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The Dallas Morning News

Texas' Leading Newspaper $3.00 Dallas, Texas, Sunday, March 16, 2014


Temp firm has inside track

Workforce supplier staffs women-run businesses.
INSIDE: Lack of oversight allows
Getting certified gives those vendors
agency that certifies vendors as a big edge in competing for government troubled business to profit from
government contracts. 20A
owned by minorities, women contracts worth many millions.
But one is the ultimate insider.
By ED TIMMS and KEVIN KRAUSE All Temps 1Personnel, a private work- receptionist, at its Arlington office.
Staff Writers
force supplier, has for more than a de- The Dallas Morning News found that
An obscure agency funded chiefly cade provided the North Central Texas All Temps staffers repeatedly have ap-
with taxpayer money has qualified thou- Regional Certification Agency’s entire
sands of companies as minority and staff, from the executive director to the See VENDORS Page 18A
18A Sunday, March 16, 2014 II FROM THE FRONT PAGE The Dallas Morning News

Agency fought release of its records

For most of its existence, the North Central once represented the agency. Also, significant por- ment replaced a contract for governments it had
Texas Regional Certification Agency has had iden- tions of what it claimed as a trade secret were pub- used for more than two decades.
tity issues. lished online by one of its government members. The deadline: one day before the trial’s sched-
Local governments created it. They employ Even before the attorney general ruled on The uled start.
and appoint most of its board members. They pro- News’complaint, the agency sued the newspaper in Ryan Pittman, an attorney for The News, said in
vide almost all of its funding. A private company, September 2012 to block release of its records. court that the agency’s effort to alter its agreements
All Temps 1 Personnel, staffs it, under contract The attorney general concluded two months just before the trial began was “akin to a defendant
with those same governments. later that the agency was “a government body for throwing a smoking gun in the river.”
The agency certifies minority- and woman- the purposes” of Texas’ open records law and that Marcos Ronquillo, the NCTRCA’s attorney, said
owned businesses, a key designation that helps trade secrets protections the agency cited were for in court that the agency incorrectly had labored un-
them compete for taxpayer-financed jobs. “third parties,” such as a private corporation, “not der the impression that state laws about agree-
But the little-known agency fought The Dallas governmental bodies.” The ruling concluded that ments between local governments applied to it.
Morning News for more than a year to avoid pub- information could be withheld under another stat- Mistakes were made, Ronquillo said.
lic scrutiny, claiming it didn’t have to respond to ute.
open records requests. Here’s a summary of the
The ruling
Denying it’s a ‘government body’ The trial lasted one day. Like the AG’s ruling,
When the suit came to trial Moyé concluded that the agency was a “govern-
What’s a trade secret? mid-2013, the agency told State mental body” for the purposes of open records re-
After The News filed its first request in June District Judge Eric Moyé in Dallas quests.
2012, the agency declined to disclose any informa- it was not a “government body.” He later wrote that the agency’s late attempt to
tion, including which companies it had certified. Trying to bolster that argu- change its membership agreements was “calculat-
The newspaper complained to the attorney ment, the agency produced a new ed to alter” its business model, “specifically to The North Central Texas Regional Certifica-
general, documenting the agency’s relationship “fee agreement” that it had asked thwart” the court. And he instructed the agency to tion Agency sent photos to the attorney
with local governments. the city of Dallas, Dallas County release information. general of its files on minority- and wom-
Among the examples: A city of Dallas attorney and other entities on the board to sign. That agree- Ed Timms and Kevin Krause an-owned businesses.

Vendors complain about agency

Continued from Page 1A sonal information that he con-
sidered irrelevant. He said he
proved their own company as a was even more upset to learn
minority-operated business from The News that employees
and passed judgment on its po- of All Temps, the firm that beat
tential rivals. The head of All Annexus out for a lucrative Dal-
Temps defended its work and las County contract, also run the
said its longstanding ties to the certification agency.
agency pose no conflict of inter- “You might as well just hang
est. it up. That just seems wrong,”
But the arrangement has said Smith, whose company has
surprised and concerned other been certified by the state comp-
North Texas contractors, in- troller’s office.
cluding some who have given The owner of a Lancaster
up trying to win certification. flooring business complained in
All Temps employees at the a 2013 letter to the agency that
agency have access to sensitive she decided not to get recertified
financial information other ap- “based on multiple failures by
plicants submit for certifica- your office to complete tasks in a
tion. They also have certified timely manner.”
businesses All Temps hired as The agency’s website says the
subcontractors on government process can take from 60 to 90
jobs. days. Jenny Jeter, owner of Bill
In the last 10 years, All Jeter Inc., said she experienced a
Temps has won at least $30 five-month delay.
million in contracts from some Its “one of the most poorly
of the same local governments run outfits I’ve come across,” Je-
that created the agency, finance ter later told The News.
it and select nearly all of its Commercial real estate busi-
board members. nessman Edward Opka decided
And All Temps was paid not to seek recertification, call-
more than $2.7 million since ing the process too cumbersome
2002 to run the NCTRCA. The andtoolengthy.
agency focuses on verifying that “It’s easier to get certified
companies are owned by a mi- through the state,” Opka, a for-
nority or a woman — and little mer Dallas candidate for mayor,
else. said in an interview.
Some companies that were He said he doesn’t under-
certified by the agency have had stand why Dallas County ac-
troubled histories and even fea- Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer cepts minority certifications
tured prominently in federal All Temps 1 Personnel, on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dallas, provides the entire staff of the North Central Texas from that agency only.
criminal investigations. Regional Certification Agency. All Temps’ own employees approved it as a minority-operated business. Commissioners took no ac-
Some applicants have com- tion when top administrator
plained that the agency, direct- Darryl Martin proposed in 2011
ed for most of its existence by a
A web of connections that “agencies other than the
father and daughter — who All Temps 1 Personnel, a staffing agency, has close ties to the North Central Texas North Central Texas Regional
both were All Temps employees Regional Certification Agency and local governments. Certification Agency” be per-
— has been sluggish and un- mitted to certify companies.
helpful. LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Dallas County has paid All
The only audit the agency City of Dallas Temps about $13 million since
provided after an open records ■ Provides the entire staff of the ■ Awarded All Temps sanitation contract 2002, county records show.
NCTRCA. worth more than $14 million
request from The News was ■ Certified as a minority-owned Martin recently told The
■ Funds NCTRCA
more than a decade old. In it, business by its own employees at the ■ City employee an NCTRCA board member
News that the county relies on
examiners identified several se- NCTRCA. ■ Helped create the NCTRCA the agency because of its “strin-
■ Competes with companies that seek
rious problems. Dallas County gent, detail-oriented” certifica-
certification from the NCTRCA
Traditionally, much of the ■ Does business with local ■ Accepts only NCTRCA certifications tion process. Such organiza-
agency’s supervision has been governments that fund the NCTRCA ■ Has paid All Temps about $13 million since tions, he said, “exist to prevent
■ Former employees work at local 2002
left to an executive director, ■ Funds NCTRCA fraudulent and/or parasitic
governments or for private firms and
who is employed by All Temps. ■ County employee an NCTRCA board Ronald L. Hay, CEO of All business practices, and help
have a role in minority contracting.
Local government officials said member Temps 1 Personnel, says eliminate the presence of ‘front
they do not get involved in the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport staffing NCTRCA doesn’t companies.’ ’’
day-to-day operations. ■ Awarded All Temps contracts worth give his firm an edge over Dallas lawyer Marcos Ron-
$3.7 million
That’s in contrast with Aus- ■ Funds NCTRCA others seeking government quillo, who represents the agen-
tin and Houston, which handle ■ Entirely staffed ■ Airport employee an NCTRCA board jobs. cy, said in an interview that the
such certifications in-house, in- by All Temps member agency certifies only whether a
■ Certifies North Texas Tollway Authority
stead of relying on an outside minority- and “There are no company is owned and operated
■ Awarded All Temps contract potentially
firm. women-owned worth millions
by a minority or a woman “in a
Agency records don’t make businesses; that ■ Former NCTRCA executive director a staff
conflicts of particular industry or category.”
clear how All Temps was first gives them an edge member It is not set up to ferret out possi-
when they bid on government contracts ■ Funds NCTRCA
hired. The agency’s outgoing ■ Certifies All Temps ble criminal violators, he said.
board chairwoman said she ■ Certifies or decertifies potential All Other governments He said agency employees
Ronald L. Hay, chief
Temps competitors ■ Several other governments fund the
didn’t know. NCTRCA, select employees for the NCTRCA executive officer of should get credit for the good
■ Certifies potential All Temps
The agency’s attorney said subcontractors board and have awarded All Temps All Temps work that they’ve done. “Like
The News’ questions about its ■ Board members mostly employed by contracts. Those include the city of DeSoto, any other government, like any
practices raised some issues local governments; some governments the Dallas Independent School District and other company, you are going to
hire All Temps. the city of Irving.
new to the board and that he by the NCTRCA only, even see glitches,” he said.
would discuss possible chang- SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research Staff Graphic
though other agencies provide All Temps chief executive of-
es. similar services. ficer Ronald L. Hay defended
The News began looking into lease any information about Eric Feldman, a former long- is managing director of corpo- his company, saying that staff-
the agency after asking for de- companies it evaluated, time federal inspector general, rate ethics and compliance pro- ing the agency does not it give it
tails about three businesses the prompting a yearlong legal bat- was not familiar with how con- grams for a California-based
Disgruntled vendors any advantage over others when
agency had certified. Those tle with The News. Its executive tracting was handled in the Dal- firm that works with private But some contractors say seeking government jobs.
businesses were named in an director announced her resig- las area. But he said that in gen- companies and governments. they’ve given up trying to work “There are no conflicts of inter-
ongoing federal corruption in- nation last summer, a day after a eral “the political gamesman- NCTRCA is an important with the agency. est,” he said in an email ex-
le s ug: 03 6 et age cy
vestigation involving longtime Dallas judge wrote that records ship that goes on in day-to-day link in local government efforts Among them is Johnny change with The News.
rtist: x
Dallas County Commissioner should be released. contracting decisions is so much to give contracts to businesses Smith, an executive with An- Hay said All Temps employ-
John Wiley Price, which has Contracting experts said greater at the local level than it is that historically have been shut nexus Personnel and Business ees at the agency have no knowl-
produced no criminal charges companies should be carefully at the federal level.” out. Services, a woman-owned staff-
or indictments. monitored to avoid fraud and “You
phic need
Desk more
8912 oversight, Dallas County, for instance, ing company in Mesquite. He See
The agency declined to re- abuse. not less,” Feldman said. He now accepts minority certifications said the agency asked for per- INVESTIGATIONS Page 19A
The Dallas Morning News FROM THE FRONT PAGE II Sunday, March 16, 2014 19A

