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The Dallas Morning News

Texas' Leading Newspaper

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Dallas, Texas, Sunday, March 16, 2014

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Temp firm has inside track


Workforce supplier staffs
agency that certifies vendors as
owned by minorities, women
By ED TIMMS and KEVIN KRAUSE
Staff Writers

An obscure agency funded chiefly


with taxpayer money has qualified thousands of companies as minority and

women-run businesses.
Getting certified gives those vendors
a big edge in competing for government
contracts worth many millions.
But one is the ultimate insider.
All Temps 1Personnel, a private workforce supplier, has for more than a decade provided the North Central Texas
Regional Certification Agencys entire
staff, from the executive director to the

INSIDE: Lack of oversight allows


troubled business to profit from
government contracts. 20A

receptionist, at its Arlington office.


The Dallas Morning News found that
All Temps staffers repeatedly have apSee VENDORS Page 18A

18A

Sunday, March 16, 2014

dallasnews.com

FROM THE FRONT PAGE

II

The Dallas Morning News

Agency fought release of its records


For most of its existence, the North Central
Texas Regional Certification Agency has had identity issues.
Local governments created it. They employ
and appoint most of its board members. They provide almost all of its funding. A private company,
All Temps 1 Personnel, staffs it, under contract
with those same governments.
The agency certifies minority- and womanowned businesses, a key designation that helps
them compete for taxpayer-financed jobs.
But the little-known agency fought The Dallas
Morning News for more than a year to avoid public scrutiny, claiming it didnt have to respond to
open records requests. Heres a summary of the
dispute:

once represented the agency. Also, significant portions of what it claimed as a trade secret were published online by one of its government members.
Even before the attorney general ruled on The
Newscomplaint, the agency sued the newspaper in
September 2012 to block release of its records.
The attorney general concluded two months
later that the agency was a government body for
the purposes of Texas open records law and that
trade secrets protections the agency cited were for
third parties, such as a private corporation, not
governmental bodies. The ruling concluded that
information could be withheld under another statute.

Whats a trade secret?

When the suit came to trial


mid-2013, the agency told State
District Judge Eric Moy in Dallas
it was not a government body.
Trying to bolster that argument, the agency produced a new
fee agreement that it had asked
ERIC MOY
the city of Dallas, Dallas County
and other entities on the board to sign. That agree-

After The News filed its first request in June


2012, the agency declined to disclose any information, including which companies it had certified.
The newspaper complained to the attorney
general, documenting the agencys relationship
with local governments.
Among the examples: A city of Dallas attorney

ment replaced a contract for governments it had


used for more than two decades.
The deadline: one day before the trials scheduled start.
Ryan Pittman, an attorney for The News, said in
court that the agencys effort to alter its agreements
just before the trial began was akin to a defendant
throwing a smoking gun in the river.
Marcos Ronquillo, the NCTRCAs attorney, said
in court that the agency incorrectly had labored under the impression that state laws about agreements between local governments applied to it.
Mistakes were made, Ronquillo said.

The ruling
Denying its a government body

The trial lasted one day. Like the AGs ruling,


Moy concluded that the agency was a governmental body for the purposes of open records requests.
He later wrote that the agencys late attempt to
change its membership agreements was calculated to alter its business model, specifically to
thwart the court. And he instructed the agency to
release information.
Ed Timms and Kevin Krause

The North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency sent photos to the attorney
general of its files on minority- and woman-owned businesses.

Vendors complain about agency


Continued from Page 1A

proved their own company as a


minority-operated
business
and passed judgment on its potential rivals. The head of All
Temps defended its work and
said its longstanding ties to the
agency pose no conflict of interest.
But the arrangement has
surprised and concerned other
North Texas contractors, including some who have given
up trying to win certification.
All Temps employees at the
agency have access to sensitive
financial information other applicants submit for certification. They also have certified
businesses All Temps hired as
subcontractors on government
jobs.
In the last 10 years, All
Temps has won at least $30
million in contracts from some
of the same local governments
that created the agency, finance
it and select nearly all of its
board members.
And All Temps was paid
more than $2.7 million since
2002 to run the NCTRCA. The
agency focuses on verifying that
companies are owned by a minority or a woman and little
else.
Some companies that were
certified by the agency have had
troubled histories and even featured prominently in federal
criminal investigations.
Some applicants have complained that the agency, directed for most of its existence by a
father and daughter who
both were All Temps employees
has been sluggish and unhelpful.
The only audit the agency
provided after an open records
request from The News was
more than a decade old. In it,
examiners identified several serious problems.
Traditionally, much of the
agencys supervision has been
left to an executive director,
who is employed by All Temps.
Local government officials said
they do not get involved in the
day-to-day operations.
Thats in contrast with Austin and Houston, which handle
such certifications in-house, instead of relying on an outside
firm.
Agency records dont make
clear how All Temps was first
hired. The agencys outgoing
board chairwoman said she
didnt know.
The agencys attorney said
The News questions about its
practices raised some issues
new to the board and that he
would discuss possible changes.
The News began looking into
the agency after asking for details about three businesses the
agency had certified. Those
businesses were named in an
ongoing federal corruption investigation involving longtime
Dallas County Commissioner
John Wiley Price, which has
produced no criminal charges
or indictments.
The agency declined to re-

Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer

All Temps 1 Personnel, on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dallas, provides the entire staff of the North Central Texas
Regional Certification Agency. All Temps own employees approved it as a minority-operated business.

A web of connections
All Temps 1 Personnel, a staffing agency, has close ties to the North Central Texas
Regional Certification Agency and local governments.
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
City of Dallas
Awarded All Temps sanitation contract
worth more than $14 million
Funds NCTRCA
City employee an NCTRCA board member
Helped create the NCTRCA

Provides the entire staff of the


NCTRCA.
Certified as a minority-owned
business by its own employees at the
NCTRCA.
Competes with companies that seek
certification from the NCTRCA
Does business with local
governments that fund the NCTRCA
Former employees work at local
governments or for private firms and
have a role in minority contracting.

Dallas County
Accepts only NCTRCA certifications
Has paid All Temps about $13 million since
2002
Funds NCTRCA
County employee an NCTRCA board
member
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
Awarded All Temps contracts worth
$3.7 million
Funds NCTRCA
Airport employee an NCTRCA board
member
North Texas Tollway Authority
Awarded All Temps contract potentially
worth millions
Former NCTRCA executive director a staff
member
Funds NCTRCA
Other governments
Several other governments fund the
NCTRCA, select employees for the NCTRCA
board and have awarded All Temps
contracts. Those include the city of DeSoto,
the Dallas Independent School District and
the city of Irving.

Entirely staffed
by All Temps
Certifies
minority- and
women-owned
businesses; that
gives them an edge
when they bid on government contracts
Certifies All Temps
Certifies or decertifies potential All
Temps competitors
Certifies potential All Temps
subcontractors
Board members mostly employed by
local governments; some governments
hire All Temps.
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research

lease any information about


companies
it
evaluated,
prompting a yearlong legal battle with The News. Its executive
director announced her resignation last summer, a day after a
Dallas judge wrote that records
should be released.
Contracting experts said
companies should be carefully
monitored to avoid fraud and
abuse.

Staff Graphic

Eric Feldman, a former longtime federal inspector general,


was not familiar with how contracting was handled in the Dallas area. But he said that in general the political gamesmanle s ug:
03 6 et age cy
ship
that goes on
in day-to-day
rtist:
x
contracting decisions is so much
greater at the local level than it is
Dept
at the federal level.
You
phic need
Desk more
8912 oversight,
not less, Feldman said. He now
e

is managing director of corporate ethics and compliance programs for a California-based


firm that works with private
companies and governments.
NCTRCA is an important
link in local government efforts
to give contracts to businesses
that historically have been shut
out.
Dallas County, for instance,
accepts minority certifications

alltemps1.com/

Ronald L. Hay, CEO of All


Temps 1 Personnel, says
staffing NCTRCA doesnt
give his firm an edge over
others seeking government
jobs.

There are no
conflicts of
interest.
Ronald L. Hay, chief
executive officer of
All Temps

by the NCTRCA only, even


though other agencies provide
similar services.

Disgruntled vendors
But some contractors say
theyve given up trying to work
with the agency.
Among them is Johnny
Smith, an executive with Annexus Personnel and Business
Services, a woman-owned staffing company in Mesquite. He
said the agency asked for per-

sonal information that he considered irrelevant. He said he


was even more upset to learn
from The News that employees
of All Temps, the firm that beat
Annexus out for a lucrative Dallas County contract, also run the
certification agency.
You might as well just hang
it up. That just seems wrong,
said Smith, whose company has
been certified by the state comptrollers office.
The owner of a Lancaster
flooring business complained in
a 2013 letter to the agency that
she decided not to get recertified
based on multiple failures by
your office to complete tasks in a
timely manner.
The agencys website says the
process can take from 60 to 90
days. Jenny Jeter, owner of Bill
Jeter Inc., said she experienced a
five-month delay.
Its one of the most poorly
run outfits Ive come across, Jeter later told The News.
Commercial real estate businessman Edward Opka decided
not to seek recertification, calling the process too cumbersome
andtoolengthy.
Its easier to get certified
through the state, Opka, a former Dallas candidate for mayor,
said in an interview.
He said he doesnt understand why Dallas County accepts minority certifications
from that agency only.
Commissioners took no action when top administrator
Darryl Martin proposed in 2011
that agencies other than the
North Central Texas Regional
Certification Agency be permitted to certify companies.
Dallas County has paid All
Temps about $13 million since
2002, county records show.
Martin recently told The
News that the county relies on
the agency because of its stringent, detail-oriented certification process. Such organizations, he said, exist to prevent
fraudulent and/or parasitic
business practices, and help
eliminate the presence of front
companies.
Dallas lawyer Marcos Ronquillo, who represents the agency, said in an interview that the
agency certifies only whether a
company is owned and operated
by a minority or a woman in a
particular industry or category.
It is not set up to ferret out possible criminal violators, he said.
He said agency employees
should get credit for the good
work that theyve done. Like
any other government, like any
other company, you are going to
see glitches, he said.
All Temps chief executive officer Ronald L. Hay defended
his company, saying that staffing the agency does not it give it
any advantage over others when
seeking government jobs.
There are no conflicts of interest, he said in an email exchange with The News.
Hay said All Temps employees at the agency have no knowlSee

INVESTIGATIONS Page 19A

The Dallas Morning News

dallasnews.com

FROM THE FRONT PAGE

II

Sunday, March 16, 2014

19A

Investigations named some certified firms


Continued from Page 18A

edge of the contracts that we


bid or who the other bidders
are. All Temps employees outside the agency do not interfere
or interact in any way with
those on NCTRCA business,
he said.
Besides the NCTRCA, All
Temps has been certified by
others.
Ronquillo said he would
consult with the board about
All Temps employees certifying
their employer to determine
whether changes are needed to
avoid even a perception of a
conflict.
There are other certification
agencies in town or in the state
if that helps to alleviate any perception that All Temps somehow got a break, he said.
He said he would not comment on specific companies
that sought certification.
Austin used a similar agency
but restarted doing its own certifications after critical reviews
and complaints that the agency
was nonresponsive.
To win certification from
Houstons Office of Business
Opportunity, companies must
demonstrate their expertise,
including providing a work history and references, said Carlecia D. Wright, the director.
The Houston office also is
responsible for contract compliance. We can catch fraud
more easily because we have
the dual functionality, she said.

Michael Ainsworth/Staff Photographer

Albert Titus, who replaced Sheena Morgan as executive director of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, talked to business owners last year at a certification workshop in Fort Worth about how to obtain NCTRCA minority
certification. Some business owners complained in the past that the agency was not responsive and slow.

Created to stop abuse

Like any other government, like any other company, you are going to see glitches.

In the mid-1980s, local governments came under repeated


fire for their handling of minority contracts.
Efforts to verify minority
businesses were sometimes lax.
Bogus operators avoided background checks. Few were penalized for cheating.
Dallas County and the city of
Dallas were among nine local
governments that formed the
nonprofit certification agency,
incorporated in 1992 to provide
more efficient regional certification, according to its website.
A 2006 memo from Dallas
County, obtained by The News,
indicated that many years earlier the city of Dallas had discontinued its certification process
due to open records liabilities.
More than 22,000 companies have applied to the agency
over the years. About 3,400
currently are certified. Many local governments give preference in the bidding process to
certified companies or companies that hire certified subcontractors.
The News found:
A 20-member board oversees the agency but doesnt get
involved in the actual certification process because it may be
required to hear appeals, its attorney said. The board is made
up of representatives from the
city of Dallas, Dallas County
and other local governments,
along with three representatives of private entities.
The only audit the agency
provided in response to a request from The News was dated

Marcos Ronquillo, a Dallas lawyer who represents NCTRCA

2001. It reported significant


deficiencies
that could adversely affect
the organizations ability to
SHEENA
record, proMORGAN
cess, summaand her
rize, and report
father difinancial data.
rected
Auditors noted
NCTRCA
that the execufor years.
tive director
approved and
signed his own reimbursements. The agreement with All
Temps to staff the agencys office
was signed in 1996 but not reviewed in the ensuing years.
Two family members have
been in charge for much of the
agencys history. John Kelly
served as executive director
from 1997 to 2006. His daughter, Sheena Morgan, took over in
2008.
She turned in a letter of resignation last June a day after
Dallas County State District
Judge Eric Moy issued findings of fact concluding that the
certification agency was subject
to open records law.
Albert Titus, her replacement, declined to be interviewed.
Kelly had a company called
JPK Consulting after leaving
the agency. It repeatedly was recertified when Morgan was the
agencys director.
She has since taken a job involving minority contracting

with a multinational construction firm. Her new employer


bids on government contracts
and has a representative on
NCTRCAs board.
Kelly served as the executive
director of the Black Contractors Association in recent years.
Hediedin August.
Morgan would not comment. But she and the agencys
board chairwoman last year,
Perfecta Gallegos, a manager in
Dallas office of business development and procurement services, gave legal depositions in
the records dispute with The
News.
Morgan testified that she
didnt know who originally certified All Temps. But renewals
would have been reviewed by
All Temps employees at the certification agency, she said.
She would not speculate on
whether having All Temps staffers certify their employer was a
conflict. To her knowledge, that
topic hadnt been discussed.
All Temps hired Morgan in
the late 1990s as a front desk
clerk at the agency. She got promoted into jobs with more responsibility. She testified that
she graduated in 2005 from the
University of Phoenix with a
bachelors degree in business
administration.
A university spokesman said
Morgan had once been enrolled
but has not received a degree.
Morgan became executive
director of the South Central
Texas Regional Certification

Tom Fox/Staff Photographer

Perfecta Gallegos, chairwoman of NCTRCA at the time, listened to board members ideas
during a monthly meeting last year. The board isnt involved in day-to-day certification.

