Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Consultants Billed IndyGo $1.3 Million For Red Line Work

The initial Red Line bus rapid transit line may still be in the talking stages, but IndyGo has paid out close to $1.3 million already in consultant fees related to the project. IndyGo delivered to Advance Indiana in response to a public records request three professional services agreements it has entered into to date. Those included contracts with CDM Smith, Energy Systems Network and Caldwell Van Riper, which will total well in excess of $3.3 million when fully-satisfied.

The contract with CDM Smith has been by far the most costly to date. IndyGo has paid the global engineering firm based in Boston, Massachusetts nearly $1.1 million of its potential $3 million contract. The local contact on the project is Michelle Gottschalk, a long-time INDOT engineer who faced no bar from post-employment work with a firm that does millions of dollars in business with her former employer. According to her Linkedin page, Gottschalk is responsible for "developing and maintaining relationships with the state and municipal clients in the INDOT and municipal public works markets." Gottschalk went to work after new reports raised concerns about the firm hiring away INDOT's deputy commissioner, Sam Sarvis, who claimed he had done no work with CDM Smith during his time at INDOT.

Contract documents provided by IndyGo indicate several minority firms were assisting CDM Smith on the contract. The largest minority subcontract is with VS Engineering for $300,000 to aid in traffic signal designs, roadway design and survey work. The Indianapolis-based firm is owned by Sanjay Patel, who has contributed close to $100,000 in campaign contributions to various candidates and party committees over the years for his pro rata share of minority contracts. A $214,000 minority subcontract for communication design was awarded to Clifton, Weiss & Associates of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania. There was also a $30,000 subcontract awarded to Hammond-based K&S Engineers for geotechnical services.

An estimated $300,000 professional services contract was awarded to a local PR firm, Caldwell Van Riper, which has already been paid $146,000 for its services. CVR agreed to subcontract $60,000 of the project work to a black-owned business with ties to the local Democratic Party, Engaging Solutions.

A third and final contract was entered into with Energy Systems Network, a nonprofit organization run by former Mitch Daniels crony, Paul Mitchell. ESN has been paid $22,500 to date. Interestingly, Mitchell listed as ESN's references Herve Muller of the Bollore Group and Michael Brylawski of Vision Fleet. These were two corrupt, illegal contracts entered into by the Ballard administration with ESN's hands all over it. In any other state in America, there would have been criminal indictments handed down long ago for such flaunting of public bidding laws as occurred with the Bollore's Blue Indy exclusive electric car sharing deal and Vision Fleet's electric car fleet lease with the City of Indianapolis. But this is Indianapolis where a select group of insiders are granted immunity from prosecution when they collude with corrupt politicians to defraud taxpayers.


Anonymous said...

"Too political to touch". I ran across that phrase in the following article. It will resonate with me for the rest of my days on this earth.

It is sad how that phrase is applicable from the very highest to the very lowest levels of "politics" in this country.

Pete Boggs said...

The Red Lie is toxic statism. The elected have no right to perpetrate fraud...

Anonymous said...

Despicable. Just totally despicable. Which, in Indianapolis, means the corruption can stink to the heavens but it will continue, no matter what.

Every corporation, person, or legal entity involved in this should be immediately investigated and brought before a Judge. It won't happen of course. And if it did, the Judge would be bought and paid for and the outcomes determined before the trials were even called to order.

Anonymous said...

Government consultants...the new welfare. It's just a taxapyer-funded gravy train. Get a woman or a person of color to front your little tax grabbing consulting operation and you're just about guaranteed free handouts at the taxpayer expense. The whole system is corrupt. Burn it down.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense why all these people hate Trump. I hope that when the GOP kneecaps him he steps back and builds a 3rd party that can win in 2020. If he does, I'm in. Me and millions of other former Goppers.

Anonymous said...

Commendable action Gary on securing information through a FOIA request. It's just the beginning of what's to come should IndyGo's coffers be filled each year with taxpayers' money.

Steve O'Neil said...

IndyGo is being exposed little by little.
Questions to ask:
What happens to the small businesses along the route during construction and when parking is taken away?
Where is the money coming from? IndyGo is being very vague about this. They are trying to get this first phase built so they can claim we have to support it.
What happens to all of the other parts of IndyGo when the Red Line sucks up so much money?
What about the people who need public transportation for daily living? People on the East and West sides.
Why spend millions of dollars building little bus stations all along the route while streets crumble?
Why would we give such a blank check to IndyGo and its cronies?
Why is the Chamber of Commerce so involved? Isn't it a conflict of interest for Mark Fisher to be sitting on all of the transit boards?
Who picks the winners and the losers?
This is business as usual.
I have tried for two months to get a meeting that was promised to me by Mayor Hogsett about this and all I get is a threatening phone call from his Chief of Staff.
The Red Line is not being rammed through to improve transit. If we really wanted to improve transit it would be done across the entire network, not focused on 1-3 select lines.
The Red Line is being put in so developers can develop the College Avenue corridor.
Just look at their renderings of College Avenue in the future; it does not resemble today at all.
The IndyGo is really taking us on a ride with this; an express bus to financial failure, crumbling roads, higher taxes and fat developers.
The "In the Red" Line costs a lot of dollars but makes no sense.