Investigations named some certified firms

Continued from Page 18A gets in trouble after being certi-
fied, he said, that’s “way past the
edge “of the contracts that we point” of the agency’s involve-
bid or who the other bidders ment.
are.” All Temps employees out- The city of Dallas, in a writ-
side the agency do not interfere ten response to The News, said
or interact “in any way” with the agency’s performance was
those “on NCTRCA business,” “satisfactory.” Officials declined
he said. an interview request.
Besides the NCTRCA, All Over the past two decades,
Temps has been certified by several of the agency-certified
others. companies have surfaced dur-
Ronquillo said he would ing criminal investigations.
consult with the board about The agency certified a clean-
All Temps employees certifying ing supply company co-owned
their employer to determine by longtime Dallas City Council
whether changes are needed to member Al Lipscomb and a
avoid “even a perception of a white partner in the early 1990s.
conflict.” The company reportedly had no
There are other certification warehouse or delivery trucks at
agencies in town or in the state the time. It relied on other com-
if that helps to alleviate any per- panies to produce, store and de-
ception that All Temps “some- liver what it sold.
how got a break,” he said. A federal prosecutor de-
He said he would not com- scribed the firm as one of several
ment on specific companies “minority fronts” used by for-
that sought certification. mer council member Paul
Austin used a similar agency Fielding. Fielding later was con-
but restarted doing its own cer- victed on federal corruption
tifications after critical reviews charges.
and complaints that the agency “We have to set up a company
was nonresponsive. for him … and have the damn
To win certification from thing certified,” Fielding said of
Houston’s Office of Business Lipscomb on a recording played
Opportunity, companies must atFielding’s 1997 trial.
“demonstrate their expertise,” An agency-certified contrac-
including providing a work his- tor for the Dallas Independent
tory and references, said Carle- School District, convicted on
cia D. Wright, the director. federal charges in the late 1990s,
The Houston office also is gotmore than $3 million in con-
responsible for contract com- Michael Ainsworth/Staff Photographer tracts and was paid almost
pliance. “We can catch fraud Albert Titus, who replaced Sheena Morgan as executive director of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agen- $400,000 for roofing work that
more easily because we have cy, talked to business owners last year at a certification workshop in Fort Worth about how to obtain NCTRCA minority wasn’t done. That was despite
the dual functionality,” she said. certification. Some business owners complained in the past that the agency was not responsive and slow. the owner’s two theft convic-
tions, a lack of liability insur-
“Like any other government, like any other company, you are going to see glitches.” ance and little roofing experi-
Created to stop abuse ence.
In the mid-1980s, local gov- Marcos Ronquillo, a Dallas lawyer who represents NCTRCA Several players in the cor-
ernments came under repeated ruption scandal that led to for-
fire for their handling of minor- mer Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don
ity contracts. 2001. It report- with a multinational construc- Agency in 2006. The San An- Morgan “had an exemplary Hill’s 2009 conviction operated
Efforts to verify minority ed “significant tion firm. Her new employer tonio-based nonprofit is mod- work history” with All Temps, agency-certified companies.
businesses were sometimes lax. deficiencies” bids on government contracts eled after the North Texas agen- he said. “She was the most quali- Among them was the owner
Bogus operators avoided back- that could “ad- and has a representative on cy. fied candidate due to her experi- of a paving company who ad-
ground checks. Few were pe- versely affect NCTRCA’s board. A city of Austin audit during ence as director at the mitted telling a developer he
nalized for cheating. the organiza- Kelly served as the executive the time she was in charge of the SCTRCA.” would get Hill’s help on a zoning
Dallas County and the city of tion’s ability to director of the Black Contrac- San Antonio agency slammed Morgan’s father routinely application if he was awarded
Dallas were among nine local SHEENA record, pro- tors Association in recent years. its performance. conducted her evaluations and concrete subcontracts. Federal
governments that formed the MORGAN cess, summa- Hediedin August. The agency accepted docu- gave her top marks before she officials said the paver provided
nonprofit certification agency, and her rize, and report Morgan would not com- ments “at face value without any left for San Antonio. no services to the developer.
incorporated in 1992 to provide father di- financial data.” ment. But she and the agency’s type of follow-up or verification Kelly wrote that his daughter The paver later was sen-
“more efficient regional certifi- rected Auditors noted board chairwoman last year, to ensure that the information had all the skills he’d want in a tenced to prison and was re-
cation,” according to its web- NCTRCA that the execu- Perfecta Gallegos, a manager in submitted is true and correct,” full-time employee when she leased in March 2012. Last
site. for years. tive director Dallas office of business devel- the audit said. was working part-time for the June, his company still was on a
A 2006 memo from Dallas approved and opment and procurement ser- “Proof of ethnicity or gen- agency in 1999. “Sheena is an ex- list of certified companies the
County, obtained by The News, signed his own reimburse- vices, gave legal depositions in der,” a key issue in judging appli- cellent employee,” her father agency provided to The News.
indicated that many years earli- ments. The agreement with All the records dispute with The cations, was missing from al- wrote in 2000. He recom- The NCTRCA’s website states
er the city of Dallas had discon- Temps to staff the agency’s office News. mosthalfofthe files examined. mended a pay raise. that certification is indefinite
tinued its certification process was signed in 1996 but not re- Morgan testified that she Former Austin assistant city Ronquillo, the attorney, said but firms “must provide an an-
“due to open records liabilities.” viewed “in the ensuing years.” didn’t know who originally cer- manager Rudy Garza recalled some board members knew of nual update form with docu-
More than 22,000 compa- ■ Two family members have tified All Temps. But renewals significant delays in processing the Morgan-Kelly relationship mentation to the agency.”
nies have applied to the agency been in charge for much of the would have been reviewed by applications and “no response” and some didn’t. The agency also approved
over the years. About 3,400 agency’s history. John Kelly All Temps employees at the cer- from agency leaders to simple He said did not know about three companies later linked to
currently are certified. Many lo- served as executive director tification agency, she said. questions. Morgan’s academic back- Price, the county commissioner,
cal governments give prefer- from 1997 to 2006. His daugh- She would not speculate on Morgan was the city’s only ground or what happened in in an ongoing FBI investigation
ence in the bidding process to ter, Sheena Morgan, took over in whether having All Temps staff- point of contact. “And when we Austin. of his finances. Price has denied
certified companies or compa- 2008. ers certify their employer was a could not get the issues resolved any wrongdoing.
nies that hire certified subcon- She turned in a letter of resig- conflict. To her knowledge, that there really was nowhere else for Gallegos, the board’s former
tractors. nation last June — a day after topic hadn’t been discussed. us to go,” Garza said.
Criminal inquiries chief, said neither the board nor
The News’ found: Dallas County State District All Temps hired Morgan in Austin paid the agency Companies provide the its government members get
■ A 20-member board over- Judge Eric Moyé issued “find- the late 1990s as a front desk $50,000 a year to handle certi- North Texas agency informa- notified if a certified vendor has
sees the agency but doesn’t get ings of fact” concluding that the clerk at the agency. She got pro- fications. The city dropped its tion such as proof of ownership, acriminal record.
involved in the actual certifica- certification agency was subject moted into jobs with more re- contract in January 2007. City financial data and tax records Morgan said in her deposi-
tion process because it may be to open records law. sponsibility. She testified that employees began certifying when applying for certification. tion that the agency didn’t have
required to hear appeals, its at- Albert Titus, her replace- she graduated in 2005 from the companies again. The agency’s website says that any mechanism to inform offi-
torney said. The board is made ment, declined to be inter- University of Phoenix with a Morgan became the North site visits may be conducted. cials that a certified firm was un-
up of representatives from the viewed. bachelor’s degree in business Texas agency’s executive direc- Ronquillo said the certifica- der criminal investigation or in-
city of Dallas, Dallas County Kelly had a company called administration. tor in August 2008. tion process “does not say that dictment.
and other local governments, JPK Consulting after leaving A university spokesman said Hay, the All Temps CEO, said you are a good business.” “If you knew that, would you
along with three representa- the agency. It repeatedly was re- Morgan had once been enrolled he was not sure when he found It’s up to governments that tell them?” she was asked.
tives of private entities. certified when Morgan was the but has not received a degree. out Morgan was Kelly’s daugh- award the contracts or the pri- “No,” she replied.
■ The only audit the agency agency’s director. Morgan became executive ter. But that relationship played vate firms that hire them as sub-
provided in response to a re- She has since taken a job in- director of the South Central no role in her hire as the North contractors to apply more scru-;
quest from The News was dated volving minority contracting Texas Regional Certification Texas agency’s director, he said. tiny, he said. And if a company

Tom Fox/Staff Photographer Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer

Perfecta Gallegos, chairwoman of NCTRCA at the time, listened to board members’ ideas The North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency’s office is on Six Flags Drive in Ar-
during a monthly meeting last year. The board isn’t involved in day-to-day certification. lington. It serves Dallas County, the city of Dallas and D/FW Airport, among others.
20A Sunday, March 16, 2014 M FROM THE FRONT PAGE The Dallas Morning News

