Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hinds tries to squeeze Nextel for $1.3 million, FCC says no.

The FCC recently slammed Hinds County not once but twice as it sought to squeeze Sprint NExtel for a million dollars. Hinds County signed an agreement with Nextel in 2007. The FCC ordered a reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band in Hinds County. Nextel agreed to pay Hinds County $573,067. Apparently that was not enough money for Hinds because Hinds tried to issue a change order and charge Nextel an additional $1,309,892 for "added services" such as consultants, outside legal counsel, and the "County's internal labor costs." Footnote #3 states the claim was $62,250 for Precious Martin, $215,300 for the consultant AIRWAVE (Nathan Hargrove works for this very small company), and the remainder for the so-called internal labor costs.

The FCC said there were two problems with this change order. The first problem is the contract did not any "provisions" for "consultants, outside legal counsel, or the County's internal labor costs." It should be pointed out the wife of the "outside legal counsel" is the board attorney who is paid an annual salary. The second problem is Hinds provided no documentation whatsoever for these additional costs. The order states:

"After the County submitted its Change notice, the TA Mediator requested the County to provide Sprint Nextel .. with timesheets and other details supporting the additional costs already incurred and for which reimbursement is requested in the change notice."
Copy of order

Seems like a reasonable request. You want more money, show the actual work performed. Just one problem. The documentation existed in the same place as the notice for Derrick Johnson's contract or the Clarion-Ledger notice for the special hearing on redistricting: in never-never land:

"No time sheets or supporting documents were filed.
Hinds County has no records of any work being performed in Hinds County (funding needs to be made available for (admin asst, project manager and clerk, attorney, consultant). "

The FCC said it was "impossible to verify the County's claim because, ready for this?:

" the County refuses to provide time records, invoices, or other evidence documenting that the services were performed. Indeed, it claims it “has no records of any work being performed in Hinds County.” The claim is problematic inasmuch as the County offers no explanation of why the records do not exist, or why it has not attempted to recreate them. We therefore agree with Sprint that it would be irresponsible to “more than triple the costs associated with Hinds’ reconfiguration” without any supporting documentation"

Its hard to imagine Precious Martin didn't keep timesheets for the 290 hours he claimed but I digress. Hinds tried to blame Captain John Wilson, the project manager who negotiated the contract and a member of the Sheriff's office at the time, but the FCC said it was "reviewed by the City's legal counsel and ratified by the President of the Board (Ronnie Chappell at the time)".

Well, Hinds County didn't take its ball and go home but instead, asked for a rematch. Mr. Martin filed a petition for de novo eview on September 17, 2010, a petition for waiver of the FCC's rules that petitions for such reviews be filed within ten days of the decision (because he didn't file the petition on time), and a petition for reconsideration of the FCC decision on October 13, 2010. Its sole excuse in the two page request for reconsideration was Mr. Wilson negotiated in bad faith, ignoring the fact the FCC specifically addressed this issue in its order. Nextel filed its own opposition to the petition for review. Nextel pointed out Mr. Martin filed his petition fifteen days past the deadline.

The FCC agreed with Nextel and spanked not just Hinds County, but Precious Martin for his inability to follow the rules for meeting deadlines. Mr. Martin indeed filed his petition for review fifteen days after the deadline. The FCC also stated Mr. Martin filed his petition for reconsideration twenty-one days after the deadline. It states no new facts or circumstances were presented. The FCC dismissed the petitions with prejudice on February 2, 2011 and made it quite clear it didn't want to see Hinds County again on this matter. Copy of decision.


Note: Nathan Hargrove works for AIRWAVE (See page 5). The same Nathan Hargrove who operates at the same time Northstar Wireless, and worked for Brown Communications. It was Mr. Hargrove who audited the radio system for Supervisor Robert Graham and "found" Madison and Ridgeland were "bootlegging" from the radio system.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

When you review the timeline KF for Hargrove appearances and participation in HindsCo Executive Sessions you see that one month he'll represent one company, the next a different company and then just weeks later the same company, again, that he represented two months prior.

