Dupree will not seek to recover $840,000 in losses from top political contributor’s “rope-a-dope” management of sewer project.

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Kyle Wallace, one of Dupree's top political contributors, won't have to worry about being sued over his poor management of a sewer project, which cost taxpayers $840,000.

"My (arbitrator's) conclusion is that the city and Mr. Wallace have engaged in what I'm going to call a rope-a-dope approach to this case, to this contract, to this litigation without any real effort to provide meaningful factual or legal defenses" (page 28 lines 4-9)

A $1.8 million dollar sewer project turned into a massive loss for taxpayers when the engineer for the city, Kyle Wallace with Shows, Dearmon, and Waites, breached the contract, according to the findings of an arbitrator. (page 17 lines 20-23)  The ruling was upheld in Circuit Court. Wallace and his firm are top campaign contributors to Mayor Johnny Dupree.

According to the findings, Kyle Wallace, the city's agent for the project breached the contract in a number of ways.  The arbitrator found the following with regard to Shows, Dearmon, and Waits' engineer, Kyle Wallace.

  • Wallace failed to disclose Creosote contamination at two different job site locations causing delays (page 9 line 25 - page 10 line 1 through 16)
  • Wallace failed to disclose an old abandoned sewer line and manhole which delayed the project four weeks to remove.(page 9 line 25 - page 10 lines 1 through 16)
  • Wallace failed to show on the engineering plans an old eight inch water line which broke and flooded the excavation on Timothy Lane, resulting in a cave in of the project (page 11 lines 20-25 and page 12 lines 1-12)
  • Wallace failed to give direction to the plaintiff to deal with the cave-in issues (Page 17 lines 13-17)
  • Wallace failed to respond to request two change work orders submitted by the contractor to correct these situations. (page 18 lines 9-25)
  • Wallace failed to identify an old site location of a previous trailer park located in the path of the sewer project, which required a deviation around the trailer park causing additional delays.
  • Wallace made multiple inconsistent statements and statements which were not credible.(page 17 lines 6-12), (page 27 lines 10-15)
  • Wallace, as the owner's representative, authorized change work orders without council approval, then held those change work orders "out of convenience" in violation of the contract terms and failed to respond to the contractor's request for payment. The Arbitrator determined this to be a "breach of contract." (page 20 lines 4-16), (page 21 lines 6-25), (page 22 lines 1-4), (page 28 lines 11-25), and (page 29 lines 1-2)

According to the Arbitrator ufail

"I find Mr. Wallace's actions on this project to be questionable. I find some of his testimony to lack credibility."

 

"They (change orders) were submitted to the engineer but there was no response and it's not disputed there was no response."

It was the city who had the responsibility under the contract to

"make the necessary arrangements for easements, rights-of-way, and other such issues before issuing a notice to proceed" and that "the city failed to do so in violation of that section." 6.3(a) 

The arbitrator also determined that the contractor had to  

"de-mobilize and re-mobilize five times to meet the changing work conditions, all against a backdrop of a contract where the days were ticking down towards the 350 day limit." (page 11 line 3-10)

The arbitrator also stated, 

"I find that there would not be a reasonable way for a contractor exercising reasonable diligence to become aware of the condition before the project began." (page 15 lines 1-4)

What is so troubling about these losses is Mayor Dupree has no plans to go after his top political contributors Shows, Dearmon, and Waits' bond to recover the taxpayer's losses.  No one on city council has pushed the issue.

Concerned citizens can call 601-545-4500 and ask to speak to the mayor. Demand that he go after the bond of the engineering firm to recover our money. Also, citizens can email the council at council@hattiesburgms.com and demand their action.

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Below is the arbitrators report.

 

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70 thoughts on “Dupree will not seek to recover $840,000 in losses from top political contributor’s “rope-a-dope” management of sewer project.