Government subcontractor’s rise and fall

Little oversight allowed show her employees were paid
on time. She said she wasn’t
troubled business to aware the county had given
profit from public jobs TBey poor reviews.
“The staffing industry has
By KEVIN KRAUSE always been a target for nega-
and ED TIMMS tive reviews and comments
Staff Writers
from unhappy clients/employ-
TBey & Associates was a ees for various reasons that are
small startup company. often beyond the staffing firm’s
That didn’t stop it from get- control,” she said.
ting millions as a government The county has paid TBey
subcontractor — thanks largely more than $400,000 since
to its relationship with All 2011, county records show.
Temps 1 Personnel, a large sup- At the airport, TBey’s rela-
plier of temporary labor. tionship with Abba, the prime
All Temps isn’t just a gov- contractor, began to erode in
ernment vendor. It also pro- the spring of 2013, less than
vides the entire staff for the four months after the two be-
agency that certified TBey and gan working together, accord-
All Temps itself as minority ing to airport emails.
businesses, giving them an ad- An Abba executive com-
vantage when they bid on pub- plained to Tawanna Lofton in
lic jobs. March 2013 about “repeated
All Temps employees at the service failures.” Abba com-
North Central Texas Regional plained that it “had never been
Certification Agency certified under so much scrutiny” by the
TBey in 2010 for temporary airport since it began working
staffing work about the time of with TBey, according to an
TBey’s grand opening. Then All email from a TBey employee.
Temps hired TBey about two TBey employees started
months later as a subcontrac- complaining about not being
tor to help All Temps win a TBey & Associates held its grand opening in DeSoto in May 2010, and owner Tawanna Lofton cut the ribbon with her paid in April, according to
three-year, $11 million Dallas husband, Cecil. The small startup received millions as a government subcontractor. emails from airport officials to
sanitation contract — one of its each other and to Abba.
biggest. Almost $2.7 million of “The staffing industry has always been a target for negative reviews and comments from The airport worked with
that was slated to go to TBey, Abba to contain the fallout. Ab-
records show. unhappy clients/employees for various reasons that are often beyond the staffing firm’s ba agreed to pay TBey’s tempo-
That led to other govern- control.” rary employees and keep them
ment jobs for TBey and related working under its supervision.
companies with the same own- Tawanna Lofton, owner of TBey & Associates Emails indicate that airport
ers. But its sudden success officials sought to soften Abba’s
didn’t last. The DeSoto busi- criticism of TBey in a “separa-
nesses struggled with or failed utive director of the certifica- seeking comment. A Bombar- er of a temporary staffing agen- contract, an assistant city attor- tion document.”
to complete jobs. They faced tion agency and All Temps em- dier representative at the air- cy called the Romulus Group, ney wrote Hay in 2011 and said As originally written, Abba
federal tax liens, a canceled ployee who died last year. port declined to comment. said Dallas city officials told All Temps breached its con- said it was seeking a different
contract and a legal dispute. Cecil Lofton, who owned an Airport spokesman David him in a 2012 conversation, but tract when TBey failed to ob- subcontractor because TBey
All Temps said it was not a electronics business that won Magaña said the airport does not in writing, that he had to tain the required insurance. wanted off the contract and be-
conflict to hire a company All government contracts, also was sometimes arrange introduc- hire TBey after he’d won a $13.5 That “put the city at immense cause of TBey’s “default on pay-
Temps’ employees certified. a former chairman of the Black tions for businesses but that million contract. risk” after a TBey worker was roll for two consecutive weeks.”
TBey’s rise and fall, however, is Contractors Association. airport officials did not inter- He did so and TBey stood to injured on the job and sued the Tamela Lee, vice president
an example of the murky role of Hay said in response to cede on behalf of TBey. earn $2.4 million from the city for negligence, the letter of the airport’s business diver-
subcontractors that get lucra- emailed questions that All Also at the airport, in late three-year contract, city docu- said. sity and development office,
tive jobs but little scrutiny from Temps picked TBey because it 2012, Abba Staffing & Consult- ments show. The city threatened to end emailed Abba’s owner to sug-
governments. The subcontrac- needed a minority firm that ing, a longtime labor contrac- Wankombe declined to the contract. The matter was gest saying their removal was
tors’ livelihoods often depend could handle unskilled sanita- tor there, was having trouble name the officials in an inter- ultimately resolved, All Temps “due to unforeseen circum-
on having close ties to prime tion workers and TBey “met the with one of its minority sub- view with The News. said. stances regarding contractual
contractors. requirement.” He said TBey’s contractors. It selected TBey as Wankombe said that last Dallas County elections offi- disagreements.”
Dallas officials said the city performance was “satisfactory.” a replacement. year the city ended his contract cials said that TBey bungled its Abba deleted mention of
deals directly with the prime TBey also had allies in the Abba’s owner said in an early, using a clause that allows job in 2012 as the as the sole TBey’s payroll problem.
contractors, who must submit local governments that finance email to Tawanna Lofton that the city to do so for any reason provider of temporary workers Abba’s owners declined to
detailed business information the certification agency. Abba hired TBey as a subcon- even though there was no for that department. comment. Magaña said the de-
as part their bids. They said the The Loftons used a connec- tractor on the “recommenda- breach. That was shortly after The assistant elections ad- cision what to write is up to the
city has little to do with subcon- tion at Dallas/Fort Worth In- tion of key personnel within The News contacted city offi- ministrator wrote that TBey prime contractor.
tractors. The county said much ternational Airport, for exam- DFW Airport.” Abba did not cials about Wankombe’s allega- didn’t respond to employee “There was a suggestion of-
the same. ple, to seek business there. name those officials in the tion that he was directed to use complaints. He said TBey had fered to clarify or more accu-
“Each prime contractor Their efforts paid off. email, which The News ob- TBey. high staff turnover and lacked rately explain the rationale,” he
subcontracts with whomever Airport staffers arranged a tained from the airport. Wankombe said that was no the ability to screen and train said.
they choose, and deem appro- meeting between TBey and Abba said in the email that coincidence. its employees. TBey could not
priate to fit the needs of the Bombardier Transportation, a the decision also was based on Wankombe said the certifi- provide bilingual employees TBey’s financial woes
specific job,” county officials major airport vendor. But after TBey being a runner-up bidder cation agency still has not re- for a major election and
said in a statement. “due diligence,” Bombardier on that contract and on TBey’s certified Romulus as a minority couldn’t provide a diverse staff,
and tax troubles
That’s the case for All Temps told the Loftons in the spring of other “experiences within company despite his attempts he wrote. Tawanna Lofton started an-
and TBey, starting in 2010. All 2011that the company wouldn’t DFW.” Other airport emails that began more than a year Other county elections em- other company, TBey Consult-
Temps said it picked TBey be- be using TBey as a subcontrac- given to The News did not shed ago. He said the agency keeps ployees said TBey failed to pro- ing Group, in September 2011,
cause it met its requirements tor, partly because of its “finan- light on how TBey got the job. losing his re-certification pa- vide enough workers at times and won some government
for the job. cial status,” according to emails Abba’s owners declined to perwork. and wasn’t paying its workers contracts, including one with
Eric Feldman, a former The News obtained from the comment. Mike Frosch, the city’s pur- on time. Tarrant County, records show.
longtime federal inspector gen- airport after an open records Magaña said the airport chasing director, said no one Still, county commissioners In 2013, TBey notified Tar-
eral, said the U.S. government request. does not suggest or recom- with his office told Wankombe extended TBey’s contract. rant County that it had merged
pays more attention to the sub- Tawanna Lofton emailed mend that companies use a to use TBey. Purchasing Director Shan- with another firm, which could
contractors than do local gov- Guy Toliver, who worked in the particular business as a sub- “We don’t do that,” he said. non Brown said that if commis- not honor TBey’s bill rate under
ernments. airport’s business diversity of- contractor. He said Abba had a “I’m not going to force relation- sioners did not renew TBey’s the contract. County commis-
At the state and municipal fice and who served with Cecil number of firms to choose from ships. It’s not my job.” contract, the elections depart- sioners gave the $70,000 job to
level, he said, “there are often a Lofton on the board of the and decided to pick TBey on its ment would have been without another firm and took TBey off
lot of powerful people involved black contractors association. own. He was unable to explain TBey’s quality of work a staffing vendor for the year. the vendor list for two years, re-
that influence lawmakers and In the email, she asked him why the email said what it did. She also said the county didn’t cords show.
the decision-makers not to “What is this based on?” Abba is not the only compa-
is questioned have a chance to talk with TBey There are also questions
provide or increase the level of Shortly afterward, Bombar- ny to say that a local govern- Despite the opportunities, about those problems before about Lofton’s background.
oversight.” dier agreed to take on TBey as a ment agency steered it toward TBey did not win high marks the contract renewal date. She has written on TBey’s web-
TBey’s owner, Tawanna Lof- subcontractor. TBey. from local governments. Lofton, the TBey owner, site and LinkedIn that she
ton, told The Dallas Morning Toliver did not return calls Serge Wankombe, the own- On the Dallas sanitation said she has payroll records to earned bachelor’s and master’s
News that she was qualified for degrees in business from Rad-
the work and performed well. ford University, which is in Vir-
She and her attorney declined ginia.
to respond to more questions But the school’s registrar’s
about the business and its re- office said it had no record of
cord. Lofton attending the school.
Lofton controlled several TBey also has run into tax
businesses that used the name trouble. In July 2012, the firm
TBey. The business that initial- owed $374,995 in federal tax-
ly received most of the local es, records show.
government contracts typically The Loftons said they sold
was identified in public docu- TBey to a company called
ments as TBey & Associates. Chartwell Staffing Solutions in
March 2013.
Connections lead to But the Pennsylvania-based
staffing company said in court
contracts documents that it decided not
TBey wanted to become a to buy TBey after learning it
government contractor when it was “financially unsound.”
officially was launched in 2010 Still, Chartwell hired Ta-
out of a DeSoto office building. wanna Lofton but fired her
It helped that its owners had soon afterward for violating a
connections and friends in the non-compete clause. Chartwell
government and private sector. alleged she used a different
Cecil Lofton, Tawanna’s company to seek government
husband and TBey’s vice presi- contracts.
dent, had known All Temps Tawanna Lofton and TBey
chief executive officer Ronald have sued Chartwell for breach
L. Hay since 2002. of contract. Chartwell has filed
Cecil Lofton also had served a countersuit.
on the board of the influential Ben Torres/Special Contributor
Black Contractors Association Serge Wankombe, owner of a temporary staffing agency called Romulus Group, said Dallas city officials told him he had;
with John Kelly, a former exec- to hire TBey & Associates after he’d won a $13.5 million contract. But a city official said the city doesn’t do that.
The Dallas Morning News
Texas' Leading Newspaper $3.00 Dallas, Texas, Sunday, June 22, 2014


Temps with criminal

pasts slip by county
Hiring practices of contractors to be examined
By ED TIMMS and firing five times into an occu-
KEVIN KRAUSE pied car after police said he
Staff Writers
shot his cousin twice in the leg.
Kelton Bivins came with a Two charges for beating his
slew of criminal charges when girlfriend. Evading arrest. Bi-
he began as a temporary work- vins, 37, also was on probation
er in Dallas County’s elections for a drug charge and served
department in January.
Three felonies for allegedly See TEMPS’ Page 21A
The Dallas Morning News DMN INVESTIGATES | CONTRACT WORKERS II Sunday, June 22, 2014 21A

Temps’ criminal pasts slip by county

Continued from Page 1A nal records.
For two temps, there was no
time in the mid-1990s for theft. public record of a driver’s li-
But Dallas County officials cense, a Texas address or any
say they weren’t aware of Bi- other public record.
vins’ past and the criminal re- The most detailed record
cords of several other temps typically available to county of-
until learning about them from ficials is a time card. It general-
The Dallas Morning News. ly has the temp’s name, signa-
Contractors who’ve earned ture and often a Social Security
millions supplying the county number. On some, names were
with temporary employees are misspelled — including a re-
required to do criminal back- cent time card for Bivins. Sig-
ground checks on their hires. natures were omitted on oth-
Top officials now say they ers. The clerk in the DA’s office
aren’t certain had submitted time cards un-
that’s happen- der two last names over the
ing. County years.
Judge Clay Some computer records
Jenkins said used by the county’s auditors
it’s unaccept- and its human resources de-
able for con- partment only list the temp’s
tractors to as- last name and do not show
CLAY sign employ- where they work. As a result,
JENKINS ees who have county officials may not know
cited the criminal histo- how long temps have been on
safety risk. ries and “put the job, if they are related to a
our employees county employee or if they have
and the public at risk.” a criminal background.
Darryl Martin, the Com- HHS typically pays for its
missioners Court administra- temps with state and federal
tor, said temp hiring practices grant money. HHS does not
will be examined — after learn- need budget office approval if
ing of The News’ findings. And it’s spending grant money, offi-
“we will make the appropriate cials said. Other departments
adjustments to ensure that all have limited money for temps
employees in Dallas County and must justify their use.
meet the same set of employee The health department was
standards,” he said. authorized, for example, to pay
County supervisors often a staffing contractor $2.3 mil-
know little about who shows up lion in 2011. All but $56,500 of
when staffing contractors send File 2008/Staff Photo that was grant money.
them temps. That’s even after a County supervisors often know little about who shows up when staffing contractors send them temps. That’s even after
temp using a false name once a temp using a false name once stole $1,360 from the tax office. Several contractors who have supplied temps said they
stole $1,360 from the tax office. conduct background checks. Two firms called it an unintentional mistake that some workers slipped through.
Case in point
The county’s limited records That contractor was All
on temps also make it difficult yer representing the county, Temps 1 Personnel. It was the
for anyone to find out. Officials and Martin, the county admin-
Temp worker’s legal troubles largest beneficiary of county
could not recall when, if ever, a istrator, later issued a response Kelton Bivins had unresolved legal issues when he came to work for Dallas County’s contracts for temporary labor
temporary worker contract on his behalf. elections department as a temporary employee. Contractors are supposed to conduct over the past decade. It also
was audited. Other county officials said criminal checks, but his department head said she never knew about Bivins’ past. The staffs the North Central Texas
“We have to have indivi- they were surprised to learn Dallas Morning News identified him and several other county temps with criminal Regional Certification Agency,
duals working for us who the about the criminal histories. histories. Here’s a look at Bivins’ background as detailed in police and court reports: which certifies whether local
public can have trust in,” said Mauldin-Taylor said a con- companies are owned by mi-
April 1994 — Receives a deferred sentence for a misdemeanor “evading detention” charge.
human resources director Mat- tractor is supposed to disclose a norities or women.
August 1994 — Deferred sentence is revoked. Sentenced to 90 days in jail.
tye Mauldin-Taylor. “And we temp’s criminal history to the The News found that several
don’t want the police coming in department head. It is then up September 1994 — Gets deferred sentence on a felony theft charge. of the employees provided by
and putting handcuffs on peo- to the department head to de- May 1995 — Probation on the theft charge is revoked and Bivins receives a 10-year sentence. All Temps to Dallas County had
ple. It disrupts my work envi- cide whether to use the person. December 2006 — Accused of hitting and kicking his girlfriend. Charged with misdemeanor criminal records.
ronment.” Elections Administrator To- assault-family violence. The case is still pending. The county has paid All
Several vendors who have ni Pippins-Poole said she as- Temps more than $13 million
supplied temps said they con- sumed that contractors vetted for supplying temporary work-
duct background checks. Two their workers. She said she’s ers since 2002. All Temps did
firms called it an unintentional never been told about a temp’s not bid on the current contract
mistake that some workers criminal history. for temps.
slipped through. “They’re supposed to give us The News began looking at
Because of the county’s reli- that informa- the role of government temp
ance on temps, The News con- tion,” she said. workers more than two years
ducted its own background She said she April 2008 — Charged with felony drug possession and a misdemeanor for evading arrest. The ago. It found that the entire
checks into dozens assigned in was disturbed evading arrest case is still pending.
staff of the taxpayer-funded
a variety of departments in re- by Bivins’ felo- NCTRCA is supplied by All
cent years. It found: ny background Temps, which also bids on pub-
■ A temp assigned to the and that he’s lic contracts.
elections department was on no longer Gwen Wilson, an All Temps
probation for felony theft. She TONI working for executive, said her company
still is. She also had completed PIPPINS- her. uses a private firm that main-
probation for a misdemeanor POOLE Attempts to tains a criminal records data-
theft charge shortly after she reach him base for background checks.
started her county assignment. were unsuc- Dec. 12, 2008 — Receives a deferred nine-year sentence for the felony drug charge. In one case, she said the
■ A temporary accounting cessful. Dec. 14, 2008 — Accused of attacking the same woman, by then his former girlfriend. Charged company was aware of the
Mauldin-Taylor said Ad-A- with a second misdemeanor assault-family violence. The case is still pending.
clerk worked in the county’s criminal record found by The
Health and Human Services Staff, one of the county’s staff- May 6, 2010 — Bivins is indicted on three counts of felony “deadly conduct” in connection with a News and that the county ap-
fight with his cousin. Bivins shot him twice in the left leg, according to police reports. When the
department while on proba- ing contractors, told her that cousin ran toward a car, police say, Bivins kept firing, striking the vehicle “at least five times.”
proved the hire. Another temp
tion for a public lewdness Bivins’ legal problems acciden- got into trouble after she began
charge. tally were overlooked. She said working for All Temps, Wilson
■ Another accounting clerk Ad-A-Staff also told her that said. As for others, she said
was working there not long af- other temps placed had no is- there was “no background
ter he finished probation for sues that would disqualify found at time of hire.”
felony theft for falsifying docu- them from employment under County officials had raised
ments at the Hyatt Regency the roughly $2.5 million con- May 13, 2010 — Prosecutors seek to revoke Bivins’ deferred adjudication in the 2008 felony drug concerns about another All
Dallas to steal more than tract awarded by the county case because of the shooting. Bivins’ attorney later contests the revocation motion. The case is Temps employee in 2008.
$26,600. earlier this year. still pending. That employee worked in
■ A data entry clerk charged Ad-A-Staff president Marie April 2013 — The Texas attorney general’s office sues Bivins in Dallas County family court for the tax office “under a false
Mumme said she was checking unpaid child support. name and encountered prob-
with felony assault in the beat-
ing of her son was on probation with the companies that run July 2013 — Bivins is cited for a traffic offense and never paid the Dallas County fine, records lems on previous work assign-
show. Such debts automatically disqualify people from working for the county.
when she worked as a temp for background checks on her ments, unbeknownst to both
Health and Human Services. temps to find out how some Jan. 6, 2014 — County records show that Bivins was assigned as a temp to the elections Dallas County and the Tax Of-
department. County officials said last week that he no longer works there.
■ Another data entry clerk criminal histories could have fice,” according to a letter from
who worked on and off over been missed. She said she uses SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research Staff Graphic the district attorney’s office to
three years for HHS had out- two companies because such All Temps.
standing traffic warrants dat- checks are not always accurate. The worker stole $1,360, ac-
ing back almost a decade. She Mauldin-Taylor said the due fines and fees. cording to the DA’s office.
began in April as a clerk for the county relies on the contractors “They have to meet the The letter said All Temps
district attorney’s office. to do the backgrounding. “That same standards. I can’t afford failed to “provide qualified
■ And a nurse was assigned was part of the contractual ob- anything less than that,” she temporary agents and perform
to HHS as a temp about 18 ligation for the temporary said. “They’re on my premises. adequate criminal background
months after being convicted staffing agencies,” she said. They’re doing my work.” checks.” As a result, the DA’s of-
of misdemeanor theft. He was Some temps, like Bivins, County auditor Virginia fice alleged, the company
accused of snatching $69 from continued to work for the Porter said her office “doesn’t breached its contract.
a restaurant cash register. county even when the contrac- have a mechanism in place” to The letter demanded that
Such backgrounds might tors changed, a common prac- verify that temp employment All Temps reimburse the coun-
derail an application for a full- tice in North Texas. Records agencies are conducting the ty and return the money it was
time county position. County show Bivins worked for Chart- critical reviews. paid for temporary personnel
officials said that having a well Staffing Solutions in Janu- services that “Dallas County
criminal history would not au- ary. In June, Ad-A-Staff was deems to be unsatisfactory.”
tomatically block a temp’s em- handling his time card.
Little to go on All Temps CEO Ronald L.
ployment, but they at least Mauldin-Taylor said Ad-A- Kye R. Lee/Staff Photographer The News obtained county Hay has told The News his
want to know about it. Staff told her it didn’t know “We have to have individuals working for us who the public records on contract-supplied firm’s background search “did
Dallas County HHS Direc- whether its employees were can have trust in,” said Dallas County human resources temps that often had little not reveal any negative infor-
tor Zachary Thompson, whose screened for arrest warrants. director Mattye Mauldin-Taylor. more than a name. That made mation about this employee.”
department has spent the most Such checks are routine for it difficult and sometimes im- Wilson said the worker was
money on temps in recent county employees, she said. tractors to ensure they know views as the county does for its possible to confirm the identi- fired and Dallas County got
years, declined to comment. Mauldin-Taylor said she what’s required. She said they job applicants. That includes ties of many temps and deter-
He referred The News to a law- plans to meet with staffing con- should be doing the same re- looking for warrants and over- mine whether they had crimi- See AGENCIES Page 22A
22A Sunday, June 22, 2014 II DMN INVESTIGATES | CONTRACT WORKERS The Dallas Morning News

