FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Arizona Schools Ripped Off by Purchasing Cooperatives.


Fraud Alert— Purchasing Cooperatives
Due Diligence Is Imperative

(602) 553-0333 or by visiting our Web site at: www.azauditor.gov Contact person: Lindsey Perry


The Office of the Auditor General is a legislative agency under the direction of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. Our mission is to improve state and local government operations and accountability by independently providing the Legislature, government decisionmakers, and the public with timely, accurate, and impartial information; relevant recommendations; and technical assistance. 

This fraud alert addresses purchases made through a purchasing cooperative and recommends due diligence procedures to help ensure that cooperatives are adhering to laws and regulations, providing equitable pricing, and passing along vendor discounts.

How Can You Protect Your Entity?

 May • Alert No. 11–01
Overpayments, higher prices, and substituted products—All governmental entities and charter schools in Arizona that are not exempted under statute or charter agreement are responsible for ensuring that purchasing, whether independently or through a cooperative purchasing agreement, is done in accordance with state statutes, the Arizona Administrative Code, and the entities’ own competitive purchasing policies. We have noted serious problems with purchasing cooperatives, including one that:

•  Oversaw vendors that substituted unauthorized products and overcharged nine Arizona school districts more than $175,000

  Allowed some school districts to pay prices as much as 33 percent higher than other entities’ for the same products

Received up to $60,000 per year in vendor discounts, which it kept and failed to pass along to the school districts When purchasing through a cooperative agreement, adequate due diligence is critical to ensure the cooperative is complying with applicable laws and regulations, and conducts business in an ethical manner..

You can implement some due diligence policies and procedures to help ensure that purchasing cooperatives are adhering to laws and regulations, providing equitable pricing, and passing along discounts. Specifically:

 • Inquire with the cooperative to determine if an independent review of its purchasing practices has been performed. Examine any noted findings and evaluate whether the cooperative is adequately following applicable laws and regulations. If a review has not been performed, conduct your own procurement review of the cooperative’s purchasing practices.

 • Examine the cooperative’s negotiated vendor contracts and evaluate whether the contracts comply with laws and regulations. Be alert for instances when a cooperative uses requests for proposals to contract for goods and services where price is the determining factor for the award. An invitation for bids should be used when price 
determines the winning bidder. Many cooperatives make contracts and other procurement documentation available on their Web site. 

Ensure that the goods and services you are purchasing are on the vendor’s contract and examine the contract for potential discounts. Contact the vendor directly and inquire about timely payment and bulk purchasing discounts, and ensure these discounts are included in your billing. • Examine the excluded parties’ lists maintained by the Arizona State Procurement Office and the U.S. General Services Administration, which contain the names of individuals and firms prohibited from conducting business with the state and federal governments. For more information, visit http://spo.az.gov/Admin_Policy/ SPM/Suspended_and_Debarred/ default.asp and www.epls.gov.

 • Retain documentation of the procedures performed in your procurement files for audit purposes."


NOTE:  Purchasing a school roof costs approximately 40% more through a Purchasing Cooperative. 

The "Competitively Bid" method is INCLUSIVE of major manufacturers.  Just like we do in the private market.  Don't take my word for it, and type "School Roofing Scam" into your browser, or YouTube.

NOBODY IN THE PRIVATE MARKET USES GARLAND OR TREMCO.  If you're not competitive in the private market, you are not competitive in the public sector.  Tremco nor Garland are distributed by any roofing supply house, and must be trucked in from Ohio.

Essentially exporting 70% of your local tax dollar to another economy.  Florida State Congresswoman Ms. Kathy Castor told me so:

Those are facts, and can back up ecery word.

Friends, I know this game better than the ones who play it.  They know it, and I know it.  INSIST upon fair competition, and competitively bid public projects.

I hate to see Arizona Schools fall for this "Predatory Sales Model".  If I can help in any way, please write:


NOTE:  Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
Florida Certification CCC1325620
Tampa Florida

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Illinois Senator resigns over construction fraud investigation.

You be the judge.


