GOLDMAN: Shockoe documents reveal Mayor, Council’s secret partner

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

Paul Goldman is a local lawyer who helped run Doug Wilder's historic campaign for governor of Virginia.

RICHMOND, Va. – A recently released document reveals new details into the Mayor’s Shockoe Stadium No Bid secret sweetheart deal. A 20 percent secret partner will be handpicked to get a sweet deal for one of the projects. The Council keeps enabling the Mayor to keep this kind of stuff alive. It has to stop.

On Saturday, a Republican who recognized me as a former Democratic Chair signed the referendum petition and said, “Paul, we don’t agree on much but you are right, something doesn’t smell right here and all my friends – liberal, conservative and in between – are getting very upset over this thing.”

If you need to know why this feeling is growing in our City, read further.

For the first time for almost all of you, here you can read two clauses in one of the no-bid back room deals. Called the “Stadium South Memorandum of Understanding”, this no-bod sweetheart deal contains the following clause #6 in the section entitled “Agreement”:

“There will be a 40 percent MEB/ESB goal on construction of the entire Project. SWA Architects may be employed to provide A & E services. A 20 percent MBE/ESB goal will apply to all A & E services not self-performed by SWA. With respect to the apartment/residential component of the Project, there shall be a 20 percent MBE/ESB development and ownership of such component.” [Emphasis added]

Then there is the following pertinent part of clause #10 from the same legal document:

“The Parties agree that all documents delivered pursuant to his MOU and all subsequent agreements will remain confidential. Except to the extent compelled pursuant to subpoena, summons order or other judicial process, no Party shall disclose such confidential information, without the consent of the other Party.” [Emphasis added]

The clause later technically says it is only good for three years but trust me, there are a zillion ways to extend it forever, either de jure or de facto.

Bottom line

It is a no-bid secretive deal until at least the Mayor and this Council are conveniently out of office! Coincidence?

But that isn’t the most intriguing part. Clause #6 doesn’t mention Lou Salomonsky by name, But clause #6  suggests Lou or his business will get not only a sweetheart no-bid deal for architectural and engineering services but that he has agreed [shall] to give a 20 percent ownership interest in another no-bid Stadium related deal to an unnamed business “partner” with the appropriate certification from the  Office of Minority Business Development in the Jones Administration.

Why would Lou, one of the wealthiest and most successful real estate developers in Virginia, need a 20 percent secretive partner? Or a no-bid contract for that matter?

I defy anyone in the Jones Administration to produce any city contract containing such a secretive deal. Indeed, why can’t Lou or anyone else compete openly for the business here, indeed why are the Mayor and Lou and their pro-stadium posse afraid to have an open, transparent and fair to all process?

Why isn’t the Council insisting on a fair process? Instead they are okay at least so far with manipulating the Economic Development Authority law to benefit those with political connections. How does that help Richmond?

As best I can tell, most of the folks benefiting from the NO BID contracts are capable of holding their own in a competitive bid process. Let them compete honestly therefore.

What price Richmond’s reputation? Twenty percent secret partners, the name or names never to be revealed, all part of a public project? Forty percent contractors all on a no-bid basis, so those considered “politically correct” can be chosen?

Why does the Council keep enabling the Mayor instead of ending this farce? The people deserve at least one voice in the media willing to speak out and try to save Richmond’s reputation.

Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.

9 comments

  • me

    Who is City’s Legal Represention on this “Deal”?
    Who is the City’s Contracting Officer Representative (COR) on this “Deal”?
    Who are the actual City Officials required to sign this “Deal”?
    Charles Samuels, President, City Countil; Venture Board Member,
    is a Lawyer.

    • Glen Allen

      Don’t be misguided by the fact Charles Samuels is a lawyer, there are many lawyers who sell out, or just look the other way in exchange for recommendations to higher political posts. I am not insinuating this is the case here with Mr. Samuels, only he can answer that. Charlie’s actions in the coming weeks will speak for themselves.

  • me

    So all the Democratic Party Cohorts, Lobbyists, Donors,
    Lawers, and Law Makers see this
    as nothing more, nothing less than Perfectly Correct Party SOP/MO?
    What about you, Governor? Commonwealth Attorney Herring?
    Richmond City Attorney?

  • Glen Allen

    The NO BID deals serve two purposes, 1) The Mayor or his designee can select who gets the contracts, but also 2) The Mayor or his designee gets to pick how much money the recipient will receive. If the project is not let out for bid, no one will know if the Contractor’s/A&E/Consultant, etc. price is fair, because they will have nothing to compare it to.

    The Mayor and City Council have to be stopped. This has gone on way too long.

    I would think this is really getting to be embarrassing for City Council. If not, it should be.

  • Becky

    This is how Dwight Clinton Jones has done his government business
    since before his election in 09. It is documented in Wikipedia.
    The Party is fully aware, fully complicit, and fully compliant.
    Party Praised, Rewarded and Raised to the State Democratic Party Chair.

  • Becky

    Samuels, as a Lawyer, know he is serving two masters.
    He represents a Conflict of Interest as President of the City Council
    and Board Member of Venture Richmond. He also seeks a higher
    Party Political Reward.

  • Buddy

    I hope if this downtown stadium is able to be built that NO ONE attends. Maybe that will show all of the crooked politicians that Richmond is not interested in their shady deals anymore and all of this back door economics is not worth it.

    • Glen Allen

      Sadly, the Mayor could not care less if anyone steps foot in the place, just as long as he is able to pass the contracts out to those he owes a personal debt.

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