File 2013/Staff Photo

A temporary accounting clerk was working at Dallas County’s 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 assessor-col- Denmon said the clerk as- them as county employees. The
lector, said he signed to the DA’s office in reason, he said, is fairness to
restitution. The crime was re- would never April had outstanding war- the employees. Temps typically
ported to the DA. “The entire be in favor of rants and that the contractor earn less than county employ-
issue was resolved to both par- using temps did not tell the county that. ees.
ties’ satisfaction,” she said. provided by a “The temp agency dropped Unlike some other local
Hay said in a recent state- contractor. the ball,” she said. governments, the county does
ment that his company has a Ames does Dallas County has the right not have a policy limiting how
AMES, tax
record of “exemplary service.” hire tempo- to review the performance of long temporary agency em-
The company’s reputation and rary and sea- contractors that provide tem- ployees can work. The county’s
doesn’t use
business ethics “have always sonal workers, porary labor. But the county contract says all job assign-
been impeccable,” he said. but they are hasn’t done so, said Porter, the ments will be “as needed.”
Former Dallas County tax county em- county auditor. The human resources de-
assessor-collector David Childs ployees. They go through a Her office periodically looks partment deals directly with
said he didn’t recall the theft. county-mandated background at some of the county’s top 100 the temporary agencies when
But he said he decided to stop check. And they’re issued vendors. It recently sent out an workers are needed. But de-
using temp agency workers for county identification badges. “internal control question- partments are supposed to
other reasons before he left of- Temp agency workers typically naire” to a temp agency in that track how many hours they
fice at the end of 2008. don’t go through that process. group, but she said it’s not a work and certify time sheets,
“If somebody is going to “full audit.” Mauldin-Taylor said.
work in the tax office, because She said lengthy job assign-
‘Good ones’ leave it is such a sensitive position, I ments wouldn’t necessarily be
Childs said his office hired want to know their back-
Employed for years inappropriate under the coun-
several who worked for a ground,” Ames said. “I want Some local government au- ty’s current policy, but it proba-
month or two. And just as they them to be actual county em- dits have recommended that bly should prompt questions.
became knowledgeable and ployees, whether they are sea- temporary employees be used “If you’ve employed them
skilled in the job, they would sonal employees or part-time on a short-term basis. The for three to four years, then
leave after getting offered employees or full time.” News found that some temp why have you not hired them
something full time, he said. The sheriff and DA’s offices agency employees appear to on a permanent basis?” Maul-
The “good ones” left, he rely on contractors for back- have worked in county jobs for din-Taylor said, adding she be-
said. “And the ones who were ground checks but sometimes years, mostly for the health de- lieves that’s “a legitimate busi-
unmotivated and were just do their own if the temps are in partment. ness question that every busi-
kind of showing up to draw a certain areas, said Debbie Jenkins said if temps are ness probably should ask.”
paycheck we ended up having Denmon, spokeswoman for used to fill long-term positions,
forever.” District Attorney Craig Wat- department heads should de-;
John Ames, the current tax kins. cide promptly whether to hire
& savings $392
(Not all areas)
Texas .........................................28 TCU ...........................................34 Missouri ...................................34 South Florida ..........................14
$17,294 last 52 weeks Oklahoma State ....................7 Kansas ...................................30 Texas A&M ............................27 SMU..........................................13

The Dallas Morning News

Texas' Leading Newspaper $3.00 Dallas, Texas, Sunday, November 16, 2014


It’s time for this year’s list
of the best employers in
Dallas-Fort Worth. There
Few hospitals lose funding after warning
were 82,031 responses to
this year’s survey, and They face short timetable, facturer. babies to the disease. While near-death may be an
those workers deter- The kitchen of a hospital in These are among the serious exaggeration in most cases, im-
mined which companies
but most are able to keep southeast Texas was so unsanitary problems found at Texas hospitals mediate jeopardy is definitely a
made the cut and how they ranked. Plus: Medicare certification that administrators quickly in the past year that prompted wake-up call for administrators.
agreed to close it and contract “immediate jeopardy” findings. They have 23 days to fix the issues
Meet the top three CEOs, chosen by D-FW work- By GARY JACOBSON with local restaurants. Federal regulators say the term or risk losing critical federal fund-
ers. Staff Writer
A nursery assistant in El Paso signals a crisis situation that risks ing.
Cheryl Hall says this year’s workers seem a little continued to feed and bathe new- the health and safety of patients. Last month, Baylor University
restless compared with previous years.
For kidney dialysis, two Hous- borns for weeks after showing One health care consultant likens Medical Center, one of the largest
Meet the 12 companies that have made our list all ton hospitals used machines that signs of active tuberculosis, po- the finding to a near-death expe-
six years of the competition. had been recalled by the manu- tentially exposing hundreds of rience for the hospital. See ‘JEOPARDY’ Page 25A


hiding in
the open
Popularity of undercover work raises
concerns about abuses, entrapment
WASHINGTON — The federal government
has significantly expanded undercover opera-
tions 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 under-
cover officers dress as students at large demon-
strations outside the courthouse to look for sus-
picious activity, according to officials familiar
with the practice. At the Internal Revenue Ser-
vice, dozens of undercover agents chase suspect-
Andy Jacobsohn/Staff Photographer ed tax evaders by posing as accountants or drug
dealers or yacht buyers, court records show.
Karin Quinn of Frisco says her sons, sixth-grader Conor (left) and seventh-grader Quinn, report math “instruction goes so fast that
Undercover work was once largely the do-
they cannot grasp the stuff.” Frisco ISD has acknowledged frustrations but says testing has found students are making progress.
main of the FBI, but changes in policies and tac-
tics over the last decade have resulted in under-

More math problems or answers? cover teams run by agencies in virtually every
corner of the federal government, according to


Staff Writer
Reports of kids struggling among didn’t pan out, said Johnny Ve-
selka, executive director of the

Parents, teachers and local mixed reviews of revised standards Texas Association of School Ad-
ministrators. AUSTIN
school officials across Texas are “It appears that everything
complaining that this year’s up-
graded math standards are leav-
ing too many students behind.
sion to this week’s agenda.
Count Frisco mom Kristen
Tripphahn among those hoping
“This is a train wreck,” Trip-
phahn said.
The new standards were ap-
they could do was not enough
and the amount of time they had
to prepare teachers was not suffi-
Perry aide
The outcry is not universal, for relief. Her son, a fifth-grader, proved by the state board in 2012. cient,” he said.
but it is widespread enough a
third of the way through the
school year that the State Board
hadn’t been used to struggling in
math. Until this year. She says the
school gave no warning that the
And this fall, district officials
across the state said they’d done
their best to get ready.
The early reviews are no worse
than mixed, said Monica Marti- promoted
of Education has added a discus- work would get a lot harder. But now many say their plans See BOARD Page 17A
despite DWIs
Governor knew official had 3 alcohol
offenses, pressed DA to quit after 1 gets better start