  1. Richard Barnes

    What puzzles me is why they built a police dept on the back side of Hattiesburg??? Why not have came to midtown hattiesburg and built a nice facility. Sounds and looks to me that the mayor got his pockets lined by somebody. That is one stoooopid move on the city to build that police dept on the back side of hattiesburg

    1. Hattiesburg Patriot

      Garmon wants to move to a precinct based system by utilizing the training academy at Palmer’s crossing as a South Precinct, the substation next to Petro Nissan as a West precinct, and remodel the current Historic building on the current PD site as a central precinct, and in the future add a Midtown precinct. This will save millions of dollars and improve response time and community policing.

    1. Groth Ashby Jerri Leigh

      The project hasn’t moved forward in some time. All Mr. Larry wants for HIS town is an adequate police force and an adequate place to operate from. Why don’t you ask him instead of making wild assumptions like you always do. Not everyone that has done business with Dupree is a thief. Larry Albert has more to gain from the city being a better place to live in than profit for a quick buck. If you did your research, you would see how much he actually supports #downtownHattiesburg instead of accusing him of profiting from something that was planned years ago and hasn’t even been built yet. The longer they wait to build it, the higher the price of the project will continue to rise. You are comparing pricing from over 5 years ago to right now. Ofcourse there is a marginal increase, the construction industry has been trying to come back from a major recession. If there is one thing that Larry Albert wants, it is a better city. How much are architects in other cities charging for their services? Start comparing apples and apples and you would maybe just have a decent argument. But continue shooting wild from the hip and you are going to lose yourself an election. No one wants to support someone whom is liable to…. ya know what, I don’t live there any more so I am grateful not to have to worry if I am someone you will exploit for political gain next, but if I did live there, I would say I am voting for Toby Barker. Because he gets things done instead of relying on drama filled smear campaigns to run for political office… not everyone is out for their own monetary gain…

    2. Hattiesburg Patriot

      Things to know about Toby Barker.

      1) Barker voted to support Mississippi Power’s BILLION DOLLAR Bond Bill. Through that bill, Barker actually helped to fund the $7 Billion dollar Kemper boondoggle that has let to massive increases in your utility bill.

      2) Barker voted on a bill to charge sales tax on all of your Internet sales.

      3) Barker sponsored a bill supporting Groundworx. The final bill that he voted on would have made the city’s contract with Groundworx law. This would have made it IMPOSSIBLE for any future council or mayor to exit the bad deal. It could have contributed to Hattiesburg’s bankrupcy if the project was built. This bill was passed to help Groundworx get funding though a bond issue, assuring citizens would be stuck with making the payments to York’s Groundwork.

      4) Barker wants to build a massive police station in the current location not central to Hattiesburg’s needs.

      5) Barker says he would cap the now $30 million dollar police station’s cost, but refuses to say what that cap would be.

      6) Barker supports no bid contracts. His contributors gotta eat, right?

      What specifically is Barker going to do that you like?

  2. Nick Hartley

    Larry Albert is a good man and reputable architect, I am sure he is designing what he is being asked to design with a budget he is given, 8 percent is fairly standard depending on how much of the project management the architect is responsible for. It just sounded like you were putting the cost over run on Albert.

    1. Nick Hartley

      It all depends on what they are asking his company to do, I am sure if you ask him, he can at least explain, otherwise saying it’s not reasonable or insinuating that he might be responsible for escalating costs because he’s operating on a percentage, which is customary in architecture, may not be fair.

    2. Nick Hartley

      Fair enough, but I think it was good to indicate that the budget is given to the architect, they design based on the constraints of the budget, they use a percentage to get paid for all the extra things they are asked to do, architecture is a dynamic process.

  3. James Matthew Waltman

    I was approaved for housing through the V.A.. And after two n a half years on a waiting list section 8.. Neither have anything they can do to help us HOW IS THAT ..WHEN THEY HAVE $$$$ OUT THE ASS..im a veteran and it means othing…but i se people whom do nothing ..they have no job pay no bills..but they get into a house while my family suffers anyway..im at my wits end…a desperate man is a sad thing…my pride is gone and my options are nill the city needs elp bad

    1. James Matthew Waltman

      Oh i can spell i was just emotional..its really been years in the hood..southern village is no place to raise a family
      .when everyone here hates us for being white…they threw us here n forgot us..my apt is ran down as hell nobody has ever fixed anything we bought the stove fridge etc..nothing works the electrical is damaged and its 450$ a month..like it dont matter..i am almost out of my mind gere i fight about twice a month due to no falt of my own..just cleaning off my porch etc..theres drug parafenalia in the streets..we clean for nothing everyday…how o the gov fficials expect people thrown away by a flawed corrupt system to behave…