Hargrove (and Graham) have massive conflicts of interest.

Kingfish said...

I know. I filed a public records request for Hargrove's contract and was told he didn't have one as he was an employee of AIRWAVE.

Anonymous said...

the aforementioned atty is a slow train wreck. he'll be headlining soon enough

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Hargrove in the middle of all that stuff about Byram trying to police radios?

Chris said...

isn't it cute that Hargrove is using the same name for his company as one of sprints flagship products AIRWAVE? coincidence???

Kingfish said...

Yup. For that deal he became Northstar Wireless. You guys are learning.

Anonymous said...

Sure as Hades hope that Roger Davis is paying attention this time. There is enough ammo here against Robert Graham to supply a full battery of MTriple7s.

Anonymous said...

The bigger question to me is why Hinds County continues to give the same entity (Hargrove) its business. Why not spread it around with multiple suppliers, especially when this guy isn't always the lowest bidder for those services that require bids? Why the love affair with THIS guy?

Anonymous said...

Might be time for Operation Pretense II.

Anonymous said...

Someone ought to look at how Nathan Hargrove and Stacy Stowers were the consultant and bidder for the Hinds Siren system. That is a direct conflict of interest. In addition how much money has the county paid to them as consultants and what projects it has given to Brown Communications, Airwave, and Northstar Wireless. Then follow the money...

Anonymous said...

I feel sure all this money came from federal sources and there must be an audit trail.

Kingfish said...

You feel or you think?

Kaptain Kangaroo said...

I am wondering when someone who lives in Jackson is actually going to ask the tough question of their representatives, "why do you continue to profit, personally, from the graff you direct to your personal coffer."

The more important observation is why is the head of NAACP involved in a scheme like this? I cannot fathom how a professional representing the greater good through a representational NGO can engage in behavior that in any way has the appearance of impropriety in this manner.

Go ahead and throw the race card. I'm sure some want to go there; in this instance, its about MONEY, not race.

Anonymous said...

KK--I agree.

The race card will ALWAYS be in the mix with the City of Jackson and Hinds Co officials. If white people say a word, they pull the race card. And they are so blatant about not following laws and regulations. They don't even attempt to cover up their BS--which is even more harrowing...

I am so sick of trying to hold government officials accountable and being deemed a racist just because the officials are black. Black, white, whatever--incompetence knows no racial boundaries!!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that you have two choices.

1. Stay in Jackson and/or HindsCo all the way to the inevitable insolvency.

2. Move while you still can and while your property still has some marketable value.

Because one thing is certain, Jackson and HindsCo leaders will jack up ad val taxes without compunction as the ships head to the bottom.

Once they do that forget the equity in your house. You'll be lucky to find a buyer that breaks you even in the Detroit of the South.

Anonymous said...

You might not break even, but I assure you someone will break in.

Anonymous said...

actually the salaried board attorney is Crystal Martin. Precious is her husband.Crystal's mother is Judge Wise.

Anonymous said...

How in the hell did these people get through law school and pass the bar? I'm not in the law profession, but I figured law school and passing the bar had some level of difficulty. In engineering, we have weed out classes and two major tests for licensing. WTF?

Kaptain Kangaroo said...

March 26, 2011 1:39 PM

You do know why many businesses will not locate here? The legal environment is one of "legal INDUSTRY". If we allow it to continue we are as irrepressible as those who seek to profit from the law.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that now a majority of the city of Jackson come from an "entitled" background. As the role of benefactor increasingly reverses, people will realize that somebody actually does have to pay taxes and that responsible government is necessary. Espescially as the traditional tax payers continue to leave the city. Just an observation. Pardon the surely racist overtones. The tiger blood is strong this AM

Kingfish said...

I've been told Mr. Martin has been referring to me as a "lying motherfucker" more than a few times. I'll be more than happy to make any corrections as everything in this post was taken directly from his filings and FCC rulings.

Anonymous said...

God love the new media. Corruption transcends race.

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