"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Open Letter to Governor Daniels regarding Tremco no bid scheme & asbestos found in their project

Governor Daniels promises he's working on the schools, yet we still don't have the bidding process opened and Tremco, thanks to their Ice Miller mercenary lobbyists, are still leaving havoc in our schools and raping our taxpayers. Read this open letter from Diana Vice:

Dear Governor, Attorney General, Legislators, School Superintendents, School Board Members, State Fire Marshal, and Local Prosecutors,

The public safety of Indiana school children is in serious question due to the illegal bidding scheme perpetrated on taxpayers by the AEPA/Wilson Education Center/Tremco no-bid scheme. Please take few minutes to read this recent incredible story where school children have recently been exposed to asbestos from a Tremco-related roofing project. This made the news last week.

This is what I've been trying to tell people for months. Indiana bidding laws require an independent architect or engineer to approve roofing projects, but these laws have been repeatedly violated. Not only are there asbestos-related issues involved, but roofing involves fire-rated materials. The structural integrity must also be assessed to avoid roof collapses. There are very real consequences involved, and the safety of Indiana school children has been compromised because none of the AEPA/WEC/Tremco roof jobs were subject to Indiana's strict bidding laws.

Independent architects or engineers were NOT used in these projects as required by law. This can be verified by a State Board of Accounts audit report as well as sworn testimony that is part of a Hamilton County court record in the Baker vs. Tremco matter.

Please take a few minutes to read what these teachers, school children, and their parents are going through now. A Pennsylvania school was ordered closed due to this incredible nightmare that these people are living.

Has my daughter been exposed to asbestos? How will we ever know since we have allowed a situation to continue in Indiana where the fox is guarding the hen house? Have your children been exposed? I would like for my school board to order the roof in question to be properly tested by an independent roofing expert, an independent architect, and/or an independent engineer. I don't ever want to have to respond to those commercials wherein the question is asked, "Do you or a loved one have Mesothelioma?" Please act now. Thank you.

It's time for a real taxpayer revolt!!! I think it's time for taxpayers to seriously consider filing a class action lawsuit against all the parties involved, and possibly other government officials who have allowed this scheme to continue. Forget the Big Indy Law Firms! They've had their hands in our pockets for way too long, and they should not be rewarded for it. Besides, some of these Big Indy Lawfirms may become defendants themselves since the Wilson Education Center was given the legal advice to pursue the circumvention of bidding laws even after they were told that it was illegal by the State Board of Accounts and an attorney from the Department of Education. I just hope some of these lawyers have good malpractice policies. Let's go to Chicago to find a law firm that will be willing to represent the interests of taxpayers. Please contact me if you're interested in pursuing this.

Also, a deposition has been scheduled in the matter of Tremco Vs. Taxpayers United for Fairness. This will be our opportunity to ask Tremco's president, Deryl Kratzer, questions about these issues. If anyone has any information that is pertinent to this subject, please contact me as soon as possibly so we can be sure to add it to our list of questions.

Once again, I call on American taxpayers to boycott RPM products until the Board of Directors from Tremco's parent company puts a stop to the types of taxpayer abuse that I've exposed. Check this link for a reminder. RPM has reportedly already sold one of its companies due to asbestos related issues. Check that sotry out at this link.

Here's a recent blogpost from Janet Campbell's blog. Campbell is a California architect and original Tremco whistleblower. This story demonstrates what I've been saying all along. Roofing is a public safety issue even though officials at the Wilson Education Center would like to convince others that it's not. This is one situation where I do not want to be in the position to say, "I told you so!" Check here to see what can happen to someone who has been exposed to asbestos.

According to the articles referred to below in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A roofing contractor's workers on an elementary school job in Pittsburgh, PA discovered possible asbestos on the job while performing the work. Work continued while tests were made that proved positive for asbestos, with faculty and students left in place.A School Board member questioned the Tremco Rep as to why they had not tested the roof for asbestos prior to the start of work; their reply was that the School District had supplied them with documentation that there was no asbestos in the existing roof. According to the articles, so far, two School Board Members had not yet received a copy of that documentation said to have been supplied by the School District.Updates as they happen……From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, excerpts below:

Park Elementary School remains closed
Thursday, September 18, 2008
By Mary Niederbergerhttp://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08262/912974-55.stm
"Park Elementary School in Munhall remained closed today as district officials await the results of air sampling tests taken at the school where asbestos was found Sept. 5 during a roof replacement project."

