Consultant fails to sign paperwork, say county officials
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/02/2012 -- According to county officials, McLennan County won’t receive $9,000 grant reimbursement funds related to a 2011 roofing project after a consultant failed to sign required paperwork.
County commissioners, who recently learned of the snafu, said their attorney advised them they have no legal recourse in the matter.
“You’re talking about $9,000,” said Mike Dixon, a Waco attorney who represents the county. “You could spend much more than that trying to enforce that and still lose.”
The project involved roofing work performed last year on county maintenance and Shriner buildings using U.S. Department of Energy efficiency grants.
Records indicate the county paid $9,000 to Global Roof Consultants, Inc., of Whitney, for project consulting. In July, commissioners learned they would soon lose federal reimbursement for the project because the consultant had not signed the required affidavit. The affidavit is an important part of a document, which asks contractors to swear they followed all applicable 2009 Federal Stimulus Act laws, and reporting requirements while using the money.
Dick Tallichet, Global Roof Consultants secretary and treasurer, said in an interview last summer that he was not required to sign the document in part because his firm only provided consulting services. He added that his attorney advised him not to sign it.
Dixon said that although he later convinced Tallichet to sign an amended affidavit, the State refused to accept any modifications to the original document. He said he subsequently learned the company had not maintained detailed time records, a requirement of the affidavit.
“At that point I put a King’s X on it and said, ‘Unless you can go back and fix that, I don’t want your affidavit, because we would be turning in a falsified instrument,’ ” Dixon told commissioners. “And they didn’t want to give it anyway.”
Tallichet later said the situation was the county’s fault for not telling him the work was part of a grant-funded project. “We did not abide by the grant requirements because we didn’t know about it,” he said. “So we did not keep our records the way the federal government wanted it done.”
Despite county officials saying they told Tallichet the project involved grant funding, Dixon said there is nothing in writing proving so. The work, he noted, was awarded on quotation without a contract outlining grant requirements. In the future, the county will inform potential contractors in writing of mandatory compliance with all applicable grant requirements, he added.
Commissioner Joe Mashek said of Tallichet, “It bothers me to see him get away with $9,000 of taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Mashek said he would like to issue a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or run local advertisements with the intention of hurting Tallichet’s business. However, Dixon said such tactics could make the county vulnerable to business disparagement lawsuits.
Instead, the county banned Global Roof Consultants from future county business. Commissioners agreed to take no further action.
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