Illinois senator resigns from transportation role amid fed's construction fraud investigation


"Dive Brief:

  • Illinois State Sen. Martin Sandoval has resigned from his position as chair of the State Senate's Transportation Committee amid a federal fraud and corruption investigation related to state construction work, the Associated Press reported. The Democratic senator is still listed as a member of the committee, however, as of Oct. 15.
  • The move came after the details of a federal search warrant revealed that the FBI last month combed Sandoval's offices and home for information related to architect Cesar Santoy; Santoy's architecture firm, Studio ARQ; red-light camera program company SafeSpeed; lobbyists; construction companies; and employees of the Illinois DOT in a quest for "items related to any official action taken in exchange for a benefit." No one has been charged in the matter, and SafeSpeed representatives have denied any wrongdoing. Santoy has also resigned from his position with the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors.
  • Sandoval played a significant role in the development of Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker's $45 billion Rebuild Illinois construction initiative, signed into law July 1. The plan is being funded by gas and cigarette tax increases, as well as the revenue generated by an expansion of state gambling laws. One of the companies mentioned in the search warrant was video gambling company Gold Rush Amusement.The Rebuild Illinois construction plan includes pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, the latter of which is aimed at the state's public works sector; a provision intended to encourage diversity in hiring among contractors; a workforce program; and incentives for data center owners to build in the state. The biggest winners, though, are likely the contractors, engineers and designers of the $33.2 billion worth of infrastructure projects eyed, which will include new construction and repair of roads and bridges, mass transit projects and other transportation-related undertakings.
When lawmakers are charged with overseeing such massive publicly funded construction projects, it's not uncommon for bad actors to seek a leg up on the competition by going outside the bounds of the law in order to win work. 
And corruption isn't limited to those in charge of big state budgets. 

A businessman based in Tallahassee, Florida, for example, has been accused of allegedly paying a $100,000 bribe to a former city commissioner in order to stop the construction of a new hotel that would rival his own. 
Earlier this year in Illinois, a federal jury convicted Michael Jarigese and his company, Markham, Illinois-based Tower Contracting on several counts of wire fraud and one count of federal program bribery in relation to payments they made to former Markham Mayor David Webb Jr. Webb allegedly demanded the money in exchange for city construction work. "​

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

NOTE: Retired 2003 do not solicit nor accept compensation or personal advancement of any kind.


Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
State Certified CCC1325620

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Roofer and school official had an affair. Corruption investigation of $1.5 million school roofing job followed

Thanks to my good Friend CMA for sharing this.

This is a PUBLIC PROJECT, and therefore subject to oversight.

Ten minutes of homework would have revealed this common scam.

A Pasco roofer and school official had an affair. Corruption investigation of $1.5 million school roofing job followed

No criminal charges were filed after an eight-month investigation, but accusations are pending in civil complaints. The purchasing director stepped down.
Kevin Ryman, owner of Ryman Commercial Roofing and a member of the Pasco Planning Commission, was the subject of a Pasco County Sheriff's Office investigation of bid-rigging allegations involving a roofing job for the Pasco County School District. [C.T. BOWEN | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Sep. 4

Updated Sep. 4

Kevin Ryman, a prominent Zephyrhills building contractor and an appointed Pasc

o County planning commissioner, carried on an intimate relationship with the former Purchasing director for the Pasco County School District and was suspected of colluding with another contractor to win a $1.5 million school roofing job in 2017, according to public documents.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office investigated the allegations for eight months and determined it had probable cause to arrest Ryman, according to an investigative report. The Statewide Prosecutor’s Office declined to file charges, however, citing the simultaneous civil lawsuits facing Ryman, the report said. The suits are from Ryman’s former business partners, one of whom surfaced the bid-rigging allegation last year.
Likewise, the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney’s Office said it would not charge former school purchasing director Nicole Westmoreland. There was probable cause to pursue a bribery case, the Sheriff’s Office report said, because of evidence that Westmoreland received gifts from Ryman after working with him to create a pool of five companies — including Ryman’s — to bid on district roofing jobs.
“This was my personal life. This was years ago,’’ Westmoreland told the Tampa Bay Times. “There were no criminal charges. Nothing was found.’’
Ryman declined comment. But Wednesday morning, after the Times published an account of the investigation, Ryman resigned from the Planning Commission at the request of Pasco County Commission Chairman Ron Oakley.
The report and school district records showed that Westmoreland lied to her superiors and that she and other employees accepted golf outings paid for by Ryman. One employee took four tickets to a Tampa Bay Lighting hockey game provided by Ryman, whose company has been a school district vendor since 2015, the report said.
Westmoreland also created the perception of favoritism by meeting with Ryman in his office, instead of at the school district headquarters, said Ray Gadd, deputy school superintendent."That’s not our protocol. It gives the appearance of impropriety. That’s unheard of,'' said Gadd.
"It was worse than we thought,'' Gadd said about the investigator’s findings.
Ryman, 61, and Westmoreland, 41, are married to other people, but cell phone and bank records indicated they were at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens in September 2015, according to the investigative report. Jason Morphet, Ryman’s former business partner, told the detective he saw Ryman and Westmoreland together at an Orlando trade show in June 2017. Separately, another witness, Bobby Hilton, the brother of Ryman’s wife, provided the investigator with photographs of Ryman and Westmoreland together in a central Pasco parking area, returning from what Hilton said was a November 2016 trip to Vero Beach. Hilton, also the husband of Vanessa Hilton, the school district’s chief academic officer, declined comment when contacted by the Times.