"The district was notified Sept. 8 that core samples taken from the roof tested positive for asbestos. Parents were notified Tuesday afternoon, and 350 students in grades one through five continued to attend the school until it was closed Tuesday night."

"Dave Zazac, a spokesman for the Allegheny County Health Department........said the type of asbestos found in the roof was compressed, rather than airborne, and was unlikely to pose any health risk to students or staff.

Similar comments were made by Bruce Mancini, of Tremco, the roofing project manger, at Tuesday's board meeting. But parents said they did not believe him and questioned why information about the asbestos was kept from them.

At the meeting, Park fourth-grade teacher Kevin Tomasic produced a chunk of the roof that he said a student had given to him. He said the chunk would be sent for testing.

Mr. Zazac .... described the material as 'foam that was bonded to the roof' and said it did not contain asbestos. The district release said contractor Phoenix Roofing notified the district Sept. 5 that workers suspected asbestos was present in the roofing material they were removing."

"When district administrators learned Sept. 8 that the materials tested positive for asbestos, the roofing project was stopped.Despite those test results, Mark Cherpak, the district's director of operational services, told a Post-Gazette reporter Sept. 11 that the district was still unsure whether asbestos was in the roof.

On Monday, Mr. Cherpak acknowledged that he lied and confirmed that asbestos had been found in six of eight core samples taken from the roof. He said he did so because not all of the school board members knew and he didn't want them reading about it in the newspaper.

The district did not inform parents that asbestos was in the roof until after an article about it appeared Tuesday in the Post-Gazette. That afternoon, students took home a letter in their weekly information folder from the school."

"Mrs. Cannon and other board members questioned Mr. Mancini on Tuesday about why his firm didn't test roof samples for asbestos before embarking on the project. Mr. Mancini said the district provided him with an asbestos inspection report from 2005 that said the school was asbestos-free.

Board members told Mr. Cherpak they wanted to see copies of that report to determine who did the inspection. As of yesterday, neither Mrs. Terrick nor Mrs. Cannon had received a copy.

Mrs. Cannon expressed anger at Tuesday's meeting that the roofing project was still in process during the school year. She said the schedule for the project called for it to be completed before school started Aug. 28.

If the project had gone as scheduled, she said, the asbestos problem would have been discovered 'before the kids ever went into that building.' "

And excerpts below from:

Asbestos closes Munhall school
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
By Mary Niederbergerhttp://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08261/912686-55.stm
"Two days after Steel Valley school officials acknowledged asbestos had been found in the roof of Park Elementary School, district officials announced that the school will be closed until concerns over the asbestos have been resolved."

"The roofing contractor, Phoenix Roofing, has submitted an asbestos abatement plan to the health department, and board members said last night they also want to review that document.
The discovery of the asbestos did not become public until yesterday, when it was published in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That disclosure, and a letter that was sent home with students yesterday, brought dozens of parents to last night's board meeting, many of them expressing concern for their children's safety.

On Monday, the district's director of operations, Mark Cherpak, confirmed for the Post-Gazette that repair work on the roof had stopped and that asbestos had been found in the core samples.
Mr. Cherpak also acknowledged that he lied to a Post-Gazette reporter when he was asked on Sept. 11 if there was asbestos in the school building's roof. At the time, he said the tests on the core samples had not been completed. However, the district received the report on the core samples on Sept. 8, and board members were briefed on the results the following day."

"At last night's meeting, Bruce Mancini, of Tremco, the firm that is supplying materials for the roofing project, told parents that the asbestos found in the roof was not friable, or airborne, and posed no health threat.

Acting board President Pam Terrick said students would not return to the school until officials were assured by county health officials that the school was safe."

1 comment:

Diana Vice said...

Thanks for the further exposure, Melyssa. Don't forget to add the Barnes & Thornburg law firm. They've been peddling their influence on behalf of Tremco as well. The Krieg Devault law firm was hired by Tremco to sue Indiana citizens. We're still being harassed by the corporate bullies, but we're fighting back on behalf of worn-out taxpayers. We could use some help with our legal defense fund:

Taxpayers United for Fairness Legal Defense Fund
P. O. Box 4
Lafayette, IN 47901