WSAR broke a story this morning that in 2013 a total of 22 windows were installed on the 6th floor of Government Center. The windows were installed in the Mayor's office and the Corporation Counsel office. The windows were installed by Global Glass of New England. This is where the story gets interesting because apparently Global bounced a check to a subcontractor that resulted in an investigation by the Fall River Police Department and that's when it was discovered that there is no paperwork at all in regards to this work. Nothing was sent out to bid, no purchase orders were issued. Somehow 22 windows got installed at Government Center and nobody knows a thing about it. Now what gets even more interesting is when WSAR had Mayor Flanagan on to discuss this he states that since no money changed hands no laws have been violated and that Global did the work at their own peril.
I think the mayor misses the point. You can imagine that 22 windows probably cost quite a bit of money. On top of that there is the cost of installation. The subcontractor was supposed to be paid $50,000 so you can imagine that the total job is substantially more. Global Glass of New England owes the city back taxes so any money they would get paid would have gone towards their tax bill. Somehow we managed to have 22 windows installed. We didn't pay for them and have no record of authorizing the work and the mayor is happy enough to point out that we're not on the hook for any money and because no money changed hands no laws were violated. Maybe this is his idea of great fiscal management? Maybe we can just have contractors do all sorts of repair work at Government Center, not issue paperwork and then not pay them and say 'hey they did it at their own peril!' The fact that we didn't violate any laws because of a missing paper trail is very little comfort in the face of the fact that we had 22 windows installed, nobody questioned why they were being installed and we never paid for them. Where is the oversight?! How do you not ask questions when you see all the windows in your office being replaced?! But you know the mayor isn't the only one who should have been a little intellectually curious what about the work going on at Government Center, really anybody who would have had this paperwork cross their desk, anyone who would have had to approve a purchase order or contract should have wondered 'gee who authorized that'. It didn't happen.
And really the fact that we didn't violate any laws because no money changed hands may comfort the mayor but I really don't think we should sit back and feel we "scored" 22 free windows. Global Glass did the work they deserve to get paid for it by way of having this applied to their tax bill.
Lefty's View: If you heard the baffling exchange today between Mayor Flanagan and Barry Richards on WSAR you'll probably feel that those crystal clear windows are the only thing offering up any transparency on the 6th floor of Government Center!
Update!!! Here is the link to the Mayor discussing this with Barry Richards. Well worth a listen!