H 40
The health-insurance marketplace opened
Saturday and performed better than last
Feds rip local agency By CHRISTY HOPPE
Austin Bureau
L 37
Metro, back page
year. Some consumers, however, did re-
port long delays using 10A for certification denial AUSTIN — When Gov. Rick Perry tried to
Also: An adviser’s comments about the force a district attorney from office for drunken
Lottery 2A Puzzles 13-15E
health care law fuel calls for its repeal. 10A
Reversal follows ruling staffing firm after making nu- driving, he cited outrage at her behavior and a
merous unfair demands for loss of confidence in her ability to do the job.
Sec. J
METRO that it made unfair information from the compa- But on his own staff, Perry has hired and pro-
Weather 12B Auto 18-19C ER clinics may wound your wallet demands of company ny. moted a top adviser with three intoxication of-
Sports TV 2C Travel Sec. K Customers who go to free-standing emer- The U.S. Department of fenses on his record.
Business Sec. D Editorials 2P gency rooms for treatment are receiving By KEVIN KRAUSE Transportation’s office of civil Wayne Roberts, who now heads up the gover-
Movies 2E Letters 2-3P sticker-shock bills, Watchdog warns. 1B and ED TIMMS rights overturned the North nor’s signature creation, the Cancer Prevention
Staff Writers
Central Texas Regional Certi- and Research Institute of Texas, was convicted of
©2014, The Dallas Morning News SPORTSDAY The federal government fication Agency’s decision and driving while intoxicated in 1990 and 2006. He
As football dads, ex-Cowboys fret has sternly rebuked a North strongly criticized it in a letter also was fined in 2000 on a charge of public in-
Former Dallas Cowboys are not immune to Texas agency that certifies for not knowing the law and toxication in Virginia.
fear while watching their sons play foot- businesses owned by minori- for using a process “more akin Perry made him budget director in December
ball. 1C ties and women for denying
certification to a temporary See FEDS Page 16A See PERRY Page 17A

Boneless Chuck or
Shoulder Roast Jumbo
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Limit 2 With Additional $10 Purchase Oranges

99 10$
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Prices, items and offers effective thru Tuesday, November 18, 2014. So that all of our customers can take advantage of our outstanding prices,
we reserve the right to limit quantities. None sold to dealers, restaurants or other resale establishments. Copyright 2014. KROGER TEXAS L.P.
With Card

A1 11-16-2014 Set: 23:24:11

Sent by: News BLACK
16A Sunday, November 16, 2014 M FROM THE FRONT PAGE The Dallas Morning News

Feds rip local certification agency

Continued from Page 1A to the executive director posi-
to a legal summons followed by Ronquillo also said at the
adversarial questioning.” It or- time that no agency board
dered the agency last month to members had placed any such
certify Chartwell Staffing Solu- matters on the board agenda
tions “without delay.” for discussion and a vote or
Chartwell, a Pennsylvania “raised an issue regarding gov-
company with an office in Dal- ernment structure.”
las, sought NCTRCA certifica-
tion under a federal law de-
signed to make it easier for a
Complaints of delays
business already certified in Some companies continue
one state to get certified else- to complain of long delays in
where. obtaining their certification.
The agency denied Chart- The owner of a Lancaster
well’s application to be certified flooring business, for example,
as a “disadvantaged business protested in a 2013 letter to the
enterprise” last year, and the agency that she had decided
company appealed that deci- not to get recertified “based on
sion. The government said the multiple failures by your office
agency “ignored the interstate to complete tasks in a timely
certification rule — which is manner.” The letter was re-
not optional — in its entirety.” leased by a local government
The federal government’s agency.
letter echoed the frustration of And Nena LaLumia, presi-
some local contractors who dent of Atlas Contact Center
have criticized the agency’s Staffing & Consulting in Addi-
handling of cases. The agency son, said her application for
has been under fire for over a certification from the agency
year and was the subject of a dragged on for a year and a half.
Dallas Morning News investi- She said the agency kept telling
gation that found evidence of her that her file was pending.
questionable practices. “And then nothing hap-
The News published a series pens,” she said several weeks
of articles earlier this year de- ago.
tailing problems with the agen- Until recently, when she
cy’s oversight and operations. learned that her application
Some applicants have com- had been rejected. She said she
plained that the agency, direct- then applied to the Women’s
ed for most of its existence by a Business Council — Southwest
father and daughter, has been and was certified in less than
sluggish and unhelpful. Many 30 days.
said they had given up trying to LaLumia said she is con-
get certified. cerned because the NCTRCA
Despite those problems, the and All Temps employees have
File 2013/Staff Photo
agency has resisted calls for all of her business and personal
change, including recent rec- To help reduce a certification backlog, previous boards of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency have financial information. She said
ommendations from the Dallas discussed requiring certification every two or three years instead of annually. But the schedule hasn’t been changed. that she has been in the staffing
city manager for improved business more than 20 years
oversight. Asked about the Chartwell was created more than 20 years is not intended as a series of do- Resisting change and that her current firm was
The agency asked Chartwell case, All Temps said that it had ago by the city of Dallas and overs by subsequent jurisdic- incorporated in 2012. She said
for about 40 documents that “no prior knowledge” of it and other local governments to tions,” he said. Despite its problems, the she is the majority owner.
weren’t required and requested that it “provides staffing to the handle minority business certi- Some of the requested docu- agency has resisted change — Other complaints against
information that the govern- NCTRCA and does not get in- fications that once had been ments had nothing to do with even from within. the certification agency were
ment called “intrusive or offen- volved in agency business.” their responsibility. Local gov- certification eligibility. For ex- To help reduce a certifica- detailed in a 2010 racial-dis-
sive,” such as proof of ethnicity The Transportation Depart- ernments have considerable in- ample, the regional agency tion backlog, previous boards parity study commissioned by
for five employees. ment’s disadvantaged-business fluence over the agency. They asked Chartwell for proof of of- discussed increasing certifica- the North Central Texas Coun-
“The purpose of the exercise certification is given to small created it, finance it and select fice lease payments even tion periods to two or three cil of Governments on behalf of
is to ascertain eligibility under firms and those owned by nearly all of its board members. though a firm doesn’t have to be years instead of requiring an- six local public agencies, in-
the applicable rules, not invent women and minorities. Getting Traditionally, much of the current on lease payments to be nual recertifications. But no cluding Dallas/Fort Worth In-
requirements that cannot rea- certified gives minority busi- agency’s supervision has been certified, Brooks said. changes were made to the ternational Airport.
sonably be satisfied,” wrote nesses an edge in competing for left to an executive director, And the agency questioned schedule. The board did even- A minority female business
Samuel F. Brooks, an official in government contracts worth who is employed by All Temps who ran Chartwell’s Texas op- tually approve a committee rec- owner said the agency took six
the Transportation Depart- millions of dollars. Dallas and who can make certification erations while its owner, a ommendation to stop process- months to certify her. “Twice
ment’s civil rights office. He County government accepts decisions without board ap- woman, was living in Pennsyl- ing new certifications for 20 they lost our addendums to our
added that the regional agen- certifications only from the proval. Local government offi- vania. However, there is no re- days so the agency could get application,” she said.
cy’s processes seemed designed NCTRCA. cials said they do not get in- quirement that Chartwell’s caught up. A minority male business
“to increase the likelihood of All Temps previously has volved in the day-to-day opera- owner have exclusive authority After The News reported in owner said the delays are due to
failure, regardless of merit.” defended its work and said its tions. to sign contracts, Brooks said in March that other contractors all the paperwork the agency
The agency’s lawyer said he longstanding ties to the certifi- his letter, and the owner cannot had concerns about the agen- requires.
was not involved in the matter cation agency pose no conflict be in two offices at the same cy’s oversight, Dallas City Man- “If you put the amount of
and declined to comment. of interest.
The Chartwell case time. The certification agency, ager A.C. Gonzalez said he had hours together as a business
After The News’ articles Chartwell sought North he said, overlooked the inter- similar concerns. He said the owner, it doesn’t seem like it’s
were published, the agency re- Texas certification last year state certification rule’s intent city had recommended last even worth it,” he said.
Staffing questions bid its staffing contract. All when it opened an office in the of helping minority firms gain year that the agency have an ex- It’s difficult to know the ex-
For more than a decade, All Temps and four other firms Dallas area and took steps to access to new markets. ecutive director who would re- tent of the delays. That’s be-
Temps 1 Personnel, a private submitted bids. The agency acquire a company that had In its appeal letter, Chart- port only to the board and that cause of the agency’s outdated
workforce supplier, has provid- board is expected to award the been an All Temps subcontrac- well alleged “undue burden, it recertify businesses every record-keeping systems, which
ed the certification agency’s en- three-year contract to a New tor on a large city of Dallas job. unprofessionalism, abuse of other year instead of every year. were exposed when The News
tire staff, from the executive di- Jersey company, according to But the deal fell apart soon process, intimidation/adver- “It’s imperative that asked for copies of complaints.
rector to the receptionist, at its that company. A vote could after the merger agreement sarial tactics, irrelevance of cer- NCTRCA hires a full-time di- Attorneys for the agency have
Arlington office, The News has come this week. was signed in 2013, and each tain information requests and rector,” Gonzalez told The said that some of its records are
reported. All Temps staffers re- A change in the contract company sued the other for an apparent lack of impartiali- News. “The director should not kept in a “month-to-month
peatedly have approved their says the agency’s new staffing breach of contract. ty.” have relationships with any rent” storage facility.
own company as a minority- provider will no longer be able Chartwell’s bid for certifica- Brooks said the record “sub- businesses seeking certifica- The agency’s attorneys told
owned business and passed to obtain certification or recer- tion around that time did not stantially supports the allega- tion that cause ethical con- the Texas attorney general last
judgment on its rivals and po- tification from the agency, re- go well. The regional agency tions.” cerns.” December that the NCTRCA
tential rivals. cords show. asked Chartwell for a site visit He said the regional agency Gonzalez said Dallas wants “does not maintain electronic
Chartwell is a potential An attorney for the agency and interview, which is not re- had deprived Chartwell of due to work with other local gov- records of complaints, if any,
competitor of All Temps for lo- said the contract change was quired since the Pennsylvania process by, among other things, ernments to “make sure this that it may receive.” Therefore,
cal government contracts and made to avoid any perception transportation department failing to give it notice of its happens as soon as possible.” the attorneys said, any search
was in a heated business dis- of impropriety. He said no oth- had already done so when it right to respond to the certifica- However, Marcos Ronquil- for complaints would have to
pute with an All Temps sub- er changes were being consid- certified the firm, Brooks, the tion denial. The agency also im- lo, an attorney for the agency, be performed manually.
contractor at the time of the ered. Transportation Department properly refused to give Chart- told The News this summer that
certification denial in June The North Central Texas civil rights official, said in his well the materials on which it the board believed there was;
2013. Regional Certification Agency letter. “Interstate certification based its decision, Brooks said. “no need” to make any changes
This has been included to document the response to the NCTRCA
investigation and is not part of the official entry. )

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 Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Save Our Public Schools


needs to slow down a bit Coalition opposes

I DISD home rule
s it time for Save Our EDUCATION Heck, he may want to stay
Public Schools to recali- in the car.
brate its timetable to Rawlings certainly can’t
turn the Dallas ISD into a let this become a political
home-rule district? blind spot for him. He had a
The home-rule train, good thing going, you know. Minorities, teachers call source education to charter op- initiative a power grab to re-
barely running on schedule But for whatever reason, erators. place the school board with
now, is quickly veering off JAMES RAGLAND
Rawlings and the other folks plan a power grab to The coalition of representa- handpicked members who
track, with grassroots orga- pushing this home-rule idea control district budget tives for blacks and Hispanics, would control Dallas ISD’s $1.2
nizations and teacher groups cally divisive as the fight to can’t seem to grasp why teachers and administrators, billion annual budget. They
stepping up their opposition reconfigure the Dallas City people don’t want to hurry By MATTHEW HAAG along with two DISD trustees said leaders of Support Our
Staff Writer
and raising pointed ques- Council more than two de- this thing along.
and a state education board Public Schools are disingenu-
tions. cades ago. They seem to be stiff- member, described a dystopia ous, hiding the real reason for
The process, which al- Mayor Mike Rawlings arming folks — even those A dozen Dallas leaders unit- under home rule. Their de- the effort.
ready felt rushed and heavy- better keep his running sitting on the fence — who ed Tuesday to oppose making scription is in stark contrast to “I call this group SOPS, as in
handed, is facing another, shoes on if he plans to bolt say, ‘We’re willing to take a Dallas ISD a home-rule school the rosy picture portrayed by ‘sopping up,’ as opposed to
more daunting obstacle: It from more community hard look at this, but we district, contending it could the group leading the effort, ‘supporting our schools,’ ”
has quickly become as emo- meetings that turn ugly and dismantle teacher rights, dis- Support Our Public Schools.
tionally charged and politi- contentious. See WHY Page 4B enfranchise voters and out- They called the home-rule See COALITION Page 4B


