Friday, December 12, 2008

Wilson Education Center and Larry Risk - Here's 42 Cents, Now Go Buy A Clue

Over on Diana Vice's blog. she reports that Larry Risk of the Wilson Education Center denied her request for Barnes & Thornburg invoices and sent her an invoice to pay the price of a stamp for mailing the denial. Here is my open letter to Mr. Risk:

Dear Mr. Risk:

According to your website, the Wilson Education Center contracts to provide education services to schools in the state, including many public schools. In other words, our tax dollars end up in your company's pocket. Because of your contractual relationship with those public schools and receiving our tax dollars, Wilson Education Centers. pursuant to IC 5-23-7 et seq., has to comply with Indiana's Open Records Law, IC 5-14-3 et seq. Mr. Risk, the issue of attorney invoices and billing records has long been settled under Indiana's Open Records Law. Attorney-client privileged information can be redacted from the bills, but you have to provide those billing records and invoices.

I am deeply concerned about the arrogance you displayed in your response to Ms. Vice's very legitimate request. In your position, taxpayers not only help pay your salary, taxpayers, through the schools you contract with, are entrusting your company with large amounts of their money. Speaking as one of those taxpayers and an attorney, I expect you and the Wilson Education Center to play by the rules and follow the law. When you display arrogance like you did with Ms. Vice, it is appears like you consider yourself, and perhaps your company, above the law. Well I have news for you. You are not.

Paul K. Ogden
Attorney at Law

P.S. If you do not want concerned citizens like Diana Vice keeping an eye on what you and your company are doing, there is a solution. Stop taking money from public schools, i.e the taxpayers.


Diana Vice said...

Excellent post! Thanks for the support. I think Mr. Risk is well aware of the fact that he's in violation of public access laws. I suspect that he's getting this advice from the same Barnes & Thornburg attorney who gave the illegal no bid scheme the green light. They're doing all they can to hide the truth it seems, but they should know by now that I am very tenacious when it comes to truth and justice.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Diana, you have to understand that when it is not about what is right under the law, but rather about how the system can be worked. B&T could very well know that you are completely right about the law, but thatyou would have to exert a lot of effort and expense to force WEC to comply with the law.

In this case though, B&T didn't write you the letter, WEC did. I think if B&T were advising WEC they would have also done the letter. After all, B&T is big on billing.

Anonymous said...

Tremco isn't the only problem in school roofing projects. Fraud and corruption run deep in that area as do SLAPP suits. Often, it seems to me, roofing is replaced long before its guarenteed service life has expired for the only reason being cost plus contracts for construction managment firms and supine intellect superintendents who may or may not have been in on the gouge.

Anonymous said...

Anent your excellent suggestions on (sorta) Christmass Carols out at the butcher shop on Georgetown Road I noticed a police car "protecting" Planned Parenthood. I figure it is an off duty policeman supplementing his income. But, should we be paying for the gasoline and wear and tear on a taxpayer owned vehicle? I don't think so. I'm told that often there are as many as four of these cars on the premises. I don't think they could get four police cars to anywhere even with free doughnuts but, there it is.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Privatization contracts need to include a provision that if a vendor files a SLAPP lawsuit against someone looking or speaking out about the legality of what the vendor is doing, their contract shall be cancelled and the company forbidden from ever contracting with an Indiana government entity again. That would stop the SLAPP lawsuits.

Diana Vice said...

I plan on pursuing this legislation, Paul. I also like your earlier idea about holding the lawyers accountable as well. Tremco hired three Big Indy law firms, presumably becaue of their political connections. It seemed to be working for a while...that is, until I turned over the big slimy rock and exposed it all.