untested company?

Gary R. Welsh said...

It was a no-bid contract. Does that answer your question?

Anonymous said...

The rfp process is no bid, in my world of public procurement anyways. Did the city ask anyone else to make an offer? I know on a services contract they don't have to but apparently now we are too lazy to ask others to submit garbage to create the appearance of competition. Most public entities at least do this much.

Anonymous said...

Fox 59 just caught up to this even though they share a newsroom with cbs4. Apparently the union blew the whistle...