Agency in 2006. The San Antonio-based nonprofit is modeled after the North Texas agency.
A city of Austin audit during
the time she was in charge of the
San Antonio agency slammed
its performance.
The agency accepted documents at face value without any
type of follow-up or verification
to ensure that the information
submitted is true and correct,
the audit said.
Proof of ethnicity or gender, a key issue in judging applications, was missing from almosthalfofthe files examined.
Former Austin assistant city
manager Rudy Garza recalled
significant delays in processing
applications and no response
from agency leaders to simple
questions.
Morgan was the citys only
point of contact. And when we
could not get the issues resolved
there really was nowhere else for
us to go, Garza said.
Austin paid the agency
$50,000 a year to handle certifications. The city dropped its
contract in January 2007. City
employees began certifying
companies again.
Morgan became the North
Texas agencys executive director in August 2008.
Hay, the All Temps CEO, said
he was not sure when he found
out Morgan was Kellys daughter. But that relationship played
no role in her hire as the North
Texas agencys director, he said.

Morgan had an exemplary


work history with All Temps,
he said. She was the most qualified candidate due to her experience as director at the
SCTRCA.
Morgans father routinely
conducted her evaluations and
gave her top marks before she
left for San Antonio.
Kelly wrote that his daughter
had all the skills hed want in a
full-time employee when she
was working part-time for the
agency in 1999. Sheena is an excellent employee, her father
wrote in 2000. He recommended a pay raise.
Ronquillo, the attorney, said
some board members knew of
the Morgan-Kelly relationship
and some didnt.
He said did not know about
Morgans academic background or what happened in
Austin.

Criminal inquiries
Companies provide the
North Texas agency information such as proof of ownership,
financial data and tax records
when applying for certification.
The agencys website says that
site visits may be conducted.
Ronquillo said the certification process does not say that
you are a good business.
Its up to governments that
award the contracts or the private firms that hire them as subcontractors to apply more scrutiny, he said. And if a company

gets in trouble after being certified, he said, thats way past the
point of the agencys involvement.
The city of Dallas, in a written response to The News, said
the agencys performance was
satisfactory. Officials declined
an interview request.
Over the past two decades,
several of the agency-certified
companies have surfaced during criminal investigations.
The agency certified a cleaning supply company co-owned
by longtime Dallas City Council
member Al Lipscomb and a
white partner in the early 1990s.
The company reportedly had no
warehouse or delivery trucks at
the time. It relied on other companies to produce, store and deliver what it sold.
A federal prosecutor described the firm as one of several
minority fronts used by former council member Paul
Fielding. Fielding later was convicted on federal corruption
charges.
We have to set up a company
for him and have the damn
thing certified, Fielding said of
Lipscomb on a recording played
atFieldings 1997 trial.
An agency-certified contractor for the Dallas Independent
School District, convicted on
federal charges in the late 1990s,
gotmore than $3 million in contracts and was paid almost
$400,000 for roofing work that
wasnt done. That was despite
the owners two theft convictions, a lack of liability insurance and little roofing experience.
Several players in the corruption scandal that led to former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don
Hills 2009 conviction operated
agency-certified companies.
Among them was the owner
of a paving company who admitted telling a developer he
would get Hills help on a zoning
application if he was awarded
concrete subcontracts. Federal
officials said the paver provided
no services to the developer.
The paver later was sentenced to prison and was released in March 2012. Last
June, his company still was on a
list of certified companies the
agency provided to The News.
The NCTRCAs website states
that certification is indefinite
but firms must provide an annual update form with documentation to the agency.
The agency also approved
three companies later linked to
Price, the county commissioner,
in an ongoing FBI investigation
of his finances. Price has denied
any wrongdoing.
Gallegos, the boards former
chief, said neither the board nor
its government members get
notified if a certified vendor has
acriminal record.
Morgan said in her deposition that the agency didnt have
any mechanism to inform officials that a certified firm was under criminal investigation or indictment.
If you knew that, would you
tell them? she was asked.
No, she replied.
etimms@dallasnews.com;
kkrause@dallasnews.com

Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer

The North Central Texas Regional Certification Agencys office is on Six Flags Drive in Arlington. It serves Dallas County, the city of Dallas and D/FW Airport, among others.

20A

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FROM THE FRONT PAGE

dallasnews.com

The Dallas Morning News

Government subcontractors rise and fall


Little oversight allowed
troubled business to
profit from public jobs
By KEVIN KRAUSE
and ED TIMMS
Staff Writers

TBey & Associates was a


small startup company.
That didnt stop it from getting millions as a government
subcontractor thanks largely
to its relationship with All
Temps 1 Personnel, a large supplier of temporary labor.
All Temps isnt just a government vendor. It also provides the entire staff for the
agency that certified TBey and
All Temps itself as minority
businesses, giving them an advantage when they bid on public jobs.
All Temps employees at the
North Central Texas Regional
Certification Agency certified
TBey in 2010 for temporary
staffing work about the time of
TBeys grand opening. Then All
Temps hired TBey about two
months later as a subcontractor to help All Temps win a
three-year, $11 million Dallas
sanitation contract one of its
biggest. Almost $2.7 million of
that was slated to go to TBey,
records show.
That led to other government jobs for TBey and related
companies with the same owners. But its sudden success
didnt last. The DeSoto businesses struggled with or failed
to complete jobs. They faced
federal tax liens, a canceled
contract and a legal dispute.
All Temps said it was not a
conflict to hire a company All
Temps employees certified.
TBeys rise and fall, however, is
an example of the murky role of
subcontractors that get lucrative jobs but little scrutiny from
governments. The subcontractors livelihoods often depend
on having close ties to prime
contractors.
Dallas officials said the city
deals directly with the prime
contractors, who must submit
detailed business information
as part their bids. They said the
city has little to do with subcontractors. The county said much
the same.
Each prime contractor
subcontracts with whomever
they choose, and deem appropriate to fit the needs of the
specific job, county officials
said in a statement.
Thats the case for All Temps
and TBey, starting in 2010. All
Temps said it picked TBey because it met its requirements
for the job.
Eric Feldman, a former
longtime federal inspector general, said the U.S. government
pays more attention to the subcontractors than do local governments.
At the state and municipal
level, he said, there are often a
lot of powerful people involved
that influence lawmakers and
the decision-makers not to
provide or increase the level of
oversight.
TBeys owner, Tawanna Lofton, told The Dallas Morning
News that she was qualified for
the work and performed well.
She and her attorney declined
to respond to more questions
about the business and its record.
Lofton controlled several
businesses that used the name
TBey. The business that initially received most of the local
government contracts typically
was identified in public documents as TBey & Associates.

Facebook

TBey & Associates held its grand opening in DeSoto in May 2010, and owner Tawanna Lofton cut the ribbon with her
husband, Cecil. The small startup received millions as a government subcontractor.

The staffing industry has always been a target for negative reviews and comments from
unhappy clients/employees for various reasons that are often beyond the staffing firms
control.
Tawanna Lofton, owner of TBey & Associates

utive director of the certification agency and All Temps employee who died last year.
Cecil Lofton, who owned an
electronics business that won
government contracts, also was
a former chairman of the Black
Contractors Association.
Hay said in response to
emailed questions that All
Temps picked TBey because it
needed a minority firm that
could handle unskilled sanitation workers and TBey met the
requirement. He said TBeys
performance was satisfactory.
TBey also had allies in the
local governments that finance
the certification agency.
The Loftons used a connection at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, for example, to seek business there.
Their efforts paid off.
Airport staffers arranged a
meeting between TBey and
Bombardier Transportation, a
major airport vendor. But after
due diligence, Bombardier
told the Loftons in the spring of
2011that the company wouldnt
be using TBey as a subcontractor, partly because of its financial status, according to emails
The News obtained from the
airport after an open records
request.
Tawanna Lofton emailed
Guy Toliver, who worked in the
airports business diversity office and who served with Cecil
Lofton on the board of the
black contractors association.
In the email, she asked him
What is this based on?
Shortly afterward, Bombardier agreed to take on TBey as a
subcontractor.
Toliver did not return calls

seeking comment. A Bombardier representative at the airport declined to comment.


Airport spokesman David
Magaa said the airport does
sometimes arrange introductions for businesses but that
airport officials did not intercede on behalf of TBey.
Also at the airport, in late
2012, Abba Staffing & Consulting, a longtime labor contractor there, was having trouble
with one of its minority subcontractors. It selected TBey as
a replacement.
Abbas owner said in an
email to Tawanna Lofton that
Abba hired TBey as a subcontractor on the recommendation of key personnel within
DFW Airport. Abba did not
name those officials in the
email, which The News obtained from the airport.
Abba said in the email that
the decision also was based on
TBey being a runner-up bidder
on that contract and on TBeys
other experiences within
DFW. Other airport emails
given to The News did not shed
light on how TBey got the job.
Abbas owners declined to
comment.
Magaa said the airport
does not suggest or recommend that companies use a
particular business as a subcontractor. He said Abba had a
number of firms to choose from
and decided to pick TBey on its
own. He was unable to explain
why the email said what it did.
Abba is not the only company to say that a local government agency steered it toward
TBey.
Serge Wankombe, the own-

er of a temporary staffing agency called the Romulus Group,


said Dallas city officials told
him in a 2012 conversation, but
not in writing, that he had to
hire TBey after hed won a $13.5
million contract.
He did so and TBey stood to
earn $2.4 million from the
three-year contract, city documents show.
Wankombe declined to
name the officials in an interview with The News.
Wankombe said that last
year the city ended his contract
early, using a clause that allows
the city to do so for any reason
even though there was no
breach. That was shortly after
The News contacted city officials about Wankombes allegation that he was directed to use
TBey.
Wankombe said that was no
coincidence.
Wankombe said the certification agency still has not recertified Romulus as a minority
company despite his attempts
that began more than a year
ago. He said the agency keeps
losing his re-certification paperwork.
Mike Frosch, the citys purchasing director, said no one
with his office told Wankombe
to use TBey.
We dont do that, he said.
Im not going to force relationships. Its not my job.

TBeys quality of work


is questioned
Despite the opportunities,
TBey did not win high marks
from local governments.
On the Dallas sanitation

contract, an assistant city attorney wrote Hay in 2011 and said


All Temps breached its contract when TBey failed to obtain the required insurance.
That put the city at immense
risk after a TBey worker was
injured on the job and sued the
city for negligence, the letter
said.
The city threatened to end
the contract. The matter was
ultimately resolved, All Temps
said.
Dallas County elections officials said that TBey bungled its
job in 2012 as the as the sole
provider of temporary workers
for that department.
The assistant elections administrator wrote that TBey
didnt respond to employee
complaints. He said TBey had
high staff turnover and lacked
the ability to screen and train
its employees. TBey could not
provide bilingual employees
for a major election and
couldnt provide a diverse staff,
he wrote.
Other county elections employees said TBey failed to provide enough workers at times
and wasnt paying its workers
on time.
Still, county commissioners
extended TBeys contract.
Purchasing Director Shannon Brown said that if commissioners did not renew TBeys
contract, the elections department would have been without
a staffing vendor for the year.
She also said the county didnt
have a chance to talk with TBey
about those problems before
the contract renewal date.
Lofton, the TBey owner,
said she has payroll records to

Connections lead to
contracts
TBey wanted to become a
government contractor when it
officially was launched in 2010
out of a DeSoto office building.
It helped that its owners had
connections and friends in the
government and private sector.
Cecil Lofton, Tawannas
husband and TBeys vice president, had known All Temps
chief executive officer Ronald
L. Hay since 2002.
Cecil Lofton also had served
on the board of the influential
Black Contractors Association
with John Kelly, a former exec-

show her employees were paid


on time. She said she wasnt
aware the county had given
TBey poor reviews.
The staffing industry has
always been a target for negative reviews and comments
from unhappy clients/employees for various reasons that are
often beyond the staffing firms
control, she said.
The county has paid TBey
more than $400,000 since
2011, county records show.
At the airport, TBeys relationship with Abba, the prime
contractor, began to erode in
the spring of 2013, less than
four months after the two began working together, according to airport emails.
An Abba executive complained to Tawanna Lofton in
March 2013 about repeated
service failures. Abba complained that it had never been
under so much scrutiny by the
airport since it began working
with TBey, according to an
email from a TBey employee.
TBey employees started
complaining about not being
paid in April, according to
emails from airport officials to
each other and to Abba.
The airport worked with
Abba to contain the fallout. Abba agreed to pay TBeys temporary employees and keep them
working under its supervision.
Emails indicate that airport
officials sought to soften Abbas
criticism of TBey in a separation document.
As originally written, Abba
said it was seeking a different
subcontractor because TBey
wanted off the contract and because of TBeys default on payroll for two consecutive weeks.
Tamela Lee, vice president
of the airports business diversity and development office,
emailed Abbas owner to suggest saying their removal was
due to unforeseen circumstances regarding contractual
disagreements.
Abba deleted mention of
TBeys payroll problem.
Abbas owners declined to
comment. Magaa said the decision what to write is up to the
prime contractor.
There was a suggestion offered to clarify or more accurately explain the rationale, he
said.

TBeys financial woes


and tax troubles
Tawanna Lofton started another company, TBey Consulting Group, in September 2011,
and won some government
contracts, including one with
Tarrant County, records show.
In 2013, TBey notified Tarrant County that it had merged
with another firm, which could
not honor TBeys bill rate under
the contract. County commissioners gave the $70,000 job to
another firm and took TBey off
the vendor list for two years, records show.
There are also questions
about Loftons background.
She has written on TBeys website and LinkedIn that she
earned bachelors and masters
degrees in business from Radford University, which is in Virginia.
But the schools registrars
office said it had no record of
Lofton attending the school.
TBey also has run into tax
trouble. In July 2012, the firm
owed $374,995 in federal taxes, records show.
The Loftons said they sold
TBey to a company called
Chartwell Staffing Solutions in
March 2013.
But the Pennsylvania-based
staffing company said in court
documents that it decided not
to buy TBey after learning it
was financially unsound.
Still, Chartwell hired Tawanna Lofton but fired her
soon afterward for violating a
non-compete clause. Chartwell
alleged she used a different
company to seek government
contracts.
Tawanna Lofton and TBey
have sued Chartwell for breach
of contract. Chartwell has filed
a countersuit.

