It has been almost a full month since I started digging into the Township of Delran’s municipal finances regarding the “biggest retirement party ever” that was held for the hometown hero, Carli Lloyd. I filed several OPRA requests seeking all quotes and or proposals that the town and or its representatives have received, yet the township clerk has refused the quotes that Council President Tyler Burrell called “concept proposals”, why? If the township received these proposals, why didn’t the town supply them to me when I requested all quotes and proposals that they received for the Carli Lloyd event in my OPRA requests? Probably the same reason they omitted Go Events from the original cost breakdown the town sent when I asked for “all costs” for the Carli Lloyd event, a purposeful omission of the set of facts requested by myself to not incriminate the parties involved.
Questions were asked of the Council, the Mayor and the town Solicitor if they had received bids that encompassed both the video and stage services, but as we saw in the council meeting video, they danced around the question like Bruno Mars at a concert. I asked at least 8 times if they had received any quotes or proposals above the $44,000 threshold and the question was avoided like the plague. It should have been a simple yes or no answer, but again, it was anything but that, why?
The answer to the question of why they omitted those documents might be the fact that circumventing the RFP process by splitting the bids in public contracts is highly illegal and could not only have them disbarred from politics, but it could also have them go to prison for doing so. So is there a quote/proposal that encompasses both services that also crosses the $44,000 threshold that Delran conveniently omitted? The answer is quite simple, yes! Just take a look below.
As you can see, the quote above provided by an anonymous source shows very clearly that both services were included as of 9-8-21 when this quote was issued. Yet as you can see from the quote below, the separate quote for video services were created on 9-27-21, just three days after Delran School Board Member, Mark Ohberg, made a post questioning the costs into the Carli Lloyd event.
As you will notice, Alex Glover of Center Stage Entertainment, the company that the Mayor has worked at since its inception and that his nephew owns, also got the quote from Katherdral Event Center, some 19 days after the original quote that included both services in one from Spellcaster, services that Delran’s Solicitor Sal claimed he didn’t know if they could be offered by one company or not. A claim that is clearly refuted by the quote from Spellcaster that clearly shows that both services were offered by one company that has done thousands of concerts and was more than capable of providing both services in one. So why did they receive the separate quotes just days after the questions were raised and one day prior to the 9-28 council meeting where Mayor Catrambone told everyone to calm down regarding the undisclosed costs of the event? Was there any legitimate reason to split the services that could have both easily been provided by either one of the companies they had the original quotes from? The answer is, No.
You see, at that point the town didn’t have the time to go through he RFP process and still fit in the event in by the arbitrary date they had set of October 14th, so they had to get as much money approved to throw the event as possible that wouldn’t trigger the $44,000 bid threshold. Hence, why the town created two resolutions for one event, one for $39,000 for the stage, and one for $22,500 for the video screens. After that the town started begging for donations from any source they could tap including unwitting variance holders who were used to cover the holes in the budget that was already being spent on unapproved items that were agreed upon by the RAC to be purchased without any legal authorization. But the biggest retirement celebration ever had to go on though even if the bids needed too intentionally be split to avoid those pesky little things called laws. Hell, it was for the kids, right?