Nicole Westmoreland, the former purchasing director for the Pasco County School District, is shown in a November 2016 photo provided to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office as part of its investigation into allegations of bid-rigging on a roofing job. A witness said the photo shows Westmoreland after she emerged from Ryman's truck following a trip to Vero Beach. [Pasco Sheriff's Office]

On two occasions, in 2015 and again in 2017, the school district received anonymous complaints on an ethics hotline about the Ryman-Westmoreland entanglement. Both times, Westmoreland denied the affair and called it ‘’a complete fabrication,’’ according to school district documents. An internal auditor found no evidence of favoritism toward Ryman.
Westmoreland again denied a personal relationship with Ryman in a December interview with a Sheriff’s Office investigator, but changed her story in May during a second interview. She admitted to the affair, according to the report, but said she did not provide Ryman with preferential treatment in project bidding. The investigative report stated a similar conclusion.
“Nicole’s statements were inconsistent. However, there is no indication at this time that Nicole shared information from the competitive bid process,’’ the report states.
In December, at about the same time school officials learned of the law enforcement investigation, the district transferred Westmoreland to a position outside the purchasing department amid concerns she was working fewer hours than her contract required, according to district records. She resigned without notice on Aug. 13, shortly after the Sheriff’s Office ended its corruption probe and notified the school district of the results. Westmoreland told the Times that she resigned for another opportunity and to spend more time with her 8-year-old son.
Also, the school district reprimanded a Westmoreland subordinate, Deborah Mateo, a buyer in the purchasing department. Mateo accepted the hockey tickets from Ryman, the report said.
In early August, before the investigative report became public, Pasco County commissioners reappointed Ryman to a two-year term on the county Planning Commission, where he has served since 2009. The Planning Commission issues non-binding recommendations to the elected county commissioners on zoning and land-use issues, but has the authority to issue rulings on requests for variances and so-called special exceptions.
Last week, County Commission Chairman Ron Oakley called Ryman a long-time friend, but was non-committal when asked if Ryman should remain a member of the Pasco Planning Commission. Wednesday morning, however, he said he asked for and received Ryman’s resignation.
“It’s just not pretty,'' said Oakley. "I’m not saying he’s guilty, but you can’t be sitting up there making judgments on other people’s developments and such with something like that out there. It’s the perception.''
Part of the investigation centered upon Ryman’s activities in advance of bidding to replace the J.W. Mitchell High School roof in Trinity in April 2017.
Morphet, 42, of Darby, was Ryman’s partner in Ryman Commercial Roofing at the time. He told the investigator that Ryman exchanged bid numbers with a competitor, Collis Roofing, a day before submitting a sealed bid to the district. The School Board awarded the contract in May 2017.
In other words, "Taxpayers be damned".
Schools are under attack from known roofing scams (Purchasing Cooperatives), we must fight back,  We do not seek preference, but the opportunity to compete for our own tax dollars.
Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".
Much Respect.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Roofing Nightmare: Tremco and San Diego State University.

The University bears responsibility for circumventing the competitive bid process.   

Below, you will read that the Manufacturer (Tremco) acted as the salesman, consultant, and manufacturer.  This is patently illegal in Public Works Projects.

I guarantee you SDSU fell for the "we handle it all" sales line.  ONE MANUFACTURER with absolutely no reason to compete.  SDSU didn't do 10 minutes of homework to find out about Tremco.  Tremco does not, and will not, "compete" for anything, period.

California is very bad about this "Exclusionary" theme, and it shows up as red ink.

Type "Tremco school roofing scam" into your browser, and do the same on YouTube.  There are no shortage of projects similar to SDSU.  Tremco was also fined $61,000,000.00 by the DOJ, and is now being sued by the SEC.  SDSU would have known all this but didn't bother.