Ben Torres/Special Contributor

Serge Wankombe, owner of a temporary staffing agency called Romulus Group, said Dallas city officials told him he had
to hire TBey & Associates after hed won a $13.5 million contract. But a city official said the city doesnt do that.

kkrause@dallasnews.com;
etimms@dallasnews.com

The Dallas Morning News


Texas' Leading Newspaper

$3.00

DMN INVESTIGATES | CONTRACT WORKERS

Temps with criminal


pasts slip by county
Hiring practices of contractors to be examined
By ED TIMMS and
KEVIN KRAUSE
Staff Writers

Kelton Bivins came with a


slew of criminal charges when
he began as a temporary worker in Dallas Countys elections
department in January.
Three felonies for allegedly

firing five times into an occupied car after police said he


shot his cousin twice in the leg.
Two charges for beating his
girlfriend. Evading arrest. Bivins, 37, also was on probation
for a drug charge and served
See TEMPS Page 21A

Dallas, Texas, Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Dallas Morning News

dallasnews.com

DMN INVESTIGATES | CONTRACT WORKERS

II

Sunday, June 22, 2014

21A

Temps criminal pasts slip by county


Continued from Page 1A

time in the mid-1990s for theft.


But Dallas County officials
say they werent aware of Bivins past and the criminal records of several other temps
until learning about them from
The Dallas Morning News.
Contractors whove earned
millions supplying the county
with temporary employees are
required to do criminal background checks on their hires.
Top officials now say they
arent certain
thats happening.
County
Judge
Clay
Jenkins said
its unacceptable for contractors to asCLAY
sign employJENKINS
ees who have
cited the
criminal histosafety risk.
ries and put
our employees
and the public at risk.
Darryl Martin, the Commissioners Court administrator, said temp hiring practices
will be examined after learning of The News findings. And
we will make the appropriate
adjustments to ensure that all
employees in Dallas County
meet the same set of employee
standards, he said.
County supervisors often
know little about who shows up
when staffing contractors send
them temps. Thats even after a
temp using a false name once
stole $1,360 from the tax office.
The countys limited records
on temps also make it difficult
for anyone to find out. Officials
could not recall when, if ever, a
temporary worker contract
was audited.
We have to have individuals working for us who the
public can have trust in, said
human resources director Mattye Mauldin-Taylor. And we
dont want the police coming in
and putting handcuffs on people. It disrupts my work environment.
Several vendors who have
supplied temps said they conduct background checks. Two
firms called it an unintentional
mistake that some workers
slipped through.
Because of the countys reliance on temps, The News conducted its own background
checks into dozens assigned in
a variety of departments in recent years. It found:
A temp assigned to the
elections department was on
probation for felony theft. She
still is. She also had completed
probation for a misdemeanor
theft charge shortly after she
started her county assignment.
A temporary accounting
clerk worked in the countys
Health and Human Services
department while on probation for a public lewdness
charge.
Another accounting clerk
was working there not long after he finished probation for
felony theft for falsifying documents at the Hyatt Regency
Dallas to steal more than
$26,600.
A data entry clerk charged
with felony assault in the beating of her son was on probation
when she worked as a temp for
Health and Human Services.
Another data entry clerk
who worked on and off over
three years for HHS had outstanding traffic warrants dating back almost a decade. She
began in April as a clerk for the
district attorneys office.
And a nurse was assigned
to HHS as a temp about 18
months after being convicted
of misdemeanor theft. He was
accused of snatching $69 from
a restaurant cash register.
Such backgrounds might
derail an application for a fulltime county position. County
officials said that having a
criminal history would not automatically block a temps employment, but they at least
want to know about it.
Dallas County HHS Director Zachary Thompson, whose
department has spent the most
money on temps in recent
years, declined to comment.
He referred The News to a law-

File 2008/Staff Photo

County supervisors often know little about who shows up when staffing contractors send them temps. Thats even after
a temp using a false name once stole $1,360 from the tax office. Several contractors who have supplied temps said they
conduct background checks. Two firms called it an unintentional mistake that some workers slipped through.

yer representing the county,


and Martin, the county administrator, later issued a response
on his behalf.
Other county officials said
they were surprised to learn
about the criminal histories.
Mauldin-Taylor said a contractor is supposed to disclose a
temps criminal history to the
department head. It is then up
to the department head to decide whether to use the person.
Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole said she assumed that contractors vetted
their workers. She said shes
never been told about a temps
criminal history.
Theyre supposed to give us
that information, she said.
She said she
was disturbed
by Bivins felony background
and that hes
no
longer
TONI
working for
PIPPINSher.
POOLE
Attempts to
reach
him
were unsuccessful.
Mauldin-Taylor said Ad-AStaff, one of the countys staffing contractors, told her that
Bivins legal problems accidentally were overlooked. She said
Ad-A-Staff also told her that
other temps placed had no issues that would disqualify
them from employment under
the roughly $2.5 million contract awarded by the county
earlier this year.
Ad-A-Staff president Marie
Mumme said she was checking
with the companies that run
background checks on her
temps to find out how some
criminal histories could have
been missed. She said she uses
two companies because such
checks are not always accurate.
Mauldin-Taylor said the
county relies on the contractors
to do the backgrounding. That
was part of the contractual obligation for the temporary
staffing agencies, she said.
Some temps, like Bivins,
continued to work for the
county even when the contractors changed, a common practice in North Texas. Records
show Bivins worked for Chartwell Staffing Solutions in January. In June, Ad-A-Staff was
handling his time card.
Mauldin-Taylor said Ad-AStaff told her it didnt know
whether its employees were
screened for arrest warrants.
Such checks are routine for
county employees, she said.
Mauldin-Taylor said she
plans to meet with staffing con-

Temp workers legal troubles


Kelton Bivins had unresolved legal issues when he came to work for Dallas Countys
elections department as a temporary employee. Contractors are supposed to conduct
criminal checks, but his department head said she never knew about Bivins past. The
Dallas Morning News identified him and several other county temps with criminal
histories. Heres a look at Bivins background as detailed in police and court reports:
April 1994 Receives a deferred sentence for a misdemeanor evading detention charge.
August 1994 Deferred sentence is revoked. Sentenced to 90 days in jail.
September 1994 Gets deferred sentence on a felony theft charge.
May 1995 Probation on the theft charge is revoked and Bivins receives a 10-year sentence.
December 2006 Accused of hitting and kicking his girlfriend. Charged with misdemeanor
assault-family violence. The case is still pending.

April 2008 Charged with felony drug possession and a misdemeanor for evading arrest. The
evading arrest case is still pending.

Dec. 12, 2008 Receives a deferred nine-year sentence for the felony drug charge.
Dec. 14, 2008 Accused of attacking the same woman, by then his former girlfriend. Charged
with a second misdemeanor assault-family violence. The case is still pending.
May 6, 2010 Bivins is indicted on three counts of felony deadly conduct in connection with a
fight with his cousin. Bivins shot him twice in the left leg, according to police reports. When the
cousin ran toward a car, police say, Bivins kept firing, striking the vehicle at least five times.

May 13, 2010 Prosecutors seek to revoke Bivins deferred adjudication in the 2008 felony drug
case because of the shooting. Bivins attorney later contests the revocation motion. The case is
still pending.
April 2013 The Texas attorney generals office sues Bivins in Dallas County family court for
unpaid child support.
July 2013 Bivins is cited for a traffic offense and never paid the Dallas County fine, records
show. Such debts automatically disqualify people from working for the county.
Jan. 6, 2014 County records show that Bivins was assigned as a temp to the elections
department. County officials said last week that he no longer works there.
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research

Staff Graphic

due fines and fees.


They have to meet the
same standards. I cant afford
anything less than that, she
said. Theyre on my premises.
Theyre doing my work.
County auditor Virginia
Porter said her office doesnt
have a mechanism in place to
verify that temp employment
agencies are conducting the
critical reviews.

Little to go on
Kye R. Lee/Staff Photographer

We have to have individuals working for us who the public


can have trust in, said Dallas County human resources
director Mattye Mauldin-Taylor.

tractors to ensure they know


whats required. She said they
should be doing the same re-

views as the county does for its


job applicants. That includes
looking for warrants and over-

The News obtained county


records on contract-supplied
temps that often had little
more than a name. That made
it difficult and sometimes impossible to confirm the identities of many temps and determine whether they had crimi-

nal records.
For two temps, there was no
public record of a drivers license, a Texas address or any
other public record.
The most detailed record
typically available to county officials is a time card. It generally has the temps name, signature and often a Social Security
number. On some, names were
misspelled including a recent time card for Bivins. Signatures were omitted on others. The clerk in the DAs office
had submitted time cards under two last names over the
years.
Some computer records
used by the countys auditors
and its human resources department only list the temps
last name and do not show
where they work. As a result,
county officials may not know
how long temps have been on
the job, if they are related to a
county employee or if they have
a criminal background.
HHS typically pays for its
temps with state and federal
grant money. HHS does not
need budget office approval if
its spending grant money, officials said. Other departments
have limited money for temps
and must justify their use.
The health department was
authorized, for example, to pay
a staffing contractor $2.3 million in 2011. All but $56,500 of
that was grant money.

Case in point
That contractor was All
Temps 1 Personnel. It was the
largest beneficiary of county
contracts for temporary labor
over the past decade. It also
staffs the North Central Texas
Regional Certification Agency,
which certifies whether local
companies are owned by minorities or women.
The News found that several
of the employees provided by
All Temps to Dallas County had
criminal records.
The county has paid All
Temps more than $13 million
for supplying temporary workers since 2002. All Temps did
not bid on the current contract
for temps.
The News began looking at
the role of government temp
workers more than two years
ago. It found that the entire
staff of the taxpayer-funded
NCTRCA is supplied by All
Temps, which also bids on public contracts.
Gwen Wilson, an All Temps
executive, said her company
uses a private firm that maintains a criminal records database for background checks.
In one case, she said the
company was aware of the
criminal record found by The
News and that the county approved the hire. Another temp
got into trouble after she began
working for All Temps, Wilson
said. As for others, she said
there was no background
found at time of hire.
County officials had raised
concerns about another All
Temps employee in 2008.
That employee worked in
the tax office under a false
name and encountered problems on previous work assignments, unbeknownst to both
Dallas County and the Tax Office, according to a letter from
the district attorneys office to
All Temps.
The worker stole $1,360, according to the DAs office.
The letter said All Temps
failed to provide qualified
temporary agents and perform
adequate criminal background
checks. As a result, the DAs office alleged, the company
breached its contract.
The letter demanded that
All Temps reimburse the county and return the money it was
paid for temporary personnel
services that Dallas County
deems to be unsatisfactory.
All Temps CEO Ronald L.
Hay has told The News his
firms background search did
not reveal any negative information about this employee.
Wilson said the worker was
fired and Dallas County got
See AGENCIES Page 22A

22A

Sunday, June 22, 2014

II

DMN INVESTIGATES | CONTRACT WORKERS

File 2013/Staff Photo

A temporary accounting clerk was working at Dallas Countys Health and Human Services department not long after he
finished probation for felony theft for falsifying documents at the Hyatt Regency Dallas to steal more than $26,600.

Agencies say they check out temps


Continued from Page 21A

restitution. The crime was reported to the DA. The entire


issue was resolved to both parties satisfaction, she said.
Hay said in a recent statement that his company has a
record of exemplary service.
The companys reputation and
business ethics have always
been impeccable, he said.
Former Dallas County tax
assessor-collector David Childs
said he didnt recall the theft.
But he said he decided to stop
using temp agency workers for
other reasons before he left office at the end of 2008.

Good ones leave


Childs said his office hired
several who worked for a
month or two. And just as they
became knowledgeable and
skilled in the job, they would
leave after getting offered
something full time, he said.
The good ones left, he
said. And the ones who were
unmotivated and were just
kind of showing up to draw a
paycheck we ended up having
forever.
John Ames, the current tax

assessor-collector, said he
would never
be in favor of
using temps
provided by a
contractor.
JOHN
Ames
does
AMES, tax
hire tempoassessor,
rary and seadoesnt use
sonal workers,
temps.
but they are
county
employees. They go through a
county-mandated background
check. And theyre issued
county identification badges.
Temp agency workers typically
dont go through that process.
If somebody is going to
work in the tax office, because
it is such a sensitive position, I
want to know their background, Ames said. I want
them to be actual county employees, whether they are seasonal employees or part-time
employees or full time.
The sheriff and DAs offices
rely on contractors for background checks but sometimes
do their own if the temps are in
certain areas, said Debbie
Denmon, spokeswoman for
District Attorney Craig Watkins.

Denmon said the clerk assigned to the DAs office in


April had outstanding warrants and that the contractor
did not tell the county that.
The temp agency dropped
the ball, she said.
Dallas County has the right
to review the performance of
contractors that provide temporary labor. But the county
hasnt done so, said Porter, the
county auditor.
Her office periodically looks
at some of the countys top 100
vendors. It recently sent out an
internal control questionnaire to a temp agency in that
group, but she said its not a
full audit.

Employed for years


Some local government audits have recommended that
temporary employees be used
on a short-term basis. The
News found that some temp
agency employees appear to
have worked in county jobs for
years, mostly for the health department.
Jenkins said if temps are
used to fill long-term positions,
department heads should decide promptly whether to hire

them as county employees. The


reason, he said, is fairness to
the employees. Temps typically
earn less than county employees.
Unlike some other local
governments, the county does
not have a policy limiting how
long temporary agency employees can work. The countys
contract says all job assignments will be as needed.
The human resources department deals directly with
the temporary agencies when
workers are needed. But departments are supposed to
track how many hours they
work and certify time sheets,
Mauldin-Taylor said.
She said lengthy job assignments wouldnt necessarily be
inappropriate under the countys current policy, but it probably should prompt questions.
If youve employed them
for three to four years, then
why have you not hired them
on a permanent basis? Mauldin-Taylor said, adding she believes thats a legitimate business question that every business probably should ask.
etimms@dallasnews.com;
kkrause@dallasnews.com

dallasnews.com

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$3.00

TOP 100 PLACES


TO WORK

IMMEDIATE JEOPARDY

Few hospitals lose funding after warning

Its time for this years list


of the best employers in
Dallas-Fort Worth. There
were 82,031 responses to
this years survey, and
those workers determined which companies
made the cut and how they ranked. Plus:

They face short timetable,


but most are able to keep
Medicare certification

Meet the top three CEOs, chosen by D-FW workers.


Cheryl Hall says this years workers seem a little
restless compared with previous years.
Meet the 12 companies that have made our list all
six years of the competition.

By GARY JACOBSON
Staff Writer
gjacobson@dallasnews.com

For kidney dialysis, two Houston hospitals used machines that


had been recalled by the manu-

facturer.
The kitchen of a hospital in
southeast Texas was so unsanitary
that administrators quickly
agreed to close it and contract
with local restaurants.
A nursery assistant in El Paso
continued to feed and bathe newborns for weeks after showing
signs of active tuberculosis, potentially exposing hundreds of

babies to the disease.