Transportation Education
Update Public safety
The Watchdog Hot Topic

at issue
Commissioners fault
An officer walks along Victory Plaza
Lane during the standoff. As of late certification agency but
Photos by G.J. McCarthy/Staff Photographer Tuesday, police were trying to deter- hold off on making changes
A Dallas police officer lobbed tear gas canisters into a unit of The Vista Apartments, where a man mine whether the man captured in the
held police at bay Tuesday. The incident led to the lockdown of nearby buildings. fifth-floor unit would be charged. By KEVIN KRAUSE
Staff Writers

Standoff ends without injuries The lone agency that certifies mi-
nority businesses for Dallas County
came under fire Tuesday from county
commissioners, who questioned its
Police detain man who shot fifth-floor apartment window. “You have somebody in an elevated side of Woodall Rodgers Freeway. management and oversight while
SWAT officers used tear gas to end position that you don’t know what But after all the trouble, investiga- considering whether to allow other
out apartment window, take the standoff without injuries shortly their intent is when you get there,” he tors were still trying to determine late entities to provide such certification.
him for mental evaluation before 1 p.m., but the incident shook said. Tuesday whether to charge the man, County Judge Clay Jenkins wants
some residents of The Vista Apart- The apartment building is within who was receiving a psychological to know whether the county should
By TRISTAN HALLMAN ments in the 2300 block of North a stone’s throw of the Perot Museum evaluation at a local facility. They had allow other organizations in addition
and CHRISTINA ROSALES Houston Street. Police had saturated of Nature and Science and the W Ho- not recovered a gun yet, either. to the North Central Texas Regional
Staff Writers
the downtown area and blocked off tel. Police locked down those two Police didn’t release the man’s Certification Agency to certify busi-
Dallas police put the Victory Park streets starting about 10 a.m. because buildings, as well as the Dallas World name, but neighbors and other news nesses seeking county work. He said
area on lockdown for nearly three of the dangers of an active shooter in a Aquarium and Booker T. Washington accounts identified him as David Ar- doing so would give those firms more
hours Tuesday while engaged in a “highly populated area,” Deputy Chief High School for the Performing and opportunities to do business with the
standoff with a man who shot out his Scott Walton said. Visual Arts, which are on the other See POLICE Page 8B county.
Ultimately, however, commis-
sioners decided to have staff mem-
bers study the matter for a couple of
INSIDE PLANO weeks before deciding whether to
Suspension over, make changes. Some commissioners
minister says
The Rev. Bill McElvaney of
the United Methodist
Abbott sides with hospital in lawsuit said they should wait for the conclu-
sion of a racial-disparity study being
done by a county consultant.
Church says that he be- Baylor accused of protecting Abbott. The suits challenge Ironically, that was the same rea-
Abbott filed mo- the constitutionality of son commissioners gave in Septem-
lieves his suspension for
conducting a same-sex
a neurosurgeon whose tions to intervene in a state law that re- ber 2011for delaying any action when
wedding is over. 7B patients died or were maimed three separate federal quires the plaintiffs to Commissioners Court Administra-
court suits brought prove that Baylor act- tor Darryl Martin proposed identical
DART arrives at By DOUG J. SWANSON against Baylor Plano ed with actual intent changes for the minority certifica-
D/FW on Aug. 18 Staff Writer
by former patients of to harm patients. Ab- tion process.
DART will begin running GREG Dr. Christopher CHRISTOPHER bott seeks court per- The suggested change comes af-
light-rail trains to Dallas/ The Baylor Regional Medical Cen- ABBOTT Duntsch. They have DUNTSCH mission to defend the ter The Dallas Morning News report-
Fort Worth Airport on ter at Plano, accused of protecting a alleged that Baylor statute. ed earlier this month that the county
Aug. 18. 8B neurosurgeon who allegedly killed and knew Duntsch was a dangerous physi- If Abbott’s position is upheld, the currently accepts certification only
Ratcliffe picks up maimed patients, gained an ally this cian but did not stop him from per-
week in Texas Attorney General Greg forming back surgery. See ABBOTT Page 9B See MINORITY Page 8B
key endorsements
John Ratcliffe has
grabbed the endorse-
ment of two Washington
primary runoff with Rep.
Ralph Hall. 9B

Panel to end EPA standoff, vote on greenhouse gas permits
■ Cedar Hill ISD names By RANDY LEE LOFTIS taking over the permits from the voted to end a standoff over per plant: an EPA greenhouse have sought permits.
Environmental Writer
superintendent finalist. 5B
Environmental Protection greenhouse gas permits. permit and a TCEQ permit for One is ExTex LaPorte L.P.’s
■ Trial starts for woman Agency. The EPA has issued The EPA launched the per- all other pollutants. Mountain Creek natural-gas
accused of running over Texas regulators are to vote them in Texas since 2011. mits in 2010. Texas refused to The EPA said Texas compa- power plant in Dallas County.
pregnant cousin. 7B Wednesday on issuing green- Permits cover power plants, join in as part of a broader resis- nies deserved one-stop permits. Others are Southern Power’s
house gas permits to new or ex- refineries and some other in- tance to controlling global- The Legislature agreed. TCEQ Trinidad natural-gas power
INSIDE panding industries — some- dustries. They apply to new warming-related emissions. commissioners will vote in Aus- plant in Henderson County and
County roundup 2-3 thing they loudly refused to do greenhouse gas emissions equal The strategy threatened to tin. Voting no “would represent Targa Gas Processing LLC’s
Norma Adams-Wade 5 three years ago. to 100,000 tons of carbon diox- impede industries by forcing a failure to implement legisla- Longhorn plant in Wise County.
Obituaries 6-7 Some plants are in North ide per year. them to go straight to the EPA, tive directive,” agenda backup
Weather 10 Texas. The Texas Commission The TCEQ is following or- which has few permit reviewers. material says. Follow Randy Lee Loftis on
on Environmental Quality is ders. In 2013, the Legislature It also required two permits Since 2011, 83 Texas plants Twitter at @RandyLeeLoftis.
. . . . . . . .
8B Wednesday, March 26, 2014 REGION The Dallas Morning News


D/FW rail station opening set for Aug. 18

Light-rail connection to moment in North Texas trans- Line originates. A trip from the airport to Now downtown is home to open by Dec. 31. DART an-
portation. They say it will pro- The station is a short, out- the West End Station will take about 8,000 people, with nounced earlier this year that it
provide seamless access vide seamless access from side walk from the airport’s A10 about 50 minutes. The airport 5,000 new residential units in planned to open earlier than
to airport, officials say DART’s 13 member cities to the entrance. Travelers flying out of station will be the last stop on the works. The Orange Line that, but didn’t give an exact
world. Terminal A can check in once the Orange Line, which runs completion will give DART its date until Tuesday.
By BRANDON FORMBY “It really connects people inside and then go through se- from Plano through downtown 62nd station on what will be a Many see the station as a fi-
Transportation Writer
and places beyond what we ev- curity. Dallas and Irving. 90-mile light-rail network. nal hurdle in Dallas being able
er thought about,” said Gary Travelers flying out of other “This is something we’ve The airport station is also to call itself a legitimate inter-
Dallas Area Rapid Transit Thomas, DART’s president terminals have two choices waited on a long time,” said seen as giving Dallas another national city. Airport spokes-
will begin running light-rail and executive director. once they get off the train. John Crawford, president and tool to lure companies to relo- man David Magana said most
trains to its new station at Dal- For locals, it promises to Those checking bags can catch CEO of Downtown Dallas Inc. cate and conventions to take major European and Asian air-
las/Fort Worth International provide an alternative beyond an airport shuttle to other ter- Crawford and many other place here. ports have trains connecting
Airport on Aug. 18, officials an- driving, taking a cab or book- minals outside the A10 en- area leaders say the station will “As I see it, it creates more their airports to their city cen-
nounced Tuesday. ing a shuttle to get to D/FW. trance. Those with carry-on help make downtown a more good news for downtown,” ters.
The station will directly “In real terms, it’s symbolic bags only can check in for their attractive place to live. About Crawford said. “It puts us on a very good list
connect DART’s Orange Line of what DART represents, flight inside the entrance, go 200 people lived downtown in An airport station has been of airports to be on,” he said.
to Gate A10 of the airport. which is regional connectivity,” through security and then take 1996, the same year DART in the works since DART was
Local officials herald the said Harry LaRosiliere, mayor the airport’s SkyLink to their opened its first 14 stations on 11 created in 1983. Most recent Follow Brandon Formby on
station opening as a watershed of Plano where the Orange terminal. miles of track. plans called for the station to Twitter at @brandonformby.


wage hike
Jenkins urges paying “You are going to see our
bids go way up across the
contract workers at board,” he said.
least $10.25 an hour Democrats John Wiley
Price and Elba Garcia ex-
By MATTHEW WATKINS pressed concern that Jen-
Staff Writer
kins’ proposal could make it
harder for the county to
Dallas County Judge handle future financial bur-
Clay Jenkins on Tuesday dens.
proposed raising the mini- “I would like to see the
mum wage for private em- details of any proposal be-
Lara Solt/Staff Photographer ployees who do contract fore it goes forward,” Garcia
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Commissioner John Wiley Price discuss allowing entities besides the North Texas work for the county. said. “We need to look at the
Regional Certification Agency to also certify businesses as minority-owned. Full-time contract work- numbers to see what the
ers who handle janitorial cost will be.”

Minority certification at issue

duties, security and other Shannon Brown, the
labor would be paid at least county purchasing agent,
$10.25 per hour under Jen- gave a rough preliminary
kins’ plan. Many of those estimate that the policy
employees are currently change would cost
Continued from Page 1B “Is there a legal reason why we can’t join the Commissioner John Wiley paid at or slightly above the $500,000 a year. But she
Price agreed, saying, “We’ve got federal minimum wage, said a more detailed analy-
from the NCTRCA, an entity city of Dallas and others in having more than things in the pipeline.” $7.25 per hour. sis is needed.
that has faced criticism for slug- one certifying authority before we have a Price also raised questions “We all do better when Jenkins, a Democrat,
gishness and other inefficien- about certification as a HUB, a we all do better and every- raised the idea during a
cies. disparity study? It seems to me to benefit “historically underutilized busi- one gets a chance to get routine vote on a contract
Martin said the $500,000 ness” owned by a minority group ahead,” Jenkins said. “And for janitorial services at a
minority businesses if we give them more
disparity study will be complet- member, woman or disabled when you are making $8 an county building. The con-
ed in about six months. He said avenues to get certified.” veteran residing in Texas. That hour cleaning out a toilet, tract was approved, but he
the consultant, California- certification, which the state you don’t have as much of a abstained because the con-
based Colette Holt & Associ- Clay Jenkins, Dallas County judge comptroller provides at no chance to get ahead.” tractor planned to hire a
ates, has advised the county not charge and which is good for County officials said they full-time janitor at $8 per
to make any changes until that temporary staffing firm. The ready obtained certification to four years, can give those firms didn’t immediately know hour, or about $16,000 a
time. agency is funded chiefly by local do business with other govern- an edge when bidding on state how many workers would year, with no medical bene-
Martin said any changes to governments. Most of its board ment entities to also have to ob- contracts. be affected. fits.
county policy should affect fu- members are employees of the tain NCTRCA certification in Price suggested that a firm The idea mirrors a rule Paying workers a “living
ture contracts only. local governments that appoint order to bid on a county con- with a HUB certification today issued by President Barack wage” has been a focus for
Commissioner Mike Can- them. But day-to-day opera- tract. If the county accepted cer- might not even be around “four Obama earlier this year for Jenkins. At his urging, the
trell, the only Republican on the tions and oversight of the agency tification from more agencies, it years down the road.” federal contract workers. court voted last month to
court, said he had concerns are left to All Temps employees. would save those businesses a Commissioner Theresa But a local policy may be eliminate the county’s two
about the NCTRCA and would Martin said that if the county lot of time and effort, he said. Daniel said she favored delaying more difficult to imple- lowest pay grades, which
support pulling out as a mem- is going to stay with the “Is there a legal reason why any change to the current policy. ment. No vote was taken had starting hourly rates
ber entity. If not, the agency NCTRCA, he would want to sit we can’t join the city of Dallas “What would be the harm of Tuesday, but some mem- under $9. The vote was
needs more transparency, he down with its attorney and the and others in having more than waiting until we get the results bers of the Commissioners largely symbolic, since no
said. district attorney’s office and “fig- one certifying authority before of the disparity study so that we Court expressed skepticism. employees were in those
“I’m not sure the best gov- ure out what their processes are we have a disparity study?” Jen- get a clear picture?” she asked. The court’s lone Repub- bottom pay grades.
erning structure was put in going to be in the future” and kins asked. “It seems to me to Purchasing director Shan- lican, Mike Cantrell, argued Jenkins acknowledged
place to manage an operation whether they are “looking at benefit minority businesses if non Brown said she would like it was a case of government that implementing his lat-
like that,” he said. “They ought changing structure.” we give them more avenues to some time to “educate the ven- interference. est suggestion presents
to have a full-time manager. “The question is, Who’s in get certified.” dors as to what those new certifi- “What you are trying to greater challenges. But he
You can call it an executive di- charge over there?” Cantrell Commissioner Elba Garcia cations are.” do is dictate to private en- said he was confident
rector … but they need some- said. said she wanted to know the “I certainly think it will help terprises how they are going something could be worked
body there who can be account- Martin said he would like the structure and track record of the expand the vendors that can to run their business” he out.
able.” answer to that. other certification agencies. She come forward,” Brown said. said. Raising the salaries of “I don’t think it is unrea-
The NCTRCA — from the Jenkins said it’s time-con- said she also wanted to make “And I think that is a good thing.” low-paid workers, he add- sonable to say that as a
executive director to reception- suming for businesses to get cer- sure any decision wouldn’t affect ed, could mean contractors county government, we
ist — is staffed entirely by All tified. He said that he didn’t current projects or bids or ex-; would also have to pay man- want our citizens to get a
Temps 1 Personnel, a private want companies that have al- pose the county to legal issues. agers more. living wage,” he said.