In this case,  everyone got what they deserved.  Everyone but the taxpayers of course.



The story:


Tremco, which was acting as a consultant on the project and recommended the use of Tremfix; and subcontractor Sylvester Roofing of Escondido, California, for releasing coal tar pitch volatiles into the structure.

Dive Brief:

  • San Diego State University, inewsource reported, mishandled a $2 million renovation of its College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts building to the point that a former OSHA official called the project, which ended up shutting down the building because of released toxins in the air.  The renovation was supposed to start last summer, but SDSU failed to secure the proper permits in time, so the schedule was changed so that work would begin in early 2019 when students were on break. After heavy rains, crews used Tremfix to seal the many roof leaks, but an aging and malfunctioning HVAC system failed to clear the building of vapors from the chemicals, which entered through nearby fresh air ducts on the roof. Testing revealed that the level of coal tar pitch volatiles was just under OSHA’s safe limit and above the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's limits, even though crews tried various methods — some disruptive — to remove the fumes.
  • After many complaints about the air quality, the university moved staff and faculty to another building. As it turns out, the financial deadline that was driving SDSU's decision to push forward with construction while it was occupied is in 2020, not this year, as officials believed. ​

Dive Insight:

The Safety Data Sheet for Tremfix, a Tremco U.S. Roofing product, states that certain levels of exposure to the product could cause allergic skin reactions, genetic defects and cancer, as well as potentially affect fertility or the health of unborn children. As with similar roofing products from other manufacturers, one of the many precautionary statements around the use of Tremfix advises those exposed to its dust, fumes, gas, mist, vapors or spray to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. 
Health complaints related to the fumes in the building included vomiting, nosebleeds and migraines. The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District cited SDSU; Tremco, which was acting as a consultant on the project and recommended the use of Tremfix; and subcontractor Sylvester Roofing of Escondido, California, for releasing coal tar pitch volatiles into the structure.
The university is planning another $12 million in renovations, including a new $2.5 million roof. The building reopened in May but is mostly vacant and likely won't be fully occupied until the next round of construction work is finished in 2021. 
On a positive note, SDSU is making progress on its proposed $3 billion Mission Valley mixed-use development, which will include a football stadium, residential, retail, office buildings, two hotels and 90 acres of parks and plazas. This month, the university announced it had completed the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which will be open to comments through Oct. 3. Pertinent comments will be addressed in the Final EIR. ​

Recommended Reading:

Thank you for spending time with me here.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always rememnber to keep looking "UP".



Thursday, August 15, 2019

"Public Roofing Oversight


The purpose of this site is to increase public awareness of "Predatory Sales Models" and "Exclusion" of  fair competition in public works.

I write it to help:  

Architects, Public Administrators, Contractors, Consultants, Manufacturers, and Distributors, who are all affected by "Proprietary Specifications".  

A sales trick to eliminate all competition for taxpayer money.  A complete SCAM,  NEVER buy a roof through a Purchasing Cooperative unless you want to pay a 50% PREMIUM for common roofing materials.

Everything I say here is backed by  public record, and subsequent documentation.  If I say something that is factually incorrect, I will retract it.  Constructive criticism is encouraged, and welcomed.

NOTE: Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept, compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

*Revised November 16, 2019.

In the upper left search box, please type keywords:  School Roofing Scam, Purchasing Cooperative, Taxpayer abuse, Tremco, Garland, sole source, RCI, NRCA, Honor, Fairness, Competition, Public Procurement,etc.

Approximately 162 posts all told. 

Highly recommended is Roof Consultant's Institute who provide necessary data, and support.  

"Self Advocacy Tools"

Please NOTE:  IIBEC 


FACT:  Garland, and Tremco do not make half the products they sell, and are not found in any local roofing supply house. It must be trucked in from Ohio.  You are essentially exporting 70% of your local tax dollar to other economies. 

FACT:  Garland, nor Tremco will "Compete" for anything.  Don't believe me?  Tell your Garland, or Tremco Representative that you want to include other manufacturers to the bid list .  Watch their faces, and I GUARANTEE they will run away.

But Ron, the purchasing cooperative says they won by "competitive" means.  This an outright lie.  The Cooperative lies to increase their commissions.  U.S. Communities listed 55 pages of BLANK line items from Garland.