These are among the serious
problems found at Texas hospitals
in the past year that prompted
immediate jeopardy findings.
Federal regulators say the term
signals a crisis situation that risks
the health and safety of patients.
One health care consultant likens
the finding to a near-death experience for the hospital.

TEXAS EDUCATION

While near-death may be an


exaggeration in most cases, immediate jeopardy is definitely a
wake-up call for administrators.
They have 23 days to fix the issues
or risk losing critical federal funding.
Last month, Baylor University
Medical Center, one of the largest
See JEOPARDY Page 25A

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Agents
hiding in
the open
Popularity of undercover work raises
concerns about abuses, entrapment
FROM WIRE REPORTS

Andy Jacobsohn/Staff Photographer

Karin Quinn of Frisco says her sons, sixth-grader Conor (left) and seventh-grader Quinn, report math instruction goes so fast that
they cannot grasp the stuff. Frisco ISD has acknowledged frustrations but says testing has found students are making progress.

More math problems or answers?

WASHINGTON The federal government


has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least
40 agencies posing as businesspeople, welfare
recipients, political protesters and even doctors
or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records
and interviews show.
At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse to look for suspicious activity, according to officials familiar
with the practice. At the Internal Revenue Service, dozens of undercover agents chase suspected tax evaders by posing as accountants or drug
dealers or yacht buyers, court records show.
Undercover work was once largely the domain of the FBI, but changes in policies and tactics over the last decade have resulted in undercover teams run by agencies in virtually every
corner of the federal government, according to
See GOVERNMENT Page 23A

By JEFFREY WEISS
Staff Writer
jweiss@dallasnews.com

Parents, teachers and local


school officials across Texas are
complaining that this years upgraded math standards are leaving too many students behind.
The outcry is not universal,
but it is widespread enough a
third of the way through the
school year that the State Board
of Education has added a discus-

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2014, The Dallas Morning News

Reports of kids struggling among


mixed reviews of revised standards
sion to this weeks agenda.
Count Frisco mom Kristen
Tripphahn among those hoping
for relief. Her son, a fifth-grader,
hadnt been used to struggling in
math. Until this year. She says the
school gave no warning that the
work would get a lot harder.

This is a train wreck, Tripphahn said.


The new standards were approved by the state board in 2012.
And this fall, district officials
across the state said theyd done
their best to get ready.
But now many say their plans

didnt pan out, said Johnny Veselka, executive director of the


Texas Association of School Administrators.
It appears that everything
they could do was not enough
and the amount of time they had
to prepare teachers was not sufficient, he said.
The early reviews are no worse
than mixed, said Monica MartiSee BOARD Page 17A

NATION

MINORITY- AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES

HealthCare.gov gets better start

Feds rip local agency


for certification denial

The health-insurance marketplace opened


Saturday and performed better than last
year. Some consumers, however, did report long delays using HealthCare.gov. 10A
Also: An advisers comments about the
health care law fuel calls for its repeal. 10A

ER clinics may wound your wallet

Reversal follows ruling


that it made unfair
demands of company

Customers who go to free-standing emergency rooms for treatment are receiving


sticker-shock bills, Watchdog warns. 1B

By KEVIN KRAUSE
and ED TIMMS

METRO

SPORTSDAY
As football dads, ex-Cowboys fret
Former Dallas Cowboys are not immune to
fear while watching their sons play football. 1C

Staff Writers

The federal government


has sternly rebuked a North
Texas agency that certifies
businesses owned by minorities and women for denying
certification to a temporary

AUSTIN

Perry aide
promoted
despite DWIs
Governor knew official had 3 alcohol
offenses, pressed DA to quit after 1
By CHRISTY HOPPE
Austin Bureau
choppe@dallasnews.com

staffing firm after making numerous unfair demands for


information from the company.
The U.S. Department of
Transportations office of civil
rights overturned the North
Central Texas Regional Certification Agencys decision and
strongly criticized it in a letter
for not knowing the law and
for using a process more akin

AUSTIN When Gov. Rick Perry tried to


force a district attorney from office for drunken
driving, he cited outrage at her behavior and a
loss of confidence in her ability to do the job.
But on his own staff, Perry has hired and promoted a top adviser with three intoxication offenses on his record.
Wayne Roberts, who now heads up the governors signature creation, the Cancer Prevention
and Research Institute of Texas, was convicted of
driving while intoxicated in 1990 and 2006. He
also was fined in 2000 on a charge of public intoxication in Virginia.
Perry made him budget director in December

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See PERRY Page 17A

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dallasnews.com

The Dallas Morning News

Feds rip local certification agency


to the executive director position.
Ronquillo also said at the
time that no agency board
members had placed any such
matters on the board agenda
for discussion and a vote or
raised an issue regarding government structure.

Continued from Page 1A

to a legal summons followed by


adversarial questioning. It ordered the agency last month to
certify Chartwell Staffing Solutions without delay.
Chartwell, a Pennsylvania
company with an office in Dallas, sought NCTRCA certification under a federal law designed to make it easier for a
business already certified in
one state to get certified elsewhere.
The agency denied Chartwells application to be certified
as a disadvantaged business
enterprise last year, and the
company appealed that decision. The government said the
agency ignored the interstate
certification rule which is
not optional in its entirety.
The federal governments
letter echoed the frustration of
some local contractors who
have criticized the agencys
handling of cases. The agency
has been under fire for over a
year and was the subject of a
Dallas Morning News investigation that found evidence of
questionable practices.
The News published a series
of articles earlier this year detailing problems with the agencys oversight and operations.
Some applicants have complained that the agency, directed for most of its existence by a
father and daughter, has been
sluggish and unhelpful. Many
said they had given up trying to
get certified.
Despite those problems, the
agency has resisted calls for
change, including recent recommendations from the Dallas
city manager for improved
oversight.
The agency asked Chartwell
for about 40 documents that
werent required and requested
information that the government called intrusive or offensive, such as proof of ethnicity
for five employees.
The purpose of the exercise
is to ascertain eligibility under
the applicable rules, not invent
requirements that cannot reasonably be satisfied, wrote
Samuel F. Brooks, an official in
the Transportation Departments civil rights office. He
added that the regional agencys processes seemed designed
to increase the likelihood of
failure, regardless of merit.
The agencys lawyer said he
was not involved in the matter
and declined to comment.

Staffing questions
For more than a decade, All
Temps 1 Personnel, a private
workforce supplier, has provided the certification agencys entire staff, from the executive director to the receptionist, at its
Arlington office, The News has
reported. All Temps staffers repeatedly have approved their
own company as a minorityowned business and passed
judgment on its rivals and potential rivals.
Chartwell is a potential
competitor of All Temps for local government contracts and
was in a heated business dispute with an All Temps subcontractor at the time of the
certification denial in June
2013.

Complaints of delays

File 2013/Staff Photo

To help reduce a certification backlog, previous boards of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency have
discussed requiring certification every two or three years instead of annually. But the schedule hasnt been changed.

Asked about the Chartwell


case, All Temps said that it had
no prior knowledge of it and
that it provides staffing to the
NCTRCA and does not get involved in agency business.
The Transportation Departments disadvantaged-business
certification is given to small
firms and those owned by
women and minorities. Getting
certified gives minority businesses an edge in competing for
government contracts worth
millions of dollars. Dallas
County government accepts
certifications only from the
NCTRCA.
All Temps previously has
defended its work and said its
longstanding ties to the certification agency pose no conflict
of interest.
After The News articles
were published, the agency rebid its staffing contract. All
Temps and four other firms
submitted bids. The agency
board is expected to award the
three-year contract to a New
Jersey company, according to
that company. A vote could
come this week.
A change in the contract
says the agencys new staffing
provider will no longer be able
to obtain certification or recertification from the agency, records show.
An attorney for the agency
said the contract change was
made to avoid any perception
of impropriety. He said no other changes were being considered.
The North Central Texas
Regional Certification Agency

was created more than 20 years


ago by the city of Dallas and
other local governments to
handle minority business certifications that once had been
their responsibility. Local governments have considerable influence over the agency. They
created it, finance it and select
nearly all of its board members.
Traditionally, much of the
agencys supervision has been
left to an executive director,
who is employed by All Temps
and who can make certification
decisions without board approval. Local government officials said they do not get involved in the day-to-day operations.

The Chartwell case


Chartwell sought North
Texas certification last year
when it opened an office in the
Dallas area and took steps to
acquire a company that had
been an All Temps subcontractor on a large city of Dallas job.
But the deal fell apart soon
after the merger agreement
was signed in 2013, and each
company sued the other for
breach of contract.
Chartwells bid for certification around that time did not
go well. The regional agency
asked Chartwell for a site visit
and interview, which is not required since the Pennsylvania
transportation
department
had already done so when it
certified the firm, Brooks, the
Transportation Department
civil rights official, said in his
letter. Interstate certification

is not intended as a series of doovers by subsequent jurisdictions, he said.


Some of the requested documents had nothing to do with
certification eligibility. For example, the regional agency
asked Chartwell for proof of office lease payments even
though a firm doesnt have to be
current on lease payments to be
certified, Brooks said.
And the agency questioned
who ran Chartwells Texas operations while its owner, a
woman, was living in Pennsylvania. However, there is no requirement that Chartwells
owner have exclusive authority
to sign contracts, Brooks said in
his letter, and the owner cannot
be in two offices at the same
time. The certification agency,
he said, overlooked the interstate certification rules intent
of helping minority firms gain
access to new markets.
In its appeal letter, Chartwell alleged undue burden,
unprofessionalism, abuse of
process, intimidation/adversarial tactics, irrelevance of certain information requests and
an apparent lack of impartiality.
Brooks said the record substantially supports the allegations.
He said the regional agency
had deprived Chartwell of due
process by, among other things,
failing to give it notice of its
right to respond to the certification denial. The agency also improperly refused to give Chartwell the materials on which it
based its decision, Brooks said.

Resisting change
Despite its problems, the
agency has resisted change
even from within.
To help reduce a certification backlog, previous boards
discussed increasing certification periods to two or three
years instead of requiring annual recertifications. But no
changes were made to the
schedule. The board did eventually approve a committee recommendation to stop processing new certifications for 20
days so the agency could get
caught up.
After The News reported in
March that other contractors
had concerns about the agencys oversight, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez said he had
similar concerns. He said the
city had recommended last
year that the agency have an executive director who would report only to the board and that
it recertify businesses every
other year instead of every year.
Its
imperative
that
NCTRCA hires a full-time director, Gonzalez told The
News. The director should not
have relationships with any
businesses seeking certification that cause ethical concerns.
Gonzalez said Dallas wants
to work with other local governments to make sure this
happens as soon as possible.
However, Marcos Ronquillo, an attorney for the agency,
told The News this summer that
the board believed there was
no need to make any changes

Some companies continue


to complain of long delays in
obtaining their certification.
The owner of a Lancaster
flooring business, for example,
protested in a 2013 letter to the
agency that she had decided
not to get recertified based on
multiple failures by your office
to complete tasks in a timely
manner. The letter was released by a local government
agency.
And Nena LaLumia, president of Atlas Contact Center
Staffing & Consulting in Addison, said her application for
certification from the agency
dragged on for a year and a half.
She said the agency kept telling
her that her file was pending.
And then nothing happens, she said several weeks
ago.
Until recently, when she
learned that her application
had been rejected. She said she
then applied to the Womens
Business Council Southwest
and was certified in less than
30 days.
LaLumia said she is concerned because the NCTRCA
and All Temps employees have
all of her business and personal
financial information. She said
that she has been in the staffing
business more than 20 years
and that her current firm was
incorporated in 2012. She said
she is the majority owner.
Other complaints against
the certification agency were
detailed in a 2010 racial-disparity study commissioned by
the North Central Texas Council of Governments on behalf of
six local public agencies, including Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
A minority female business
owner said the agency took six
months to certify her. Twice
they lost our addendums to our
application, she said.
A minority male business
owner said the delays are due to
all the paperwork the agency
requires.
If you put the amount of
hours together as a business
owner, it doesnt seem like its
even worth it, he said.
Its difficult to know the extent of the delays. Thats because of the agencys outdated
record-keeping systems, which
were exposed when The News
asked for copies of complaints.
Attorneys for the agency have
said that some of its records are
kept in a month-to-month
rent storage facility.
The agencys attorneys told
the Texas attorney general last
December that the NCTRCA
does not maintain electronic
records of complaints, if any,
that it may receive. Therefore,
the attorneys said, any search
for complaints would have to
be performed manually.
kkrause@dallasnews.com;
etimms@dallasnews.com

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL
This has been included to document the response to the NCTRCA
investigation and is not part of the official entry. )

Metro

ON THE FRONT PAGE

Parents say no to STAAR testing


STAAR testing starts next week, and one Waco couple is trying to
opt out, sending a letter to the school, posting it online and drawing
the attention of organizations that oppose high-stakes testing.

The Dallas Morning News

Section B

Save Our Public Schools


needs to slow down a bit

s it time for Save Our


Public Schools to recalibrate its timetable to
turn the Dallas ISD into a
home-rule district?
The home-rule train,
barely running on schedule
now, is quickly veering off
track, with grassroots organizations and teacher groups
stepping up their opposition
and raising pointed questions.
The process, which already felt rushed and heavyhanded, is facing another,
more daunting obstacle: It
has quickly become as emotionally charged and politi-

EDUCATION

JAMES RAGLAND
jragland@dallasnews.com

cally divisive as the fight to


reconfigure the Dallas City
Council more than two decades ago.
Mayor Mike Rawlings
better keep his running
shoes on if he plans to bolt
from more community
meetings that turn ugly and
contentious.

Heck, he may want to stay


in the car.
Rawlings certainly cant
let this become a political
blind spot for him. He had a
good thing going, you know.
But for whatever reason,
Rawlings and the other folks
pushing this home-rule idea
cant seem to grasp why
people dont want to hurry
this thing along.
They seem to be stiffarming folks even those
sitting on the fence who
say, Were willing to take a
hard look at this, but we
See WHY Page 4B

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


EDUCATION

Coalition opposes
DISD home rule
Minorities, teachers call
plan a power grab to
control district budget
By MATTHEW HAAG
Staff Writer
mhaag@dallasnews.com

A dozen Dallas leaders united Tuesday to oppose making


Dallas ISD a home-rule school
district, contending it could
dismantle teacher rights, disenfranchise voters and out-

source education to charter operators.


