Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thoughts on Wallace-Bajjali skipping town

I am not going to say I told you so.

I did, but this is not a matter of the Turner Report being right about the wisdom of entering into a multi-million dollar deal with a master developer with a history of fraud, failed projects, and serial bankruptcies.

I said it but so did everyone else with half a brain in the city of Joplin.

David Wallace sold Wallace-Bajjali Development Partners as a company that would bring in the same kind of public-private partnerships for Joplin that it has in other cities, such as Waco, Amarillo, and Sugar Land, Texas, where Wallace was once the mayor.

And he has, Wallace-Bajjali has provided Joplin with exactly the same kind of services he provided to those cities , a string of failures, disappointments, and dreams that will never come true.

And now, surprise of surprise, with state auditors issuing subpoenas and with deadlines to buy property looming, the Joplin Globe reports today that the local Wallace-Bajjali office has closed its doors. Globe reporters were unable to contact anyone from Wallace-Bajjali, either here or in Texas

The $794 million in projects that David Wallace promised Joplin, some of which were ideas that were attempted (and failed) earlier, has been virtually abandoned, just like the firm's Joplin office.

Joplin shouldn't have needed state auditors to determine that all was not right in the land of Wallace-Bajjali. SEC records, civil cases, bankruptcy documents, all of those things are public and were available to the Joplin City Council, the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team, and the Joplin Globe.

Even after the city entered into its unholy alliance with the master developer, it had ample evidence, submitted by Thomas Loraine, a man with considerable experience and an impeccable reputation, that nothing good was going to come from the city's involvement with Wallace-Bajjali.

Loraine strongly recommended that the city cuts its ties to its master developer immediately. That never happened.

Instead, we heard a lot of whining about how we spent $80,000 for a report that was supposed to cost $40,000.

The Loraine Report would have been the bargain of the century if its recommendations had been followed.

Unfortunately, since those days and weeks following the May 22, 2011, tornado when everyone talked about the resilience of Joplin and the magnificent job done by its leaders under the most trying of circumstances, many of our leaders have been led astray by visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads and opportunities to push personal pet projects and claim they are doing what the public wants.

What has happened with the City of Joplin and with the Joplin R-8 School District is that we have allowed elected officials and unelected administrators to team with a group of prominent, well-heeled local citizens to create what they call a "bigger, better Joplin."

There is nothing wrong with wanting Joplin to be bigger and better; that is something we all want- and we were headed in that direction long before the Joplin City Council entered into its devil's bargain with Wallace-Bajjali.
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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Time for a recall election of all the council members who supported WB. And now does the Joplin Globe and Councilman Shaw (and the others who wanted to keep Mark Rohr) still think that Rohr was so great?
There needs to be some accountability. For the council, that means it has to come from the voters. Or, Depending on the facts, maybe it needs to come from the prosecuting attorney.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. What did they do if anything and what did it costs us ?

Anonymous said...

I still cannot believe Woolston got reelected he abstains from every vote that has anything to do with rebuilding because he is up to ears with this phony bunch of scammers. Joplin has paid wally around 2 million dollars so far for all the work that they have done, it is totally ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Good Golly Miss Molly! No More Wally BoJolly!

Hint to Joplin's fools in charge: An ounce of prevention is spelled G O O G L E.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha so glad I moved away from Joplin. I wish that whole town had just dismantled. It's too far beyond saving now.

Anonymous said...

This should not surprise anyone considering that the state auditors are issuing subpoenas and are now fully engaged in auditing the City. For all of those who criticized certain members of the Council who voted to terminate Mr. Rohr, you should be ashamed of yourselves. They (Colbert-Keen, Rosenberg, Scearce, Rainey, and Golden) got it right. Mr. Lorraine's investigative report got it right. It is clearly evident that the other four (Shaw, Woolston, Seibert, and Glaze) were protecting their own interests and those of a select few people who were important to their personal interests. And then there is the PAC group....what is the extend of it's, and it's members, culpability in this whole mess?

The citizens of Joplin should thank Mr. Humphreys for leading the initiative in getting the state to audit the City. I hope that when this audit is completed and the results made public, that Mr. Humphreys will also help lead the way in ousting the corrupt members of the City Council. It is well past time for the citizens, and not just the privileged few, of Joplin to take back their city government.

Anonymous said...

I think you should say "I told you so," because that is exactly what you did. You researched these people as soon as they were announced and posted the documents, not opinion pieces, that proved they were corrupt swindlers. But, nobody stopped them, and now they are gone, as well as a lot of Joplin's money. Fools are born every day, and these have parted you from your money without a hitch. Perhaps you should all learn to pay more attention to facts and less to pretty speeches and pipe dreams. Even if you sue these people and win, you will be in a long line of other fools still waitng for their money.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, who all has gone suddenly? Please add to the list any I've forgotten:
1. Mark Rohr, amidst huge protests over his firing, only to find out he was already halfway out the door.
2. Angie Besendorfer, who got an even higher paying job, thanks to her boss, CJ Huff., who also serves on the WGU board. It's said that WGU bought her house and resold it so she could get out of town faster.
3. City attorney Brian Head
4. Kim Vann, Bright Futures USA executive director
5. Mitch Randall, fire chief--like Rohr, he headed to Texas. Why is Texas so popular? Has it finally been successful in seceding from the Union? Is Sugarland the capitol of the corrupt?

