By Stuart Webb | WeaponizedNews.Com | Aug 6. 2015
Amidst all the reported FBI investigations, public corruption reports, and press conferences regarding their lease-leaseback deal with Harris Construction, FUSD has stalled handing over public information to three Public Records Act requests filed by Weaponized News.
Here’s FUSD’s official response to requests for Superintendent Michael Hanson’s FUSD credit card statements, FUSD lease-leaseback contracts, and FUSD Expense reports.
The crony capitalism and public corruption between FUSD and Harris Construction starts with “the relationship between Superintendent of Schools Michael Hanson and his favorite builder, Richard Spencer, the owner of Harris Construction. It is a relationship of mutually beneficial business. Each man counts on the other to pass bonds and build schools; each man counts on the other to prosper” journalist Mark Arax reports.
Arax lays out the timeline of all the clear conflicts of interest, favoritism and lies told by FUSD’s superintendent Michael Hanson and his staff regarding the lease-leaseback contracts with Harris Construction that is now under investigation. “Fresno Unified has awarded Harris Construction $114.7 million in lease-leaseback projects since 2011” the Fresno Bee reports.
“Hanson and Quinto empowered Spencer to select himself as the builder and award himself what he saw fit—all in the guise of a “pre construction” agreement. Not only was the builder free of competitive bidding, but he wouldn’t have to face public scrutiny. Fresno Unified even protected Harris Construction with an indemnity clause. If the builder made a mistake, no legal or financial harm could come his way”
“Hanson and Quinto never showed the “pre-construction” contract to the school board. Technically, they weren’t required to because the contract has been written in such a way that Harris Construction had agreed to do the “consulting work” for free. Only contracts for $15,000 and above require school board approval” clearly circumventing the school board or allowing the school board to have plausible deniability regarding the contracts.
FUSD has some explaining to do and they better get their story straight before they are up to their ears in PRA requests, FBI agents and unhappy taxpayers.
Detailed article on the FUSD scandal by Mark Arax “Pay to Play: The Makings of a Fresno Unified Scandal”