The coalition of representatives for blacks and Hispanics,
teachers and administrators,
along with two DISD trustees
and a state education board
member, described a dystopia
under home rule. Their description is in stark contrast to
the rosy picture portrayed by
the group leading the effort,
Support Our Public Schools.
They called the home-rule

initiative a power grab to replace the school board with


handpicked members who
would control Dallas ISDs $1.2
billion annual budget. They
said leaders of Support Our
Public Schools are disingenuous, hiding the real reason for
the effort.
I call this group SOPS, as in
sopping up, as opposed to
supporting our schools,
See COALITION Page 4B

UPDATE |

VICTORY PARK

DALLAS COUNTY
MONDAY

TUESDAY

Transportation

Education

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

Update

Public safety

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

The Watchdog

Hot Topic

SUNDAY

Neighborhoods

Minority
contracts
at issue
Photos by G.J. McCarthy/Staff Photographer

A Dallas police officer lobbed tear gas canisters into a unit of The Vista Apartments, where a man
held police at bay Tuesday. The incident led to the lockdown of nearby buildings.

An officer walks along Victory Plaza


Lane during the standoff. As of late
Tuesday, police were trying to determine whether the man captured in the
fifth-floor unit would be charged.

Standoff ends without injuries


Police detain man who shot
out apartment window, take
him for mental evaluation
By TRISTAN HALLMAN
and CHRISTINA ROSALES
Staff Writers

Dallas police put the Victory Park


area on lockdown for nearly three
hours Tuesday while engaged in a
standoff with a man who shot out his

INSIDE
Suspension over,
minister says

DART arrives at
D/FW on Aug. 18

Baylor accused of protecting


a neurosurgeon whose
patients died or were maimed
Staff Writer
dswanson@dallasnews.com

Ratcliffe picks up
key endorsements
John Ratcliffe has
grabbed the endorsement of two Washington
conservative groups in his
primary runoff with Rep.
Ralph Hall. 9B

ALSO
Cedar Hill ISD names
superintendent finalist. 5B
Trial starts for woman
accused of running over
pregnant cousin. 7B

INSIDE
2-3
5
6-7
10

The Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano, accused of protecting a


neurosurgeon who allegedly killed and
maimed patients, gained an ally this
week in Texas Attorney General Greg

Abbott.
Abbott filed motions to intervene in
three separate federal
court suits brought
against Baylor Plano
by former patients of
GREG
Dr.
Christopher
ABBOTT
Duntsch. They have
alleged that Baylor
knew Duntsch was a dangerous physician but did not stop him from performing back surgery.

Staff Writers

The suits challenge


the constitutionality of
a state law that requires the plaintiffs to
prove that Baylor acted with actual intent
to harm patients. AbCHRISTOPHER bott seeks court perDUNTSCH
mission to defend the
statute.
If Abbotts position is upheld, the
See ABBOTT Page 9B

See MINORITY Page 8B

side of Woodall Rodgers Freeway.


But after all the trouble, investigators were still trying to determine late
Tuesday whether to charge the man,
who was receiving a psychological
evaluation at a local facility. They had
not recovered a gun yet, either.
Police didnt release the mans
name, but neighbors and other news
accounts identified him as David ArSee POLICE Page 8B

Abbott sides with hospital in lawsuit


By DOUG J. SWANSON

DART will begin running


light-rail trains to Dallas/
Fort Worth Airport on
Aug. 18. 8B

. . . . . . . .

You have somebody in an elevated


position that you dont know what
their intent is when you get there, he
said.
The apartment building is within
a stones throw of the Perot Museum
of Nature and Science and the W Hotel. Police locked down those two
buildings, as well as the Dallas World
Aquarium and Booker T. Washington
High School for the Performing and
Visual Arts, which are on the other

By KEVIN KRAUSE
and ED TIMMS

The lone agency that certifies minority businesses for Dallas County
came under fire Tuesday from county
commissioners, who questioned its
management and oversight while
considering whether to allow other
entities to provide such certification.
County Judge Clay Jenkins wants
to know whether the county should
allow other organizations in addition
to the North Central Texas Regional
Certification Agency to certify businesses seeking county work. He said
doing so would give those firms more
opportunities to do business with the
county.
Ultimately, however, commissioners decided to have staff members study the matter for a couple of
weeks before deciding whether to
make changes. Some commissioners
said they should wait for the conclusion of a racial-disparity study being
done by a county consultant.
Ironically, that was the same reason commissioners gave in September 2011for delaying any action when
Commissioners Court Administrator Darryl Martin proposed identical
changes for the minority certification process.
The suggested change comes after The Dallas Morning News reported earlier this month that the county
currently accepts certification only

PLANO

The Rev. Bill McElvaney of


the United Methodist
Church says that he believes his suspension for
conducting a same-sex
wedding is over. 7B

County roundup
Norma Adams-Wade
Obituaries
Weather

fifth-floor apartment window.


SWAT officers used tear gas to end
the standoff without injuries shortly
before 1 p.m., but the incident shook
some residents of The Vista Apartments in the 2300 block of North
Houston Street. Police had saturated
the downtown area and blocked off
streets starting about 10 a.m. because
of the dangers of an active shooter in a
highly populated area, Deputy Chief
Scott Walton said.

Commissioners fault
certification agency but
hold off on making changes

TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Panel to end EPA standoff, vote on greenhouse gas permits


By RANDY LEE LOFTIS
Environmental Writer
rloftis@dallasnews.com

Texas regulators are to vote


Wednesday on issuing greenhouse gas permits to new or expanding industries something they loudly refused to do
three years ago.
Some plants are in North
Texas. The Texas Commission
on Environmental Quality is

taking over the permits from the


Environmental
Protection
Agency. The EPA has issued
them in Texas since 2011.
Permits cover power plants,
refineries and some other industries. They apply to new
greenhouse gas emissions equal
to 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The TCEQ is following orders. In 2013, the Legislature

voted to end a standoff over


greenhouse gas permits.
The EPA launched the permits in 2010. Texas refused to
join in as part of a broader resistance to controlling globalwarming-related emissions.
The strategy threatened to
impede industries by forcing
them to go straight to the EPA,
which has few permit reviewers.
It also required two permits

per plant: an EPA greenhouse


permit and a TCEQ permit for
all other pollutants.
The EPA said Texas companies deserved one-stop permits.
The Legislature agreed. TCEQ
commissioners will vote in Austin. Voting no would represent
a failure to implement legislative directive, agenda backup
material says.
Since 2011, 83 Texas plants

have sought permits.


One is ExTex LaPorte L.P.s
Mountain Creek natural-gas
power plant in Dallas County.
Others are Southern Powers
Trinidad natural-gas power
plant in Henderson County and
Targa Gas Processing LLCs
Longhorn plant in Wise County.
Follow Randy Lee Loftis on
Twitter at @RandyLeeLoftis.

8B

REGION

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

dallasnews.com

The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT

D/FW rail station opening set for Aug. 18


Light-rail connection to
provide seamless access
to airport, officials say
By BRANDON FORMBY
Transportation Writer
bformby@dallasnews.com

Dallas Area Rapid Transit


will begin running light-rail
trains to its new station at Dallas/Fort Worth International
Airport on Aug. 18, officials announced Tuesday.
The station will directly
connect DARTs Orange Line
to Gate A10 of the airport.
Local officials herald the
station opening as a watershed

moment in North Texas transportation. They say it will provide seamless access from
DARTs 13 member cities to the
world.
It really connects people
and places beyond what we ever thought about, said Gary
Thomas, DARTs president
and executive director.
For locals, it promises to
provide an alternative beyond
driving, taking a cab or booking a shuttle to get to D/FW.
In real terms, its symbolic
of what DART represents,
which is regional connectivity,
said Harry LaRosiliere, mayor
of Plano where the Orange

Line originates.
The station is a short, outside walk from the airports A10
entrance. Travelers flying out of
Terminal A can check in once
inside and then go through security.
Travelers flying out of other
terminals have two choices
once they get off the train.
Those checking bags can catch
an airport shuttle to other terminals outside the A10 entrance. Those with carry-on
bags only can check in for their
flight inside the entrance, go
through security and then take
the airports SkyLink to their
terminal.

A trip from the airport to


the West End Station will take
about 50 minutes. The airport
station will be the last stop on
the Orange Line, which runs
from Plano through downtown
Dallas and Irving.
This is something weve
waited on a long time, said
John Crawford, president and
CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc.
Crawford and many other
area leaders say the station will
help make downtown a more
attractive place to live. About
200 people lived downtown in
1996, the same year DART
opened its first 14 stations on 11
miles of track.

Now downtown is home to


about 8,000 people, with
5,000 new residential units in
the works. The Orange Line
completion will give DART its
62nd station on what will be a
90-mile light-rail network.
The airport station is also
seen as giving Dallas another
tool to lure companies to relocate and conventions to take
place here.
As I see it, it creates more
good news for downtown,
Crawford said.
An airport station has been
in the works since DART was
created in 1983. Most recent
plans called for the station to

open by Dec. 31. DART announced earlier this year that it


planned to open earlier than
that, but didnt give an exact
date until Tuesday.
Many see the station as a final hurdle in Dallas being able
to call itself a legitimate international city. Airport spokesman David Magana said most
major European and Asian airports have trains connecting
their airports to their city centers.
It puts us on a very good list
of airports to be on, he said.
Follow Brandon Formby on
Twitter at @brandonformby.

DALLAS COUNTY

Minimum
wage hike
proposed
Jenkins urges paying
contract workers at
least $10.25 an hour
By MATTHEW WATKINS
Staff Writer
mwatkins@dallasnews.com

Lara Solt/Staff Photographer

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner John Wiley Price discuss allowing entities besides the North Texas
Regional Certification Agency to also certify businesses as minority-owned.

Minority certification at issue


Continued from Page 1B

from the NCTRCA, an entity


that has faced criticism for sluggishness and other inefficiencies.
Martin said the $500,000
disparity study will be completed in about six months. He said
the consultant, Californiabased Colette Holt & Associates, has advised the county not
to make any changes until that
time.
Martin said any changes to
county policy should affect future contracts only.
Commissioner Mike Cantrell, the only Republican on the
court, said he had concerns
about the NCTRCA and would
support pulling out as a member entity. If not, the agency
needs more transparency, he
said.
Im not sure the best governing structure was put in
place to manage an operation
like that, he said. They ought
to have a full-time manager.
You can call it an executive director but they need somebody there who can be accountable.
The NCTRCA from the
executive director to receptionist is staffed entirely by All
Temps 1 Personnel, a private

Is there a legal reason why we cant join the


city of Dallas and others in having more than
one certifying authority before we have a
disparity study? It seems to me to benefit
minority businesses if we give them more
avenues to get certified.
Clay Jenkins, Dallas County judge

temporary staffing firm. The


agency is funded chiefly by local
governments. Most of its board
members are employees of the
local governments that appoint
them. But day-to-day operations and oversight of the agency
are left to All Temps employees.
Martin said that if the county
is going to stay with the
NCTRCA, he would want to sit
down with its attorney and the
district attorneys office and figure out what their processes are
going to be in the future and
whether they are looking at
changing structure.
The question is, Whos in
charge over there? Cantrell
said.
Martin said he would like the
answer to that.
Jenkins said its time-consuming for businesses to get certified. He said that he didnt
want companies that have al-

ready obtained certification to


do business with other government entities to also have to obtain NCTRCA certification in
order to bid on a county contract. If the county accepted certification from more agencies, it
would save those businesses a
lot of time and effort, he said.
Is there a legal reason why
we cant join the city of Dallas
and others in having more than
one certifying authority before
we have a disparity study? Jenkins asked. It seems to me to
benefit minority businesses if
we give them more avenues to
get certified.
Commissioner Elba Garcia
said she wanted to know the
structure and track record of the
other certification agencies. She
said she also wanted to make
sure any decision wouldnt affect
current projects or bids or expose the county to legal issues.

Commissioner John Wiley


Price agreed, saying, Weve got
things in the pipeline.
Price also raised questions
about certification as a HUB, a
historically underutilized business owned by a minority group
member, woman or disabled
veteran residing in Texas. That
certification, which the state
comptroller provides at no
charge and which is good for
four years, can give those firms
an edge when bidding on state
contracts.
Price suggested that a firm
with a HUB certification today
might not even be around four
years down the road.
Commissioner
Theresa
Daniel said she favored delaying
any change to the current policy.
What would be the harm of
waiting until we get the results
of the disparity study so that we
get a clear picture? she asked.
Purchasing director Shannon Brown said she would like
some time to educate the vendors as to what those new certifications are.
I certainly think it will help
expand the vendors that can
come forward, Brown said.
And I think that is a good thing.
kkrause@dallasnews.com;
etimms@dallasnews.com

Dallas County Judge


Clay Jenkins on Tuesday
proposed raising the minimum wage for private employees who do contract
work for the county.
Full-time contract workers who handle janitorial
duties, security and other
labor would be paid at least
$10.25 per hour under Jenkins plan. Many of those
employees are currently
paid at or slightly above the
federal minimum wage,
$7.25 per hour.
We all do better when
we all do better and everyone gets a chance to get
ahead, Jenkins said. And
when you are making $8 an
hour cleaning out a toilet,
you dont have as much of a
chance to get ahead.
County officials said they
didnt immediately know
how many workers would
be affected.
The idea mirrors a rule
issued by President Barack
Obama earlier this year for
federal contract workers.
But a local policy may be
more difficult to implement. No vote was taken
Tuesday, but some members of the Commissioners
Court expressed skepticism.
The courts lone Republican, Mike Cantrell, argued
it was a case of government
interference.
What you are trying to
do is dictate to private enterprises how they are going
to run their business he
said. Raising the salaries of
low-paid workers, he added, could mean contractors
would also have to pay managers more.

You are going to see our


bids go way up across the
board, he said.
Democrats John Wiley
Price and Elba Garcia expressed concern that Jenkins proposal could make it
harder for the county to
handle future financial burdens.
I would like to see the
details of any proposal before it goes forward, Garcia
said. We need to look at the
numbers to see what the
cost will be.
Shannon Brown, the
county purchasing agent,
gave a rough preliminary
estimate that the policy
change
would
cost
$500,000 a year. But she
said a more detailed analysis is needed.
Jenkins, a Democrat,
raised the idea during a
routine vote on a contract
for janitorial services at a
county building. The contract was approved, but he
abstained because the contractor planned to hire a
full-time janitor at $8 per
hour, or about $16,000 a
year, with no medical benefits.
Paying workers a living
wage has been a focus for
Jenkins. At his urging, the
court voted last month to
eliminate the countys two
lowest pay grades, which
had starting hourly rates
under $9. The vote was
largely symbolic, since no
employees were in those
bottom pay grades.
Jenkins acknowledged
that implementing his latest suggestion presents
greater challenges. But he
said he was confident
something could be worked
out.
I dont think it is unreasonable to say that as a
county government, we
want our citizens to get a
living wage, he said.