    2. James Matthew Waltman

      I had the navy college fund kicker 11000 extra added to my gi bill..but they took it all and gave me post 91.. Sounds great..except i only get a small% because i joined in00 so i only served a few years after 911. So they took my money i paid for..and the money i gave up a signon bonus for and gave meshite for it..but i also went to war and my girlfriend gave my child away…they didnt even try to help that either so i have little faith

  4. Deborah Patrick

    I would like to know how much money was made at patio 44 back in the fall for water that was sent to Michigan! Why were we so concerned about those people when Hattiesburg has.lost so much money. Is there a way to check and see if he sent it.

    1. Hattiesburg Patriot

      This site has recordings. How do you think the Mechanical plant died? The founder of this site had MDEQ on recoding.

      We were being fined for failure to meet a construction deadline to begin construction of a new method of wastewater treatment to meet phase two 2015 permit limits

      This site showed that the city had been meeting those limits for 12 months after the USA Yeast pretreatment system went into operation. Watch the news tonight on WDAM. You will have your answer.

      The lagoons are the most environmental method for treating our wastewater. We have the largest lagoon system in the US. We have ducks, cranes, otters, fish, and all sorts of wildlife put there now. It’s a wildlife habitat.

  5. Karen Green

    Why is the city spending so much money on new street lighting that is not needed? There were already street lights up and in perfect working order per the Pike Electric workers. ‘These are LED and just look better’ (they are black as opposed to grey/silver And this, ‘The city has been spending a lot of money lately on lighting’

  6. Jeff Allen Smith

    What a complete load of crap. Most of you will read this and take it as factual, when in reality, the author has sensationalized an arbitrator’s findings in a clear smear attempt. I’ve known Kyle Wallace for over 40 years and there is not one dishonest, unethical, or evasive bone in his body. Maybe more time could have been spent asking why the City’s attorney chose not to bring in expert witnesses to defend its positions and decisions OR asked simple questions that would have debunked the contractor’s attorney’s assertions. You’ve got good people doing honest work on the City’s behalf, but they’re not allowed their own defense and have to rely on City attorney’s (or lack thereof) to counter the bogus claims.

    1. Hattiesburg Patriot

      Not True. The findings are straight quotes from the report. Read the report. There is no sensationalism needed. Almost the entire article is quotes from the arbitrator reports.

      Wallace made change work orders without first getting the approval of council. He then sat on those change work orders as a matter of “convenience.” He then refused to respond to multiple attempts for payment.

      If you find anything not factually accurate, feel free to specify them here.

      The city had a very capable attorney, Jim Gladden, when the city appealed this arbitrator’s ruling.. He had very little to work with, given the actions mentioned in the report.

      These finding were upheld by a judge, when the city appealed the Arbitrator’s ruling. You need to get your facts together. This site already has.

      This site waited years to report this, until after the court ruled on the arbitrator’s ruling. This report has been available for two years.

    1. Hattiesburg Patriot

      You have to “pay to play” in Hattiesburg. They will need to mail Johnny a check for $5,000 payable to his campaign. If they can get Henry Naylor a consulting contract, that’s a plus. A couple good jobs for relatives, and they have a chance.

    1. Mary Nicovich

      Absolutely true We just went through having a new sewer & water line replaced on Brooklane Drive after 50 years The contractorrs wanted to do things correctly but engineers would allow redoing paving since it was done incorrectly At the last neighborhood meeting, the director of water department said that they would be placing sod down where they tore up our yards,but we got seedlings which turned into weeds up to my knees at which time I called water department & Mayors Dupree office last Thursday I let them know that my yard man was going to be here Friday morning When I was taking pictures as I was leaving for work,city staff drove down the street & begged me to gI’ve them time to correct issue I did get sod planted by them The director of water couldn’t even state our street name correctly saying it was brookline drive which is off south 38

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