Just concluded was a sham trial with a predetermined result. That predetermined result was that the AOC will lose and that Jacobs will win. It took a conscious effort by the AOC’s legal team led by none other than Mary “the lizard” Roberts and by Peter Krause, a former AOC attorney who is now a managing attorney for the Attorney Generals office to lose this case. It also took some work from the AOC’s office of Court Construction & Management to keep on using the people they knew had no contractors licenses, denying any overcharging ever took place and generally producing rave reviews for the unlicensed vendors before, during and after they found out about licensure status – even though all of you out there were screaming and hollering about their incompetence and pricing.
We heard Ron Overholt say there would be no interruption in facilities maintenance and indeed there was none because all the unlicensed entities did was reorganize, changing their responsibilities to what they were legally entitled to do. Jacobs would start issuing subcontracts in the stead of ABM which was good because there were many contractors that were incensed that they had to work for an unlicensed contractor ABM to get the courts business. The legal question brought forth had nothing to do with the facts. The legal question was – Did Jacobs maintain licensure during the entire engagement of the contract with the AOC and should they be paid? The jury would only find out about the relationships between Jacobs Facilities, Inc and Jacobs Project Management company that would cause the casual trial observer to side with Jacobs – just as a jury did.
What a jury would never hear a word of was “Team Jacobs” – The unlicensed joint venture of ABM and Jacobs Engineering. You see, up until Nov/Dec 2009 there was only “Team Jacobs” proudly introduced to all court and AOC employees as a joint venture between ABM and Jacobs Engineering. So proud of their relationship they were that they had business cards printed. They had all proposals drawn up under the team jacobs logo. And they would pass out thousands of these documents as empirical proof of their “doing business as” names.
The “Team Jacobs” arrangement was that Jacobs would manage the relationship with the AOC and that ABM would provide all of the boots on the ground in the trial courts – the people wearing the team jacobs uniforms worked for ABM. ABM would act in the capacity of the general contractor, subcontracting out work to other unlicensed entities and doing most of the work in the courts – until December 2009. In December of 2009 in an all-hands meeting of the Facilities Management Unit, AOC management directed all employees to cease using the term “Team Jacobs” any further and Jacobs would assume a more managing contractor role from that point forward.
The vanishing of Team Jacobs is where the AOC’s Facilities Management Unit and AOC’s Office of General Counsel would work hard to create the very safe harbor in the law that the jury recognized – substantial compliance with the states contractor licensing laws. At this point their sham lawsuit never named “Team Jacobs”, never named ABM and never would. The end result was predictable and was predicted by Michael Paul – he who blew the whistle on all of this mess. Way back in December of 2009 and again in January of 2010, Michael Paul publicly accused the AOC of creating the narrow safe harbor provisions under Business & Professions Code 7031 that would permit Jacobs to escape punishment and give ABM a free pass.
It didn’t take a crystal ball to see that prediction come true and it doesn’t take a crystal ball to suggest that U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag stop busting pot clubs and walk across the street and start busting AOC employees for fraud, obstruction of justice and corruption.
A few days ago, Carlos Martinez created a petition on SignOn.org (a division of moveon.org) that we re-posted and gave our readers a link to.
At the time we weren’t ready to actually endorse disbanding the whole AOC.
After this verdict, a verdict that demonstrates that the highest levels of the agency are polluted with corruption and malfeasance, we strongly endorse the disbanding of the AOC.
Right now, Carlos’s petition has 241 signatures. Let’s see if we can’t do some networking and internet education and get Carlos 10,000 signatures by the end of this month.