Police standoff in Victory Park ends with no one injured


Continued from Page 1B

nold Lamb, 38. He was arrested


on a DWI charge in 2012, but
has no prior violent criminal
history. A neighbor said Lamb
lives at the building, but it was
unclear whether anyone else
lived in the apartment with him.
Walton said police also
havent determined a motive.
Initial reports said that the man
fired a weapon as authorities attempted to evict him, but a police spokesman later denied
that.

We knew he was under distress, but I dont want to speculate on what caused him to take
the actions that he did, Walton
said at a news conference later
Tuesday.
Marc Lipscomb, who also
lives on the fifth floor at The Vista, said he didnt know Lamb. He
rushed from a downtown law
firm where he works to the Perot
Museum parking lot after the
apartment complex sent out an
email about the shooting.
I was really shocked and obviously very rattled because its a

really safe building, Lipscomb


said.
He said his wife looked outside the door at their apartment
and saw four officers with guns
drawn, trying to negotiate with
someone in an apartment down
the hall. She dead-bolted the
door and texted him while he
watched police set off a tear gas
canister.
Reuben Reynoso also rushed
back to the apartments because
his 25-year-old sister was staying there. She told him there
were shots fired and some kind

of glass breaking.
Its one of those surreal situations, Reynoso said.
He said he isnt sure his sister,
who is moving to Dallas, will feel
safe at the apartment anymore.
I told my sister, As soon as
we can, well get you out of
there, he said.
But life carried on as usual at
the Perot Museum, parents and
teachers said. An estimated
2,000 people, many of them
youngsters on field trips, were
trapped inside the building during the standoff.

I have to say the Perot handled it beautifully, said Kim Arnold, who was a chaperon for her
sons class. They told one adult
about the situation and that was
it. That way, we can share the
news with our group the way we
wanted to.
Once the standoff was over,
busloads of elementary students
from Dallas and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD were free to leave the
museum and did so under the
watchful gaze of police officers.
Many of the students wiggled
and yelled for their buses.

Arnold said most of the students at the museum had no idea


what was happening just a few
yards away. Their lunch was
stuck on the bus during the
standoff, so museum staff passed
out lemonade and snacks for the
groups.
I wasn't worried at all, Arnold said. I'm just grateful that
we weren't here all day and that I
can pick up my other child on
time.
thallman@dallasnews.com;
crosales@dallasnews.com

18A

The Dallas Morning News


Established October 1, 1885

Publishers

James M. Moroney III


Publisher and Chief Executive Officer

George Bannerman Dealey 1885-1940

Robert W. Mong Jr.


Editor

E.M. (Ted) Dealey 1940-1960


Joe M. Dealey 1960-1980

George Rodrigue
Vice President, Managing Editor

James M. Moroney Jr. 1980-1985


John A. Rector Jr. 1985-1986

Keven Ann Willey


Vice President, Editorial Page Editor

Burl Osborne 1986-2001

Saturday, March 29, 2014

EDITORIAL

Hits and Misses


Slam-dunk
Sometimes something as simple as a new basketball floor can inspire a youngster.
This week, the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation, named for a victim of the Sept. 11attacks,
and NCAA Team Works dedicated a new basketball court at the Exline Recreation Center in South Dallas. The court includes six new basketball goals, refinished hardwood floors, NCAA and Big 12 logos and an electronic scoreboard. Its the seventh court
the two organizations have renovated in gyms across the country in Final Four host sites. What a
great job giving kids a place to go.

Perry right on Tesla


Its not easy to buy a Tesla in Texas, even though theres
growing interest in the electric car companys products.
Gov. Rick Perry was right to advocate this week to allow
Tesla to sell directly to customers in Texas. Old laws designed to protect politically powerful car dealers prevent that. Perry wants an exemption for the company,
in large part because he wants the state to compete for
a Tesla plant. Hes right to try to give Texas the best
chance to compete for the jobs and to give consumers more choices.

Clear Channel steps up to help DISD expand pre-K numbers


It stands to reason that a solid, creative pre-kindergarten program gives children, especially those
from impoverished backgrounds, a serious boost as they enter their mandatory schooling years.
Nor is it in dispute that far fewer parents are enrolling their Dallas-district children than are eligible. Thats why a donation from Clear Channel Outdoor, the billboard people, is so important. It
will allow DISD to publicize its April 7-11 pre-K registration period as part of a wider effort to get
the word out to more eligible parents. After that, Clear Channel will let DISD use that billboard
space to highlight other initiatives, including honoring outstanding teachers and students. Good
work all around.

Ending an era
Weve urged more times than we can recall for Rep. Ralph Hall to step aside in favor of a fresh voice
representing the 4th Congressional District. Now, two national conservative groups, Club for
Growth and the Madison Project, agree. They are publicly backing Republican challenger John
Ratcliffes bid to unseat the 17-term incumbent. At 90, Hall is the oldest member of Congress,
which is no longer a badge of honor. Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney and mayor of Heath, gives district voters a chance to break from the past. They should seize it.

Exploring new dimensions


Hats off to SMUs Meadows Museum for pioneering ways that
sight-impaired people can explore the museums art. Its a multisensory approach that includes narration of the elements the
artist put in a painting (hold the interpretation, please). It includes the chance to feel objects depicted (a pipe, say, or a walking stick). Scent or sound might even be in the mix (a Gregorian
chant, to set the mood). It adds up to the inexplicable ways to
enjoy a painting without laying eyes on it.

Tough action to back tough talk


Pope Francis called the Catholic Churchs sexual abuse scandals the shame of the church, an admonition that no caring person would dispute. Hes doing more than denouncing it, however. The
pontiff appointed a panel of clergy and laypeople from eight countries to advise on ways to protect
children, identify and punish abusers, and train church personnel. The panel wont right past
wrongs, but we hope it delivers strong safeguards to hold the church accountable and protect children.

This foot isnt being dragged, its getting buried


The North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, which exclusively certifies minority- and woman-owned businesses in Dallas County, has serious issues
with transparency and oversight. The public agency is effectively run by a private
company, All Temps, which raises questions about influence and favoritism. Youd
think the Commissioners Court would be quick to act on such concerns. Instead, commissioners
met Tuesday and decided to wait. After discussing the possibility of simply opening up certification to include other agencies such as the state comptrollers office, which provides four-year certifications for free commissioners cited a long-awaited racial-disparity study as an excuse to stall
any action, asking staff to study the matter further and perhaps wait six months for the study. That
study was first proposed in 2011 the last time opening up the certification process was discussed.

Price sours Parkland chiefs entry


When Parklands new chief executive, Dr. Fred Cerise, came to town, he
did the right thing by holding a series of community forums. His reward
from County Commissioner John Wiley Price? A racially tinged backhanded welcome to town. At Friendship West Baptist Church, Price
made it clear he was sorry Parkland hadnt hired a black or Hispanic
CEO. No reflection on Dr. Cerise, who is white, Price said. No, the comment wasnt a reflection on Cerise, so much as it was on Price. Parkland
has serious issues to resolve that affect minorities deeply. Putting down
the new chief because of his race was a low blow that helps no one.

Abbott errs by defending Baylor-Plano hospital in negligence case


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has discretion when it comes to taking sides in controversial
cases. He made a bad decision in coming to the defense of Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano
as it faces three lawsuits in federal court for allowing a neurosurgeon to operate despite allegations
the doctor had maimed patients. Baylor invoked a Texas law, now under challenge, that requires
plaintiffs to prove that the hospital intentionally inflicted harm when it allowed neurosurgeon
Christopher Duntsch to conduct surgeries. Abbott didnt need to intervene but chose to, disregarding the many opportunities Baylor had to yank the doctors privileges as documented complaints
against him mounted.

CORRECTION: An editorial in Fridays paper inaccurately described the maximum percentage retailers can keep of the planned 5-cent plastic bag fee. Retailers can keep 10 percent of the fee under the new
law.

Metro

INSIDE

Dallas officers fired


Dallas police commanders fired three
officers including one for allegedly
using excessive force. 7B

The Dallas Morning News

Section B

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FRISCO

TRANSPORTATION

City keeps on-demand


transit, adds services

Kirk to be adviser to
bullet train developer

Area extended into


Denton County; some
Plano rides allowed
By VALERIE
WIGGLESWORTH
Staff Writer
vwigglesworth@dallasnews.com

On-demand transit service


will continue in Frisco after
grant funding ran out and the
city decided to step up and pay
the cost.
The contract the city approved last week with TAPS

Public Transit contains two


new features.
TAPS will now be able to
serve residents in the Denton
County part of Frisco. Service
through TAPS was previously
limited to residents in the Collin County part of Frisco.
Also, drivers will transport
disabled or elderly Frisco residents to destinations in Plano.
This contract provision is available only to Frisco residents
who qualify. Qualifying takes
about two weeks, officials said.
Those who dont qualify for

this Plano service may use the


commuter shuttle, which connects riders to the DART network through Planos Parker
Road Station.
Friscos 12-month contract
with TAPS for the on-demand
shared-ride service costs
$150,000 and goes into effect
Monday. It gives the city time to
evaluate other transit options
and decide what might be best
for the long term, officials said.
We believe that the service
See FRISCO Page 4B

EDUCATION

Ex-mayor to help rail


company with effort to
link Dallas, Houston
By BRANDON FORMBY
Transportation Writer
bformby@dallasnews.com

Texas Central Railway is


turning to a familiar and influential North Texan in its bid to
connect Dallas and Houston
with a high-speed rail line.
Former Dallas mayor and

first experienced bullet trains


while traveling as a politican.
Ive always envied that
transportation alternative, particularly in Europe and Asia, he
said.
Kirk said he was drawn to
the project because it is infrastructure that will create jobs,
support economic growth in
the metropolitan areas it serves
and is environmentally friendli-

U.S trade representative


Ron
Kirk
joined the private firm Monday as a senior
adviser. The
RON KIRK
move comes almost two years
after Kirk left President Barack
Obamas Cabinet and returned
to practicing law. Kirk, who will
remain senior of counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, said he

See KIRK Page 7B

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS CHARITIES

| MCKINNEY ISD
MONDAY

TUESDAY

Transportation

Education

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

Update

Public safety

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

The Watchdog

Hot Topic

SUNDAY

Neighborhoods

District
veteran to
take reins
New superintendent has
experience in the classroom
and on the front lines
By JULIETA CHIQUILLO
Staff Writer
jchiquillo@dallasnews.com

The man who will become the new


superintendent of McKinney ISD is already well known to many families in
the district.
Rick McDaniel a 27-year veteran
of public education led McKinney
Boyd High School for eight years. In
February, he became
assistant superintendent for student services.
It was his close
connection to students and experience
RICK MCDA- on the front lines that
earned him the job,
NIEL has
said school board
been a
President Amy Danteacher,
kel.
coach and
For a lot of superadministraintendent
candidates
tor over the
and
superintendents,
years.
its just been so long
since they actually had daily contact
with the students, Dankel said. We
really felt it was important.
McDaniel will replace J.D. Kennedy, who will retire in December. He
praised Kennedys leadership and said
the district of 24,565 students will keep
moving down the same path.
I think we have room for some definite improvement, but our mission
and vision will remain the same,
McDaniel said.
The McKinney ISD board of trustees picked McDaniel as the lone finalist
for superintendent at a meeting Nov. 11.
State law requires a waiting period of
21days for the hire to become official.
The district reviewed a pool of
about 100 applicants, which the school
board narrowed to 32 candidates.
Trustees took into account feedback
from focus groups, which asked for a
leader who would stay in the job for a
while, Dankel said.
Both Kennedy and his predecessor,
Tom Crowe, announced retirement
plans after five years at the helm.

Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer

Edward Price (left) tells Ruth Horrell what clothing he needs as she types it into a tracking database at Our Calling resource center in East
Dallas. To foster relationships, the nonprofit uses an app to track encounters with clients.

Beacon for homeless


By ANANDA BOARDMAN
NeighborsGo
aboardman@neighborsgo.com

Deanna Hamilton visited for the food and clothing,


but she went back to Our
Calling for the faith and fellowship offered alongside it.
A friend of mine had
brought me up here about a
year and a half ago, said
Hamilton, 52. At first it was
just for the coffee and the
clothes, and stuff like that,
but as I kept coming back,
and watching the other
members interact with people and talk to them about
God and stuff, I wanted to
be a part of it.
The East Dallas non-

Questions had been


raised over efficiency
of secretive group
Staff Writers

. . . . . . . .

2-3
6-7
8

able for those that are not in


shelters, and thats what our
primary target is, Walker
said.
The organization started
about 13 years ago, he said.
It became a nonprofit in
2009. Our Calling is one of
25 agencies receiving funds
from The Dallas Morning
News Charities this year.
Before that, we were
just kind of a grassroots
group of volunteers, Walker said. We started this to

See CENTER Page 5B

Total collected

$310,000
Send your check or money
order payable to:
The Dallas Morning News
Charities
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
Dallas, Texas 75225-8146
Phone: 214-346-5546
Make credit card donations at
dmncharities.com
Follow the campaign on
Twitter at @DMNcharities
or on Facebook at
facebook.com/DMNcharities.

New staffing firm to run show at certification agency


By KEVIN KRAUSE
and ED TIMMS

County by County
Obituaries
Weather

profit offers resources to


homeless people in Dallas,
but it is not a shelter. While
it is a faith-based organization, it is not tied to any one
denomination, said Wayne
Walker, executive director
and pastor.
We kind of started as a
homeless ministry of a
church or a bunch of
churches that got together.
Even if you look around today in Dallas, theres not a
whole lot of resources avail-

recognize that those who


had the greatest need didnt
have access to the services
they need. We started out
just crawling under the
bridges, and we still do a lot
of that.
Walker said their numbers show that for every
homeless person in a shelter in Dallas, there are four
more people sleeping outside.
Theres about 2,000
shelter beds in Dallas, so
theres a lot more people
that are sleeping outside every single night, he said.
Our Callings resource

MINORITY- AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES

See NEW Page 7B

INSIDE

Center persistent about


providing basics, care

The Dallas Morning News is


collecting money through Jan.
31 for distribution to 25
agencies that help the hungry
and homeless in North Texas.
Charities will receive 100
percent of all donations.