Police standoff in Victory Park ends with no one injured

Continued from Page 1B “We knew he was under dis- really safe building,” Lipscomb of glass breaking. “I have to say the Perot han- Arnold said most of the stu-
tress, but I don’t want to specu- said. “It’s one of those surreal situ- dled it beautifully,” said Kim Ar- dents at the museum had no idea
nold Lamb, 38. He was arrested late on what caused him to take He said his wife looked out- ations,” Reynoso said. nold, who was a chaperon for her what was happening just a few
on a DWI charge in 2012, but the actions that he did,” Walton side the door at their apartment He said he isn’t sure his sister, son’s class. “They told one adult yards away. Their lunch was
has no prior violent criminal said at a news conference later and saw four officers with guns who is moving to Dallas, will feel about the situation and that was stuck on the bus during the
history. A neighbor said Lamb Tuesday. drawn, trying to negotiate with safe at the apartment anymore. it. That way, we can share the standoff, so museum staff passed
lives at the building, but it was Marc Lipscomb, who also someone in an apartment down “I told my sister, ‘As soon as news with our group the way we out lemonade and snacks for the
unclear whether anyone else lives on the fifth floor at The Vis- the hall. She dead-bolted the we can, we’ll get you out of wanted to.” groups.
lived in the apartment with him. ta, said he didn’t know Lamb. He door and texted him while he there,’ ” he said. Once the standoff was over, “I wasn't worried at all,” Ar-
Walton said police also rushed from a downtown law watched police set off a tear gas But life carried on as usual at busloads of elementary students nold said. “I'm just grateful that
haven’t determined a motive. firm where he works to the Perot canister. the Perot Museum, parents and from Dallas and Grapevine-Col- we weren't here all day and that I
Initial reports said that the man Museum parking lot after the Reuben Reynoso also rushed teachers said. An estimated leyville ISD were free to leave the can pick up my other child on
fired a weapon as authorities at- apartment complex sent out an back to the apartments because 2,000 people, many of them museum and did so under the time.”
tempted to evict him, but a po- email about the shooting. his 25-year-old sister was stay- youngsters on field trips, were watchful gaze of police officers.
lice spokesman later denied “I was really shocked and ob- ing there. She told him there trapped inside the building dur- Many of the students wiggled;
that. viously very rattled because it’s a were shots fired and some kind ing the standoff. and yelled for their buses.

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.
E.M. (Ted) Dealey 1940-1960 Editor
Joe M. Dealey 1960-1980
George Rodrigue
James M. Moroney Jr. 1980-1985 Vice President, Managing Editor
John A. Rector Jr. 1985-1986 Keven Ann Willey
Vice President, Editorial Page Editor
Burl Osborne 1986-2001

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Hits and Misses

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 Recre-
ation Center in South Dallas. The court includes six new basketball goals, refin-
ished hardwood floors, NCAA and Big 12 logos and an electronic scoreboard. It’s 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

It’s not easy to buy a Tesla in Texas, even though there’s
growing interest in the electric car company’s products.
Gov. Rick Perry was right to advocate this week to allow
Tesla to sell directly to customers in Texas. Old laws de-
signed to protect politically powerful car dealers pre-
vent that. Perry wants an exemption for the company,
in large part because he wants the state to compete for
a Tesla plant. He’s right to try to give Texas the best
chance to compete for the jobs — and to give consum-
ers 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 eligi-
ble. That’s 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
We’ve 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
Ratcliffe’s 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 dis-
trict voters a chance to break from the past. They should seize it.

Exploring new dimensions

Hats off to SMU’s Meadows Museum for pioneering ways that
sight-impaired people can explore the museum’s art. It’s a mul-
tisensory approach that includes narration of the elements the
artist put in a painting (hold the interpretation, please). It in-
cludes the chance to feel objects depicted (a pipe, say, or a walk-
ing 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 Church’s sexual abuse scandals “the shame of the church,” an ad-
monition that no caring person would dispute. He’s 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 won’t right past
wrongs, but we hope it delivers strong safeguards to hold the church accountable and protect chil-

This foot isn’t being dragged, it’s getting buried

The North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency, which exclusively certi-
fies 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. You’d
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 certifica-
tion to include other agencies — such as the state comptroller’s office, which provides four-year cer-
tifications 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 chief’s entry

When Parkland’s 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 back-
handed welcome to town. At Friendship West Baptist Church, Price
made it clear he was sorry Parkland hadn’t hired a black or Hispanic
CEO. “No reflection on Dr. Cerise,” who is white, Price said. No, the com-
ment wasn’t 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 didn’t need to intervene but chose to, disregard-
ing the many opportunities Baylor had to yank the doctor’s privileges as documented complaints
against him mounted.

CORRECTION: An editorial in Friday’s paper inaccurately described the maximum percentage retail-
ers can keep of the planned 5-cent plastic bag fee. Retailers can keep 10 percent of the fee under the new
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


City keeps on-demand Kirk to be adviser to

transit, adds services bullet train developer
Area extended into Public Transit contains two this Plano service may use the
new features. commuter shuttle, which con-
Denton County; some TAPS will now be able to nects riders to the DART net- Ex-mayor to help rail U.S trade rep- first experienced bullet trains
Plano rides allowed serve residents in the Denton work through Plano’s Parker
company with effort to
resentative while traveling as a politican.
County part of Frisco. Service Road Station. Ron Kirk “I’ve always envied that
By VALERIE through TAPS was previously Frisco’s 12-month contract link Dallas, Houston joined the pri- transportation alternative, par-
WIGGLESWORTH limited to residents in the Col- with TAPS for the on-demand vate firm Mon- ticularly in Europe and Asia,” he
Staff Writer lin County part of Frisco. shared-ride service costs By BRANDON FORMBY day as a senior said.
Transportation Writer
Also, drivers will transport $150,000 and goes into effect
adviser. The Kirk said he was drawn to
On-demand transit service disabled or elderly Frisco resi- Monday. It gives the city time to RON KIRK move comes al- the project because it is infra-
will continue in Frisco after dents to destinations in Plano. evaluate other transit options Texas Central Railway is most two years structure that will create jobs,
grant funding ran out and the This contract provision is avail- and decide what might be best turning to a familiar and influ- after Kirk left President Barack support economic growth in
city decided to step up and pay able only to Frisco residents for the long term, officials said. ential North Texan in its bid to Obama’s Cabinet and returned the metropolitan areas it serves
the cost. who qualify. Qualifying takes “We believe that the service connect Dallas and Houston to practicing law. Kirk, who will and is environmentally friendli-
The contract the city ap- about two weeks, officials said. with a high-speed rail line. remain senior of counsel at Gib-
proved last week with TAPS Those who don’t qualify for See FRISCO Page 4B Former Dallas mayor and son, Dunn & Crutcher, said he See KIRK Page 7B


Transportation Education
Update Public safety
The Watchdog Hot Topic

veteran to
take reins
New superintendent has
experience in the classroom
and on the front lines
Staff Writer

The man who will become the new

superintendent of McKinney ISD is al-
ready 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 Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer
assistant superinten- 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
dent for student ser- Dallas. To foster relationships, the nonprofit uses an app to track encounters with clients.
It was his close

Beacon for homeless

connection to stu-
dents and experience
RICK MCDA- on the front lines that
NIEL has earned him the job,
The Dallas Morning News is
been a said school board collecting money through Jan.
teacher, President Amy Dan- 31 for distribution to 25
coach and
For “a lot of super-
Center persistent about recognize that those who
had the greatest need didn’t
agencies that help the hungry
and homeless in North Texas.
intendent candidates have access to the services Charities will receive 100
tor over the
years. and superintendents,
it’s just been so long
Deanna Hamilton visit-
ed for the food and clothing,
providing basics, care they need. We started out
just crawling under the
percent of all donations.

Total collected
since they actually had daily contact but she went back to Our bridges, and we still do a lot
with the students,” Dankel said. “We Calling for the faith and fel- profit offers resources to able for those that are not in of that.” $310,000
really felt it was important.” lowship offered alongside it. homeless people in Dallas, shelters, and that’s what our Walker said their num-
McDaniel will replace J.D. Kenne- “A friend of mine had but it is not a shelter. While primary target is,” Walker bers show that for every Send your check or money
order payable to:
dy, who will retire in December. He brought me up here about a it is a faith-based organiza- said. homeless person in a shel-
praised Kennedy’s leadership and said year and a half ago,” said tion, it is not tied to any one The organization started ter in Dallas, there are four The Dallas Morning News
the district of 24,565 students will keep denomination, said Wayne about 13 years ago, he said. more people sleeping out- Charities
Hamilton, 52. “At first it was
5500 Caruth Haven Lane
moving down the same path. just for the coffee and the Walker, executive director It became a nonprofit in side.
Dallas, Texas 75225-8146
“I think we have room for some def- clothes, and stuff like that, and pastor. 2009. Our Calling is one of “There’s about 2,000
Phone: 214-346-5546
inite improvement, but our mission but as I kept coming back, “We kind of started as a 25 agencies receiving funds shelter beds in Dallas, so
and vision will remain the same,” and watching the other homeless ministry of a from The Dallas Morning there’s a lot more people Make credit card donations at
McDaniel said. church or a bunch of News Charities this year. that are sleeping outside ev-
members interact with peo-
The McKinney ISD board of trust- ple and talk to them about churches that got together. “Before that, we were ery single night,” he said. Follow the campaign on
ees picked McDaniel as the lone finalist God and stuff, I wanted to Even if you look around to- just kind of a grassroots Our Calling’s resource Twitter at @DMNcharities
for superintendent at a meeting Nov. 11. be a part of it.” day in Dallas, there’s not a group of volunteers,” Walk- or on Facebook at
State law requires a waiting period of The East Dallas non- whole lot of resources avail- er said. “We started this to See CENTER Page 5B
21days for the hire to become official.
The district reviewed a pool of
about 100 applicants, which the school
board narrowed to 32 candidates. MINORITY- AND WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES
Trustees took into account feedback
from focus groups, which asked for a
leader who would stay in the job “for a
while,” Dankel said.
New staffing firm to run show at certification agency
Both Kennedy and his predecessor, Questions had been North Texas agency that Temps 1 Personnel handled sity programs. right direction,” said Dallas
Tom Crowe, announced retirement certifies minority- and all staffing for the NCTRCA, The NCTRCA also said it County Judge Clay Jenkins.
plans after five years at the helm. raised over efficiency women-owned businesses. from its executive director will implement a new com- “We all benefit from a trans-
of secretive group The North Central Texas to its receptionist. puter system that would parent process that leads to
See NEW Page 7B Regional Certification But NCTRCA officials help speed up the certifica- a diverse workforce.”
By KEVIN KRAUSE Agency has faced questions said the board of directors tion process for new appli- The changes come after
and ED TIMMS in recent years about its recently awarded its new cants and those seeking an- The Dallas Morning News
Staff Writers
INSIDE performance and efficiency staffing contract to Armand nual renewals. The agency reported problems with the
County by County 2-3 For the first time in years, while attempting to keep its Resource Group (ARG), a has dealt with backlogs and NCTRCA’s management,
Obituaries 6-7 a different staffing company records from the public. For New Jersey company that complaints that it is slug- oversight and operations,
Weather 8 will soon take over the daily more than a decade, Dallas specializes in setting up and gish and unhelpful.
operations of a troubled workforce supplier All monitoring business diver- “It looks like a step in the See TROUBLED Page 5B
. . . . . . . .
The Dallas Morning News DALLAS Tuesday, November 25, 2014 5B

