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Sunday, September 1, 2013 Palm Beach County Office of Inspector General c/o Inspector General Sheryl Steckler Director of Investigations

Donald Balberchak P.O. Box 16568 West Palm Beach, FL 33416 Timothy "Chaz" Stevens PO Box 1123 Deerfield Beach, FL 33443 RE: Insider Deal in Riviera Beach Hey Madam Inspector General; According to an editorial (see attached) in the Palm Beach Post, “the Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency will redo the bidding for a half-million dollar community garden project after the city’s purchasing department recommended an unqualified bidder for the job.” Adding insult to injury, the successful bidder is a member of the CRA Board. Questions have arisen over Purchasing Director Ben Guy’s handling of the procurement, a “grave” fact that prompted CRA Executive Director Tony Brown to call for a complete redo of the contract. According to published reports, and extremely troubling to me, is the duplicity surrounding the entire bid. From the Post’s editorial: “Two companies — Randolph & Dewdney Construction of Delray Beach and J.D. Anderson Construction of Riviera Beach — attended the pre-bid conference last month. Purchasing department staff said only those two companies could bid. Yet when All Site representatives showed up shortly after the conference ended, staff allowed them to sign in, briefed them on the meeting and allowed the company to bid.” “The purchasing department even falsely noted in its award recommendation that All Site was one of three participants at the pre-bid conference. “ Therefore, I wish to file a complaint against Rivera Beach Purchasing Director Ben Guy for possible violation of Florida Law. I respectfully request your office investigates this allegation. I intend to file a similar complaint with the State Attorney and stand ready to assist. Happy hunting;

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Timothy “Chaz” Stevens 818-468-5433

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*** Editorial: Insider deal in Riviera Beach deserves a look from prosecutors By Rhonda Swan - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer The Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency will redo the bidding for a half-million dollar community garden project after the city’s purchasing department recommended an unqualified bidder for the job. This is hardly the way for the city to improve its image and attract businesses. The successful bidder is a board member of the city’s Community Development Corp. The CRA created it to be a conduit for funds to revitalize neighborhoods in the redevelopment area. Riviera Beach Heights is the first such neighborhood and the location of the planned community garden. CRA Executive Director Tony Brown said that unlike Purchasing Director Ben Guy, he didn’t see All Site Construction’s failure to attend a mandatory pre-bid conference as an “informality” or “technicality.” The CRA outsources its procurement to the purchasing department. “I consider it to be grave,” Mr. Brown said. “I think it’s in the best interest of all parties if we start over.” Two companies — Randolph & Dewdney Construction of Delray Beach and J.D. Anderson Construction of Riviera Beach — attended the pre-bid conference last month. Purchasing department staff said only those two companies could bid. Yet when All Site representatives showed up shortly after the conference ended, staff allowed them to sign in, briefed them on the meeting and allowed the company to bid. The purchasing department even falsley noted in its award recommendation that All Site was one of three participants at the pre-bid conference. All Site owner Ezra Saffold, a CDC board member who submitted the lowest bid and has won several other city contracts, did not return a call seeking comment. Randolph & Dewdney filed a protest. Mr. Guy responded that because the invitation to bid contained no language dealing with late bidders, it was appropriate to treat All Site’s tardiness as a technicality. All Site wasn’t tardy; the company missed the conference entirely. The community garden is the first project for which Randolph & Dewdney has bid in Riviera Beach. Dwayne Randolph, an owner, said he was reluctant because of the city’s reputation. He’s even more reluctant now. The firm is contesting Mr. Brown’s decision to rebid the project. J.D. Anderson was disqualified. Had All Site not been allowed to bid, Randolph & Dewdney would have won the project. “I feel the way that it was handled by the purchasing department was fraudulent,” Mr. Randolph said, “and we believe it was bid tampering and should warrant an investigaton by the state attorney.” We agree. In the meantime, Riviera Beach again takes two steps backward. Rhonda Swan

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for The Post Editorial Board