For the first time in years,


a different staffing company
will soon take over the daily
operations of a troubled

North Texas agency that


certifies minority- and
women-owned businesses.
The North Central Texas
Regional
Certification
Agency has faced questions
in recent years about its
performance and efficiency
while attempting to keep its
records from the public. For
more than a decade, Dallas
workforce supplier All

Temps 1 Personnel handled


all staffing for the NCTRCA,
from its executive director
to its receptionist.
But NCTRCA officials
said the board of directors
recently awarded its new
staffing contract to Armand
Resource Group (ARG), a
New Jersey company that
specializes in setting up and
monitoring business diver-

sity programs.
The NCTRCA also said it
will implement a new computer system that would
help speed up the certification process for new applicants and those seeking annual renewals. The agency
has dealt with backlogs and
complaints that it is sluggish and unhelpful.
It looks like a step in the

right direction, said Dallas


County Judge Clay Jenkins.
We all benefit from a transparent process that leads to
a diverse workforce.
The changes come after
The Dallas Morning News
reported problems with the
NCTRCAs management,
oversight and operations,
See TROUBLED Page 5B

The Dallas Morning News

dallasnews.com

DALLAS

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

5B

Troubled agency gets


new staffing firm
Continued from Page 1B

Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer

Volunteers prepare food at Our Calling, a resource center in East Dallas. Its not a shelter, but the nonprofit helps connect homeless people with resources there or elsewhere.

Center seeks out homeless people to aid


Continued from Page 1B

center is located on South


Haskell Avenue, but its staff
visits more than 1,200 locations in Dallas looking for
homeless people in need of assistance, said Jonathan Habashy, director of development.
Theyre out there, and
theyre not receiving services
elsewhere, Habashy said.
While the staff doesnt always take resources directly to
those locations, they make
connections with people, and
let them know where to find
help when theyre ready, he
d

AT A GLANCE
Our Calling
Our Calling focuses on four
main areas: Bible study and life
skills, mentoring and
discipleship, addiction
recovery (12-step meetings)
and resource distribution. The
resource center is at 500 S.
Haskell Ave. It is open Monday
through Friday, though hours
and services vary by day. For
more information about the
organization, visit
ourcalling.org or call
214-444-8796.

source guide to area homeless


d
h l
h
l

tion. We dont buy it if we dont


have it, Habashy said.
Habashy said volunteers
have a unique opportunity to
invest in the lives of those they
serve, whether its helping
with a search-and-rescue
team or taking time to serve in
the cafe and get to know the
people there.
The invitation that Our
Calling extends is to come and
invest, Habashy said. Its a
unique risk that you take.
Some of the volunteers are
homeless. Hamilton, who has
been coming to Our Calling
for about 18 months, now volunteers at the resource center
f d
k

es, Walker said.


It keeps me grounded,
Hamilton said.
Hamilton recently found
out that she may qualify for
housing, but she will continue
to come back and help, she
said.
I think its a great opportunity for those who are out on
the streets to be able to have
somewhere to come to, where
they can get some time of fellowship, plus be able to get a
hot meal and the clothes that
they need, blankets, stuff like
that, to just kind of survive out
on the streets, Hamilton said.

including a story last week


explaining a rebuke from the
federal government over the
agencys handling of a certification application.
The News found that All
Temps staffers repeatedly approved their own company as
a minority-owned business
and passed judgment on its
potential rivals. The head of
All Temps has previously defended its work and said its
long-standing ties to the
agency pose no conflict of interest.
Under the new three-year
contract, ARG, which has an
office in the Houston area,
will not be able to receive
NCTRCA certification. An
attorney for the certification
agency said recently that the
new staffing vendor will have
to seek certification elsewhere to avoid any perception of impropriety.
A copy of the new signed
contract that is effective Dec.
1 was not immediately available. But the contract was
worth between $310,000
and $350,000 annually during the past four years, records show.
The agency said in a news
release that ARG is a nationally-recognized leader with
experience in certification
practices and policies for disadvantaged, minority, women, and small businesses.
An ARG employee recent-

ly said the company plans to


open a Dallas office. ARG
worked on the 2008 DART
contract to develop the first
sections of the Orange Line
that run to Irving. The company was in charge of the
projects business diversity
program.
Darcel Webb, chairwoman of the NCTRCA board,
said in a news release that
the agency appreciated the
work of All Temps contracted staff over the years.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportations
office of civil rights blasted
the NCTRCA for its handling
of a certification application
it rejected in 2013. The goverment overturned the
agencys decision and strongly criticized it for not knowing the law and for using a
process more akin to a legal
summons followed by adversarial questioning.
Although the NCTRCA
was created and is financed
by the city of Dallas and other local governments, it sued
The News in 2012 to block
the release of agency records.
After a one-day trial, a
state district judge concluded last year that the agency
was a governmental body
for the purposes of open-records requests. He instructed the agency to release information.
kkrause@dallasnews.com;
etimms@dallasnews.com

14A

The Dallas Morning News


Established October 1, 1885

Publishers

James M. Moroney III


Publisher and Chief Executive Officer

George Bannerman Dealey 1885-1940


E.M. (Ted) Dealey 1940-1960

Robert W. Mong Jr.


Editor

Joe M. Dealey 1960-1980


James M. Moroney Jr. 1980-1985

Keven Ann Willey


Vice President, Editorial Page Editor

John A. Rector Jr. 1985-1986


Burl Osborne 1986-2001

Saturday, November 29, 2014

EDITORIAL

Hits and Misses


Photographic evidence
Would events have transpired differently in Ferguson, Mo., had Officer
Darren Wilson been equipped with a
body camera when he confronted
teenager Michael Brown? Perhaps, and that is why
were pleased that Dallas County District Attorneyelect Susan Hawk wants to use her offices forfeiture
funds to buy small uniform cameras for Dallas police
officers. Like dash cams in squad cars, body cams protect officers from false accusations and citizens from
overbearing officers. Cheers to Hawk for proposing
greater accountability in police-community interactions.

A small mercy
Sometimes, its the little mercies we need to
be thankful for. Thats what the district attorney of Morehouse and Ouachita parishes in
Louisiana showed this week when he dismissed a ticket for a 16-year-old Texas boy
who fell asleep at the wheel and caused an accident that killed five members of his family.
The prosecutor summed it up clearly. This
young man has been punished enough, Jerry Jones told The News-Star. There is no
need to add to his pain. The crash claimed
the lives of Michael and Trudi Hardman and three of their children. The ticket probably should
never have been written. Jones saw that and offered a little kindness and common sense in the
midst of a terrible accident.

Counting the trails


Dallas has made great strides in building a strong system of hike and bike trails. Now, we need to
know how those trails are being used and by how many people. Park and Recreation Department
assistant director John Jenkins was right to recommend that the Park Board invest in an electronic
people-counter along four main trails: the Katy and Northaven trails and the trails around White
Rock Lake and in Kiest Park. Why? Because a clear count can help bring investment both in the
trails and in the city around them. The $265,000 investment is wise, and the Park Board should
approve it next month.

A good plan passes


The Oak Cliff Gateway plan is at last going to the Dallas City Council. The plan to rezone nearly 900
acres of north Oak Cliff sets the stage for rebuilding this great part of our city. Dallas Plan Commissioner Mike Anglin deserves credit for deftly steering this through the commission and City Hall.
Anglin helped lead an inclusive community effort that has lasted years, working hard to address
last-minute concerns and complaints. The plan has been under discussion since 2007 and through
three council members. If passed, it will offer developers and business owners a chance to cut deals
and open shop in a well-designed and resurgent area.

New blood at agency


A little-known agency that certifies minority- and women-owned businesses in North Texas appears to at last be turning over a new leaf. Why is that important? Millions of dollars in government
contracts flow to the firms that win the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agencys stamp
of approval, but the certification agency has had serious management and oversight problems, as
pointed out in investigations earlier this year by The Dallas Morning News. For more than 10 years,
a company called All Temps 1 staffed the agency, from director to receptionist. Now the agency
board has hired a new firm, Armand Resource Group. Lets hope this helps legitimize efforts to create greater opportunity for minority- and women-owned businesses.

A step toward judicial insanity


Severely mentally ill killer Scott Panetti lost his latest appeal to the Texas Court of
Criminal Appeals this week on technical grounds dealing with the courts jurisdiction, bringing him closer to his Wednesday execution date. What madness that
would be. Panettis lawyers wanted a stay so they could present the case that his decades of documented schizophrenia renders him mentally incompetent for execution, under Supreme Court guidelines against cruel and unusual punishment. The vote was 5-4 against him,
showing at least that theres some rational thinking on the court. Capital punishment advocates
who want the punishment applied to the worst of the worst should think twice about taking the
life of a person with a loose grip on reality.

In another misstep by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ...


It upheld this week the early prison release of
convicted murderer Bernie Tiede, leaving it
to the discretion of Panola County prosecutor Danny Buck Davidson whether to seek
a new punishment trial which he has indicated he will not do. Tiede was serving a life
sentence until a judge in Panola County in
East Texas allowed his release while the appeals court weighed his claim that sexual
abuse as a child led him to kill his elderly
companion, Carthage millionaire Marjorie
Nugent, in 1996. Tiede, who embezzled millions of dollars from Nugent, was portrayed
sympathetically in the 2011 film Bernie. Davidson teamed with director Richard Linklater to win Tiedes release, and absent a new punishment trial, that means an admitted, premeditated murderer gets to walk free.

Delicate women should focus on motherhood, Turkish leader says


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is known for his Islamic sympathies, but his recent remarks about the status of women go beyond whats acceptable for the leader of a NATO-member
nation that purports to have a modern worldview. Erdogan said women are not equal to men, that
their defined role under Islam is motherhood and that the notion of them toiling in manual labor is
against their delicate nature. He ridiculed feminists as being against motherhood. The fact that he
made these comments at a conference on womens rights makes them even more outrageous.

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Stum

EdTimmsandKevinKrausehadagreatstory
inTheDallasMorningNewsonSunday
aboutalocalagencythatcertifiesbusinesses
asminorityorwomenowned.TheNorth
CentralTexasRegionalCertificationAgency
seemstobesortofthesameoutfitas
somethingcalledAllTemps1Personnel.
Theagencywassetuptoruleonwhether
companiesarereallyminorityorwomen
owned,butitsentirestaffisprovidedbyAll
Temps.

WickipediaCommons

Fromtimeimmemorial,someonehasplayed
thefool.Apparentlynowit'sus.

AllTemps,wouldn'tyouknow,hashadno
problemgettingcertifiedasaminorityownedcompanyandnoproblemgettinglocal
governmentcontracts,$30millionworthinthelast10years.TimmsandKrauserandown
otherminorityownedstaffingcompanieswhocouldn'tgetcertifiedtosavetheirlives.
Somejustgaveup.
Letmerunitbyyouagain.LocalgovernmentinDallasCounty,verymuchunderthe
influence,nottosaythethumb,ofDallasCountyCommissionerJohnWileyPrice,setsupa
certificationagencythatservesasthegatewayforlocalminoritygovernmentcontracting.
KrauseandTimmsfoundothercitiesinTexasthatdidtheirowncertifying,but,no,we
neededaspecialoutsideagencyforthat.
SoourlocaloutsideagencysomehowbecomestheSiamesetwinofaforprofitstaffing
company.Theoutsideagencycertifiesitstwin,thestaffingcompany,asminorityownedup
onesideanddowntheother,andthetwinrunsoutandglomsontoarichstackof
contracts.ButotherminoritycompaniesthatarepotentialcompetitorstoAllTempscome
along,foolishlytakethisforastraightupprocess,applyfortheirowncertification,and
theirrecordskeepgettinglost,surprise,surprise.
Racialdiscriminationinbusinessandinpubliccontractinghasbeenaseriousproblemin
thepast.It'sreasonableforcommunitiestowanttocleansethemselvesofthatissue.But
Dallashasaparticularproblem.Somehowthewholebusinessofminoritycontractinghere
haswounduphavingtheexactoppositeeffectofanythingthatcouldhavebeenintended.

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News
ByUnfairPark

Thewayitworkshere,hardworkinghonestcompaniesgetshutout,andthescammers
rushin.
SixyearsagowhenCommissionerPricewasengagedinhispartiallysuccessfulcampaignto
sabotageahugeindustrialprojectinhisowndistrictcalledTheInlandPort,hedemanded
thatthemaindeveloper,TheAllenGroup,providealistofallcertifiedminority
subcontractorsitusedinbusinessesinCalifornia.Thosebusinesseswereunrelatedto
Allen'sDallasoperation,andthedemandhadnobasisinlaw.
IcalledtheAllenGrouptoaskwhattheyweredoingaboutPrice'sdemand.RichardAllen,
headofthecompany,toldmehewantedtocooperatebutcouldnot.Hesaidhecouldnot
providealistofcertifiedminoritysubcontractorsinCaliforniabecausehedidn'thaveany.I
askedwhy.
Hetoldmethat,firstofall,asanAnglo,hewasintheminorityinhispartofCalifornia.
Secondly,hesaid,virtuallyallofthesubcontractorshiscompanyusedinconstructionwere
Latino.Everyone.Butnotasingleoneofthemhadeversignedupforminority
certification.Iaskedwhy.
"Theydon'twanttomesswithit,"hesaid."Theyjustgooutanddothework."
ReadingTimms'andKrause'spieceSunday,Iwonderedhowmanymorestrongminority
companieswemighthaveintheDallasregioniftheNorthCentralTexasRegional
CertificationAgencyhadneverbeenformed.Andnowthatweseehowitworks,Iwonder
howmuchlongerweareexpectedtostandherelikesuckersandnotsayanything.

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06/17/2013

10:58

2146536001

14TH DISTRICT COURT

PAGE

CAUSE Na. DC-12-11214

NORTH CENTRAL 'TEXAS REGIONAL


CERTIFICATION AGENCY

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF

Plaintiff,

DALLAS COUNTY, TExAs

vs.
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

I4th JUDICIAL DISTRICT

Defendant,

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW


On May 21, 2013, this case was called to trial. Atfer proper notice was given, Plaintiff`
and Counter-Dcfendont North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency ("N.C.T.R.C.A.- or
the "Agency") and Defendant and Counter-Plaintiff The Dallas Morning News, Inc. ("The

News") appeared by and through their attorneys of record and announced that they were ready to
proceed, with trial. Neither party having demanded a jury, the case was tried to the Court. All
matters in controversy were submitted to the Court, except for the issue of the reasonable
attorneys' fees and costs to be awarded upon final judgment, which issue was reserved .for
further proceedings.

The Court heard the arguments of counsel and the testimony of witnesses and considered
the submission of all adrnitted cxhibits and the parties' stipulations of fact. On the basis of tile
crediblc evidence, arid consideri

the applicable law as well as the objections of the Plaintiff,

the Court now enters its Findings of Fact and Conclusions or I,avv, as rollows:

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i.
1,

PAGE

FINDINGS OF FACT

N.C,T,R,C.A. is a nonprofit organization that certifies minority- and women-

owned business enterprises.


2.