Troubled agency gets

new staffing firm
Continued from Page 1B ly said the company plans to
open a Dallas office. ARG
including a story last week worked on the 2008 DART
explaining a rebuke from the contract to develop the first
federal government over the sections of the Orange Line
agency’s handling of a certifi- that run to Irving. The com-
cation application. pany was in charge of the
The News found that All project’s business diversity
Temps staffers repeatedly ap- program.
proved their own company as Darcel Webb, chairwom-
a minority-owned business an of the NCTRCA board,
and passed judgment on its said in a news release that
potential rivals. The head of the agency appreciated the
All Temps has previously de- work of All Temps’ contract-
fended its work and said its ed staff over the years.
long-standing ties to the Last month, the U.S. De-
agency pose no conflict of in- partment of Transportation’s
terest. office of civil rights blasted
Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer Under the new three-year the NCTRCA for its handling
contract, ARG, which has an of a certification application
Volunteers prepare food at Our Calling, a resource center in East Dallas. It’s not a shelter, but the nonprofit helps con-
office in the Houston area, it rejected in 2013. The go-
nect homeless people with resources there or elsewhere.
will not be able to receive verment overturned the
NCTRCA certification. An agency’s decision and strong-

Center seeks out homeless people to aid attorney for the certification
agency said recently that the
new staffing vendor will have
ly criticized it for not know-
ing the law and for using a
process “more akin to a legal
to seek certification else- summons followed by adver-
Continued from Page 1B tion. We don’t buy it if we don’t es, Walker said. where to avoid any percep- sarial questioning.”
AT A GLANCE have it,” Habashy said. “It keeps me grounded,” tion of impropriety. Although the NCTRCA
center is located on South Our Calling Habashy said volunteers Hamilton said. A copy of the new signed was created and is financed
Haskell Avenue, but its staff have a unique opportunity to Hamilton recently found contract that is effective Dec. by the city of Dallas and oth-
visits more than 1,200 loca- Our Calling focuses on four invest in the lives of those they out that she may qualify for 1 was not immediately avail- er local governments, it sued
tions in Dallas looking for main areas: Bible study and life serve, whether it’s helping housing, but she will continue able. But the contract was The News in 2012 to block
homeless people in need of as- skills, mentoring and with a search-and-rescue to come back and help, she worth between $310,000 the release of agency records.
sistance, said Jonathan Ha- discipleship, addiction team or taking time to serve in said. and $350,000 annually dur- After a one-day trial, a
recovery (12-step meetings) the cafe and get to know the “I think it’s a great opportu- ing the past four years, re- state district judge conclud-
bashy, director of develop-
and resource distribution. The
ment. people there. nity for those who are out on cords show. ed last year that the agency
resource center is at 500 S.
“They’re out there, and Haskell Ave. It is open Monday
“The invitation that Our the streets to be able to have The agency said in a news was a “governmental body”
they’re not receiving services through Friday, though hours Calling extends is to come and somewhere to come to, where release that ARG is a “nation- for the purposes of open-re-
elsewhere,” Habashy said. and services vary by day. For invest,” Habashy said. “It’s a they can get some time of fel- ally-recognized leader with cords requests. He instruct-
While the staff doesn’t al- more information about the unique risk that you take.” lowship, plus be able to get a experience in certification ed the agency to release in-
ways take resources directly to organization, visit Some of the volunteers are hot meal and the clothes that practices and policies for dis- formation.
those locations, they make or call homeless. Hamilton, who has they need, blankets, stuff like advantaged, minority, wom-
connections with people, and 214-444-8796. been coming to Our Calling that, to just kind of survive out en, and small businesses.”;
let them know where to find for about 18 months, now vol- on the streets,” Hamilton said. An ARG employee recent-
help when they’re ready, he source guide to area homeless unteers at the resource center
d d h l h l f d k

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.

Joe M. Dealey 1960-1980 Editor

James M. Moroney Jr. 1980-1985

Keven Ann Willey
John A. Rector Jr. 1985-1986
Vice President, Editorial Page Editor
Burl Osborne 1986-2001

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Hits and Misses

Photographic evidence
Would events have transpired differ-
ently in Ferguson, Mo., had Officer
Darren Wilson been equipped with a
body camera when he confronted
teenager Michael Brown? Perhaps, and that is why
we’re pleased that Dallas County District Attorney-
elect Susan Hawk wants to use her office’s forfeiture
funds to buy small uniform cameras for Dallas police
officers. Like dash cams in squad cars, body cams pro-
tect officers from false accusations and citizens from
overbearing officers. Cheers to Hawk for proposing
greater accountability in police-community interac-

A small mercy
Sometimes, it’s the little mercies we need to
be thankful for. That’s what the district attor-
ney of Morehouse and Ouachita parishes in
Louisiana showed this week when he dis-
missed a ticket for a 16-year-old Texas boy
who fell asleep at the wheel and caused an ac-
cident that killed five members of his family.
The prosecutor summed it up clearly. “This
young man has been punished enough,” Jer-
ry 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 Commis-
sioner 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 ap-
pears 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 Agency’s 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. Let’s hope this helps legitimize efforts to cre-
ate 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 court’s jurisdic-
tion, bringing him closer to his Wednesday execution date. What madness that
would be. Panetti’s lawyers wanted a stay so they could present the case that his de-
cades of documented schizophrenia renders him mentally incompetent for execution, under Su-
preme Court guidelines against cruel and unusual punishment. The vote was 5-4 against him,
showing at least that there’s 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 prosecu-
tor Danny “Buck” Davidson whether to seek
a new punishment trial — which he has indi-
cated he will not do. Tiede was serving a life
sentence until a judge in Panola County in
East Texas allowed his release while the ap-
peals 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 mil-
lions of dollars from Nugent, was portrayed
sympathetically in the 2011 film Bernie. Da-
vidson teamed with director Richard Linklater to win Tiede’s release, and absent a new punish-
ment 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 re-
marks about the status of women go beyond what’s 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 women’s rights makes them even more outrageous.
Dallas Observer More From Voice Nation Join Sign In



Grand Prairie's It Turns Out That Predicting the

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BLOG By Eric Nicholson By Amy By Unfair Park
STORIES Silverstein


The Way Dallas Certifies Minority Contractors Is
a Sucker's Game, News Shows
By Jim Schutze Wed., Mar. 19 2014 at 7:00 AM 89 Comments
Categories: Schutze

Like Share 29 Tweet 3 4 1


Ed Timms and Kevin Krause had a great story
in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday
about a local agency that certifies businesses
as minority or women­owned. The North
Central Texas Regional Certification Agency
seems to be sort of the same outfit as
something called All Temps 1 Personnel.

The agency was set up to rule on whether
companies are really minority or women­
owned, but its entire staff is provided by All Wickipedia Commons
Temps. From time immemorial, someone has played
the fool. Apparently now it's us.
All Temps, wouldn't you know, has had no
problem getting certified as a minority­owned company and no problem getting local
government contracts, $30 million worth in the last 10 years. Timms and Krause ran down
other minority­owned staffing companies who couldn't get certified to save their lives.
Some just gave up. 

Let me run it by you again. Local government in Dallas County, very much under the
influence, not to say the thumb, of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, sets up a
certification agency that serves as the gateway for local minority government contracting.
Krause and Timms found other cities in Texas that did their own certifying, but, no, we
needed a special outside agency for that.

So our local outside agency somehow becomes the Siamese twin of a for­profit staffing
company. The outside agency certifies its twin, the staffing company, as minority­owned up
one side and down the other, and the twin runs out and gloms on to a rich stack of
contracts. But other minority companies that are potential competitors to All Temps come
along, foolishly take this for a straight­up process, apply for their own certification, and
their records keep getting lost, surprise, surprise.

Racial discrimination in business and in public contracting has been a serious problem in
the past. It's reasonable for communities to want to cleanse themselves of that issue. But
Dallas has a particular problem. Somehow the whole business of minority contracting here
has wound up having the exact opposite effect of anything that could have been intended.
The way it works here, hard­working honest companies get shut out, and the scammers
rush in.

Six years ago when Commissioner Price was engaged in his partially successful campaign to
sabotage a huge industrial project in his own district called The Inland Port, he demanded
that the main developer, The Allen Group, provide a list of all certified minority
subcontractors it used in businesses in California. Those businesses were unrelated to
Allen's Dallas operation, and the demand had no basis in law.

I called the Allen Group to ask what they were doing about Price's demand. Richard Allen,
head of the company, told me he wanted to cooperate but could not. He said he could not
provide a list of certified minority subcontractors in California because he didn't have any. I
asked why.

He told me that, first of all, as an Anglo, he was in the minority in his part of California.
Secondly, he said, virtually all of the subcontractors his company used in construction were
Latino. Every one. But not a single one of them had ever signed up for minority
certification. I asked why.

"They don't want to mess with it," he said. "They just go out and do the work."

Reading Timms' and Krause's piece Sunday, I wondered how many more strong minority
companies we might have in the Dallas region if the North Central Texas Regional
Certification Agency had never been formed. And now that we see how it works, I wonder
how much longer we are expected to stand here like suckers and not say anything. 

Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more ­ minus the newsprint and sent
direc ly to your inbox.

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06/17/2013 10:58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 02/12

CAUSE Na. DC-12-11214








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:
06/17/2013 10:58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 03/12


1, 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


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


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


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

06/17/2013 10: 58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 04/12

8. 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 e • 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-
06/17/2013 10:58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 05/12

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 entities—City 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.

06/17/2013 10: 58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 06/12

18. 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

to governmental bodies is cleterntined by the governmental body's population or type, A

member governmental entity pays the Agency the same amount of' money, an "annual

appropriation," even lithe member governmental entity never uses the Agency's 5CINiCOS.

1 9. 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


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
06/17/2013 10: 58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 07/12

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

25. 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
06/17/2013 10: 58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 08/12

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


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 body.

32. Information responsive to the T.P.I.A 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


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.

0E/17/2013 10:58 214E53E001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 09/12

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

pr❑cessing, warehousing, equipment repair, and printing."

41.. N.C.T.R.,C.A. receives funds from the Following sources: (a) annual fees .f•om

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

42. The 7\1 (21 , 1).s is not a state or local govenrmental entity in thc state of Texas,

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

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.

06/17/2013 10:58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 10/12


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

the T.P.I.A

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

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 a

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.

06/17/2013 1E1:58 2146536E1 01 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 11/12

9. 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..

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

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

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

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

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

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.
06/17/2013 10:58 2146536001 14TH DISTRICT COURT PAGE 12/12

SIGNED this ) day of , 2013.

^ —^...,_
:11,1 DGE PrdS1DING