Anonymous said...

Wallace Bajjalli gets stuck for an empty Coca Cola building. Joplin gets stuck for millions of dollars. Idiots.

Anonymous said...

Mark Rohr was not the problem. He was the sacrificial lamb on the alter of the Devils council. Rohr would never have let this happen to Joplin. Believe what you will, but the skunk is on the council and still stinking up the place!

Anonymous said...

8:46
Give it up already. If Rohr cared so much for Joplin, why was he already packing to leave before he knew he was being fired? Because he knew the report would expose his unethical actions. He was no sacrificial lamb. He was part of the problem. Read the Loraine report. You'll find out why the editor of the Globe suddenly ceased to protest too much about her little pet and went silent. Rohr's stink was as bad as the council's. It appears to be a whole litter of skunks smelling up the place.

Anonymous said...

In answer to 8:46 PM - Mr Rohr was the problem. Mr Rohr said that he would stake his reputation on WB. Mr Rohr would not let the Joplin City Attorney help negotiate the WB contract. WB accompanied Mr Rohr when he received his award in DC. WB helped Mr Rohr get his job in Texas.

I agree that the council is at fault for approving the WB sweetheart contract.

Jack Davis said...

What has gone through Joplin in the past 4 years was nearly as bad as the tornado. A percentage of the survivors have died, from old age waiting for the bogus promises. 4 years later, we have parks, beautiful parks, and that is where all the attention and money is spent. The library project is unneeded and is costing a huge stupid lease to. Libraries are really obsolete. My phone tells me so. I can retrieve any bit of information in our library, on my cell phone, plus we really don't need the movie theater. We do badly need a new post office system, centrally located with parking and services. In my mind, the most important project ever considered for post tornado projects, but the whole project has been canned. My business is running at 60% for 4 years, because, Main Street Joplin is in shambles......and vacating.... We spent all "the" money in the parks. The, is another subject......

Anonymous said...

Anyone want to bet that the city is still on the hook for the millions of dollars in the contract that Loraine said should just be paid off to truly get rid of them at the lowest cost?

I don't think we should be celebrating just yet because they've vacated their premises in the city; is there even a publicly available copy of that contract, which as people have been noting was entered into without consulting the city's attorney?

Jack Davis said...

Here is the wonderful thing about all of this.... THE PIPE DREAM IS OVER.... The people who could not understand will now have to wake up. Maybe some efforts towards really rebuilding can go forward. Let the private sector do it's thing, and don't stand in the way with public bureaucracy.

Anonymous said...

These guys have been worthless since the very beginning. Maybe we should of all listened to Will Perry and read his lawsuit against these worthless pieces if crap. He was on to something. I guess the only thing I am hoping for are criminal charges. They must go to jail. Blaming Joplin is only part the problem. Wallace Bajjali should bare most of this. They couldn't do anything right. They had a boot up their ass 99% of the time. Totally worthless. All bull shit, no action. Couldn't even do an IPO. Is anyone going to press criminal charges? Lock them up. End it.

Anonymous said...

The city "leaders" who seem to know better than all the citizens combined will probably decide to direct all funds to Four State Homes, Charles Keen-to-be-king and all of his current and future partners in crime. The walls are crumbling, but you can bet that there will be a huge struggle to save face, and it will probably be at the expense of Joplin taxpayers.

Dusty Roads said...

Wally Bajally pretty much just used Charley for his connections and then led him to believe that he would be building all their projects which never materialized.

Anonymous said...

When it's all said and done maybe those involved in this fraud against the people of Joplin can spend time developing the wall of their jail cells. Maybe since they didn't mind screwing the people they won't mind being screwed by the other prisoners.

Anonymous said...

7:30 is the only one of you even seeing the forest for the trees. You are still protecting the crooks at city hall. It's no wonder Joplin can't move on from the mess they've made of it, the blind leading the blind. Just remember he who laughs last laughs loudest.

Anonymous said...

I was talking about all those involved including city hall. You must be a product of the Joplin school system if you couldn't figure that out.

Anonymous said...

9:33pm disregard that reply was for someone else. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Jack Davis And is a park still in the plans across from Cunningham park. Craziness. Beginning to think infrastructure is a catch all. No more parks no more sidewalks. Fix the streets. All that money spent on 20th. Sidewalks NO NEW LIBRARY or or or movie needed

Anonymous said...

I knew who you were referring to, hence my comment... :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you're being foolish if you honestly believe Rohr is innocent. Do you also believe it's a coincidence that he got set up with a new position in Texas?