N.C,I.R.,C.A, certifies minority- and women-owned business enterprises For and

on behalf or N.C.T.R.C.A.'s nineteen member entities. sixteen of which are governmental


bodies, including thc cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Lancaster, and Mesquite; Dallas
County; D/FW International Airport; the Dallas and Irving independent school districts; Dallas
Area Rapid, Transit; Fort Worth Transportation Agency; North Texas Tollway Authority: Tarrant
County College District; Dallas County Community College District; Dallas County Schools:
and Tarrant Regional Water District,
3.

N.C.T.R.C.A. is supported, in whole or in part, by public funds.

4. refers to its members who are governmental bodies as "member


governmental, entities' and its members who are nongovernmental bodies as "associate
members,'
5,

in 2012. the N.C.I.1Z,C,A, received $456,529 in membership dues, 94 percent or

which came from public runds paid to the N.C.T,R,C,A, by the Agency's governmental member
entities.
6.

The public funds received by N.C.'T,R,C,A. from governmental bodies are

deposited into N.C.T.R.C.A.'s general operating account and a e used to pay, among othcr
things, thc Agency's employee salaries, office rent, office utilities, insurance premiums, and
postage.
7.

support.

N,C,T,R,C,A, receives public funds from governmental bodies for its general

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8.

2146536001

14TH DISTRICT COURT

PAGE

N.C.T.R.C.A, requires its member governmental entities to enter into Intel-local

Cooperation Agreements pursuant to Chapter 791 of the Texas Government Code.

These

Interlocal Cooperation Agreements define N.C.T,R.CA.'s relationship with its member


governmental entities as well as N.C.T,R.C.A.'s obligations to its member governmental entities.
9.

On May 16, 2013, ifve da.ys before this case was called to trial, N.C,T.R,C.A.

demanded that each of its member governmental entities execute new "membership" agreements
that ),vould supersede the member governmental entities' Interlocal Cooperation Agreements
under Chapter 791 of the Texas Government Code. further dem.anded thin
member governmcnLil entities

CCLI I,C and return the new "minbership" agreements hy May 20,

2013., the clay hcfore trial.


10.

N.C.T.R.C.A.'s relationship with govenrmental bodies requires N.C.T.R.C.A. to

provide services traditionally provided by governmental bodies.


11.

N.C.T.R.C.A. performs a, traditional governmental function for and on behalf' of

governmental hodic..,s. For example, other governmental bodies, including the State of Texas and
the City of' Houston, peribrm the same type o:l' minority- and women-owned business
certification services as the N.C.T.R.C.A..
12.

The operative lnterlocal Cooperation Ag,reement between the City of Dallas and

N.C.T.R.C.A,, !b y c N arnple, provides that the Agency performs certifications of minority- and
women-owned busines ses and "other related services for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise,
Minority and/or Wornen-owned Business Enicrpise ("1)./M/Vv131.i;") programs of the [member
governmental bodies, including the City of Dallas]."
13.

If an N.C.T.R.C.A, member governmental entity were to no longer be a member

of the N.C.T.R.C.A., it would be required to perform its own, internal certifications of minority-

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PAGE

and women-owned business, or it would be required to contract with another agency or


governmental body to perform such services on its behalf
14.

The operative 1nterlocal Cooperation Agreements for the N.C.T,R.C.A.'s Four

largest member governmental entitiesCity of Dallas, City or Fort Worth, D/FW Airport, and
Dallas County

provide that the "N.C.T.IZ,..C,A, will at all times be acting as the duly constituted

authority and instrumentality of the Participants kid -Hied as the member governmental entities]
and as an organization performing essential governmental funetions
15.

"

The entity now known as the N.C.T.R.C.A. was founded in .Tune 1989 pursuant to

a 1Vremorandum of Understanding ("NTOU") entered into by nine governmental bodies under


Chapter 791 of the Texas Goverarnent Code.

According to the MOU, the ninc founding

governmental bodies Formed the N.C.T.R,CA, "10 demonstrate thc [founding] intergovernmental
entities' commitment to coordinale the goals and objectives or their respective programs in
mutual support and cooperation with other such entitics in order to further a comprehensive
strategy in addressin minority business oriented issues and concerns."
16,

The N.C.T.R.C.A.'s website states the following: "in June 1989, an Intel-local

Cooperation Agreement was entered into betvveen nine founding member entities, creating the
N.C.T.R.C.A. For the purpose of jointly providing certification and other related serviee,s For the
disadvantaged

busiiiess enterprise,

minority

and/or women-owned business

enterprise

(1)/1\l/W13E) [prograim] of the participants."


17.

N.C.I.R.C.A.'s obligations to its member governmental entities under the

Interlocal Cooperation Agreements are not specific, definite, or tied to a measurable amount of
service lor a curtain amount or money.

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18.

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14TH DISTRICT COURT

PAGE

The amount of public funcis received by N,C.T.R,C,A. from each of its member

governmental entities is not dependent on whether or how much the N.C.T.R.C.A. performs a
service for the member governmental entity, nor is there a correlation between the funds received
and tl-se amount of service provided. Rather, N,C.T.R.C,A.'s annual "membership feesscss
a.ecl
to governmental bodies is cleterntined by the governmental body's population or type,
member governmental entity pays the Agency the same amount of' money, an
appropriation," even lithe member governmental entity never uses the Agency's
1

9.

"annual

5CINiCOS.

N.C.T.R,C.A.'s relationship with governmental bodies indicates a common

purpose or objective,
20,

N.C.T.R.C.A. admits that it is solely committed to ensuring that bona-fide

disadvantaged, minority and woman-owned ifrms, benelit from the programs offered by the
member entities[r as stated on the N,C,T.R.C.A.'s wcbsite.

N.C.T.R.C.A.'s member

governmental entities share this common purpose and objective, Indeed, the central, il' not solc,
purpose of thc N.c.T.R..c..A. is to enable its member governmental entities to adhere to their
policies on hiring bona ride minority- and women-ownecl businesses to perform government
contracts.
2 t.

N.C.-.1',R.C.A.'s relationship with governmental bodies creates an agency-type

relationship between N.C.T,R,C.A, and governmental bodies.


22.

The N.C.T.R.C.A. is governed by a Board of Di ectors,

Currently, there aTe

nineteen members of the Board of .Dircetors, sixteen of whom are employees of governmental
bodies who serve on the Board of .' Directors els representatives of the member governmental
entities, The sixteen board members who represent the N.C.T.R.C.A,'s rnenther governmental
entities have full voting rights.

The three other members of the 1.30ard of Directors arc

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2146536001

14TH DISTRICT COURT

PAGE

employees of N.C.T.R.C.A.'s a.ssociate members and are only permitted to vote on the
N,C.T.R,C.A.'s budget.
23.

Six entities are authorized to perform certiifcations for the Federal Disa.dvantaged

Business Enterprise Programs in TeNaS under the Texas 'Unif ied Certification 'Program:
N,C.T.R.C.A., SCIRCA, City of AustinCity of Houston, the Texas Department of
Transportation, and Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority.
24.

N.C,T.R.C.A, received a request macle pursuant to the Texa.s Public rill:on-nation

Act (`-.P.1.A,") by 11 .7(? News ' employee,


25.

on June 26. 2012 (the "T,P.I.A. Request").

N.C;II.R.C.A, did nol seek an opinion rrorn the Ortice or the Texus Attorney

General ("Attorney General") pursuant to Section 552.301 of the T,P.LA. within ten business
days after it received the T.F.1..A. Request.
26.

N.C.T.R.C.A. sent a letter to The News responding to the T,P,I.A. Request and

attached a ruling from the Attorney General dated October 26, 2011.
27.

On July 27, 2012, Tho News sent a letter to the Attorney General, challenging thc

N.C.T.R.C.A.'s position that it was not subject to the T.P.1.A..


28.

On August 7, 2012, the Attorney General requested a response ['corn

N.C.T,R,C,A. to the The News' letter dated July 27, 2012.


29,

On September 10, 2012, IN.C.T.R..C.A, responded to the Attorney Clencres

request for a responsv to The Neri.v` lottor Elated July 27. 701
30.

On November 30, 2012, the Attorney General issued a letter ruling that found the

N,C.I.R.C.A. is a "g overnmental body" as defined in the T,P.I.A. and is therefore subject to the
T.P.I.A

The Attorney General's letter ruling .further found that the N.C.T.R.C.A. could

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2146536001

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PAGE

withhold information responsive to the T.P.I.A. Request pursuant to Section 552.128 of the
T,P,I.A.,
31

N,C,T,R,C.A.

conceded that Section 552,110 of the

applies to third-party

proprietary interests and not to any such interests or similar interests of a governmental
32.

Information responsive to the T.P.I.A

body.

Request, including the identities of

individuals and businesses certified and/or decertified by the N.C.T.R.C.A., does not constitute a
trade secret owned by the N.C,T.R.C.A,.

Such information is publicly available from, for

example, the City of Fort Worth's website and the Texas Unified Certification Program's
website.
33.

No third party has objected to the release of information responsive to the T.P.I.A

Requost pursuant to Section 552. 110 01 the


34.

The Attorney Genearl's leiter ruling dated November 30, 2012 is the first time the

Attorney Gemi:ral addressed whether the N.C.I.R.C.A. is a governmental body subj eel to the
in a reported decision.
35.

N.C.T,R.C.A. failed to submit sufficient evidence to prove the content of any

documents responsive to the T.P.I,A. Request.


36.

N.C.T.R.C.A,

is not a governing body of a nonprofit organization organized under

Chapter 67, Water Code that provides a water supply or wastewater service, or both, and is
exempt f om ad valorem taxation under Section 11.30, Tax Code,
37,

N.C,T.R.C.A, is not a nonproift corporation that is el igiblQ to receive funds under

the federal community services bloek grant program and that is authorized by this state to serve a
geographic,: ;,irea or tho state.

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38.

214E53E001

14TH DISTRICT COURT

N.C.T.R.C.A. is a non-profit entity under Texas law that

PAGE

ha5

qualiifed for tax-

exempt status Linder section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
39.

Providing a vendor pool list of certified disadvantaged minority and/or women

owned businesses is not listed under section 791.003(30)-u .) or section 791.003(3)(L)-(M) of


the Texas Government Code.
40.

Section 791.003(1) of the 'texas Government Code defines "administrative

functions" as "functions normally associated with the routine operation of government, including
tax

aViCSSITIClit and

collection, personnel services, purchasing, records management services, data

prcessing, warehousing, equipment repair, and printing."


41..

N.C.T.R.,C.A. receives funds from the Following sources: (a) annual fees .fom

member entities, (b) Ilind raising events, and (c) donations.


is not a state or local govenrmental entity in thc state of Texas,

42.

The

43.

The Following N.C.I.R.CA. members performed certification for Federal

7\1 (21 , 1).s

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise rograms in Texas prior to joining the N.C.T.R.C.A.: City or
Dallas, City of Fort Worth. DFW Internation41 Airpori,

County Community College

District, Dallas Area i apid Transit. and Fort Worth Transit Authority.
44.

Any Conclusion of Law which is niorc properly a Finding of Fact.

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14TH DISTRICT COURT

11.

PAGE

CONCLUS1ONS 017 I.,AW

N.C.T.R,C.A. is a "e,overnmental body" as defined by Section 552.003(1)(A) of

1.
the T.P.I.A

The purpose behind N.C.T.R,C.A.'s demands of its membership as referred to

2.

hereinabove in Findine of Fact No. 9 was specifically calculated to alter the N.C.T.R.C.A.'s
essential eonsiitu.ent method of doing business and specifically to thwart a determination by this
Court of

its

functionality (and responsibility under thc T.P.I.A,).

Thcsc ersatz amended

"membership agreements" are ineffective in their effort to prevent N.C.T.R.C.A. f om being


considered a ,k)vernmental bociy" subject to the

now and in the future.

3.

N.C,T.R.C.A., is subject to the T.P.1.A.

4.

Applying the framework articulated in Knc.?elanci v. National Collegiate Athletic

Association, 850 F.2d 224 (5th Cir. 1988) to the credible evidence in this case, the N.C.T.R.C.A
qualifies as an entity that is supported by public funds under each of the three Kneeland factors.
5.

The (Vews

is entitled to a declaratory judgment that N.C.T.R.C.A, is

governmental body within the meaning of the T.P.I.A., and is ther efore subject to the T.P.I,A
6.

Because N.C.T,R.C.A. failed to comply with the requirements of Section 552.301

of the T.P.I.A. in connection with the T.P.I.A. Request, there is a legal presumption that
information responsive to the T.P. L A. Request is public and must he released under the T.P.1.A..
7.

N.C."1.,R.C.A, failed to demonstrate a eompellina rewion to withhold information

responsive to the T.P.1.A. Rcq4se4t sufficient to overcome the legal presumption that such
information is public and must be released under the T.P.I.A
8.

Section 552.110 of t17c T.P.I.A. applies to third-party proprietary interests and not

to any proprietary interests or similar interests of a governmental body.

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9.

2146536E1 01

14TH DISTRICT COURT

PAGE

information responsive to the T.P.I.A. Request is not excepted from disclosure

pursuant to Seotion 552.128 or the. T.P.1.A..


The News is entitled to a writ of' mandamus pursuant to Section 552.301 of the

10.

T.P.I.A. compelling disclosurc by N.C.TR.C.A. of all information and documents responsive

to

Request within N.C.TR.C.A.'s actual or constructive possession,

the
11.

The News is entitled to the recovery of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs

pursuant to Section 37.009 of thc Texas Civil Practices and Remedies . Code and Section 552,323
of the `I`.]'.T.^l.,

12.

pr
party" for purposes of Section 37.009 of thc Texas
The News is the "evailing

Civil Practices and Remedies Codu and the "substantially prevailing party" for purposes of
552,323 of the T.P.1,A

13.

N.C.',1 .R.C.A, failed to show that it autcd in reasonable reliance. on: (1) a

judgment or an order of a court applicable to the N.C.T.R.C.A.; (2) the published opinion of an
appellate court; or (;3) a written decision

of

the attorney general.

14.

The News is entitled to postjudgment interest at the maximum legal rate.

15.

N.C.T,R.C.A. shall take nothing on all of its claims.

16.

N.C.T.R.C.A, is not entitled to the rccoV/cry of reasonable attorneys' feu and

17.

N.C.I.R,C.A. is not a "pr evailing party" l'or purposes of Section 37.009 of the

costs,

Texas Civil Practices and Remedios Code or a "substantially prevailing party " for purposes of
Section 552123 o the P .1,A
18.

All costs of court shall bc taxed i7gaillS1

19

All Finding of Fact which arc more properly (.onclusion of' Law.

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2146536001

SIGNED this

day of

14TH DISTRICT COURT

PAGE

, 2013.

^ ^...,_
:11,1 DGE PrdS1DING

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