By Charles Sercombe
Last week The Review published the invoices submitted by city contractor Platinum Landscaping.
We ran into Hamtramck Director of Public Works Steve Shaya in city hall last Friday, and he said in an angry tone: “Why don’t you print Jim Allen’s and C.P.I.’s invoices?”
Shaya is a former employee of Platinum, and he now supervises the work of Platinum and signs off on the bills that the company submits to the city.
We thought that was a good idea about publishing Allen’s and C.P.I.’s bills, so we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the bills of C.P.I. and another contractor, ADR.
ADR provides computer and IT support for the city.
All four of those contractors, including City Attorney Jim Allen, were the subject of a review by a private financial forensics company that former Acting City Manager Erik Tungate hired in an effort to find ways to save money.
We didn’t submit a Freedom of Information Act request for Jim Allen’s law firm, the Allen Brothers, because we did that last April. Jim Allen denied the request on the grounds that it is protected material.
Allen said at the time the invoices come under attorney-client privilege, and that revealing the invoices could jeopardize pending legal matters.
What that means is that the public may not view what they get charged for.
This week, we will look at the invoices of C.P.I. The company does a variety of work for the city, but mainly street repairs and the repairs of water and sewer lines.
Since 2009, the company has been paid a little over $2 million.
To put things in perspective, during that same period, Platinum was paid $1.8 million. Platinum plows and salts the city’s emergency routes during snowstorms, and mows and cleans lots, trims and cuts trees and removes some dilapidated structures.
Next week, we take a look at the invoices of ADR.