Since I noticed the blank documents, they have come up with this convoluted mess:


The "Response Package"


YOU, and all  taxpayers should be concerned that we are paying upwards of 50% MORE for roofing and duped into thinking you've received a value.  The opposite is true.
If you are working with a Purchasing Cooperative, your district is taking a beating that is 100% avoidable.  Certainly, I've illustrated the scam that is undeniable. 

I know all the manufacturers, and have installed millions of sq. ft. of any subset of roofing.  Steep slope, single ply (EPDM, TPO, PVC), built up, modified, etc.  I've successfully completed over 100 public schools, and know what I'm talking about.

If I don't know the answer, Roof Consultant's Institute (RCI) will.  RCI is the standard for roofing excellence, and an honorable organization with top level consultants.

Many are Architects, Consultants, Engineers, Contractors, Manufacturers, etc. ,ALL are credentialed, and will have someone near you.

I do not belong to any organization.  A lot of my work is very sensitive, and may cause discomfort through association.  They are not allowed to speak freely, while I can tell the truth without fear of reprisal.

Please understand that I have no beef with individuals trying to make an honest living.  It's the "Predatory Sales Model" I despise.  I do not want to "Exclude" those mentioned, and welcome them to any public bid list.  Repeat, I do not want Tremco or Garland "Excluded" from anything.  They should get the same opportunity like everyone else.


Doesn't that make sense?

Instead of "Favoritism", we seek fair competition for our own tax dollars.  

Roofers will decide all things roofing, and not elite sectors who are without credential, experience, or the exhaustive safety training it takes.  

"My name is Ron, and I'm a roofer.........For some reason, feel like I should be at an AA meeting."

Just so I don't come off like a 'Lone Wolf", will share what the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), and Roof Consultant's Institute (RCI) have to say:


From Roof Consultant's Institute:


June 21, 2012 RCI’s Position Statement applies to all publicly bid work, including federal, state (provincial/ territorial), municipal, and local government projects or otherwise taxpayer-funded projects in which RCI, Inc. members may participate.

Projects not under the procurement requirements of government agencies or that do not utilize taxpayer funds should also employ similar fair and impartial procurement practices. It is the position of RCI, Inc. that all public work and taxpayer-funded projects clearly adhere to all applicable procurement regulations, maintain the highest levels of transparency and value, and comply with the following principles.

In addition to the owner, projects should involve three distinct entities: the design professional, the manufacturer (or supplier), and the qualified contractor (contractor).

1.) The design professional should be selected by the owner based on qualifications, experience and past performance. The design professional should prepare contract documents to be in compliance with all applicable code requirements (including but not limited to fire, wind, drainage, thermal resistance or performance, warranty and environmental requirements).

Contract documents should not be proprietary or exclusive to a manufacturer, a supplier or a qualified contractor. A product or system that may be able to be produced, supplied or installed by other competitors but is not, is considered a proprietary product/system. Procurement regulations have specific procedures that are required if proprietary materials or systems are to be considered. Design professionals are discouraged from utilizing proprietary specifications.

All projects should utilize a minimum of three manufacturers or utilize materials commonly available from three manufacturers. Systems should be selected to meet specific performance criteria or standards. The design professional must adhere to all state (provincial/territorial) licensing requirements and carry the appropriate errors and omissions insurance.

2.)  The manufacturer and its suppliers should provide the materials and systems adhering to the contract documents. A manufacturer should not act as the design professional unless qualified to do so, and should state in writing and publicly its financial interest in the specifications/requirements provided. Contractual obligations or agreements should not exist between owners and manufacturers. Proprietary and/or exclusionary specifications intended to limit competition among manufacturers, suppliers and/or qualified contractors are strongly discouraged.

Manufacturers are encouraged to provide data, RCI, Inc. Position Statement on Procurement – Support Document information, or other assistance to qualified contractors to determine the best use and application of their materials and systems. Manufacturers should not control material specifications.

3.)  The contractor should be contracted directly to the owner. At no time should any contractual or financial obligation or agreement exist between the design professional and manufacturer, or the design professional and the qualified contractor, or the manufacturer and the qualified contractor. At no time should the manufacturer act as either the design professional or qualified contractor. At no time should the design professional act as the manufacturer or contractor.

4.)  Design-build delivery methods are acceptable under the following conditions: (a) The principles noted above, are met. (b) Design build delivery maintains a competitive bidding/tender environment among all parties: designer, contractor, and manufacturer. (c) A design-build contract is used to ensure that a clear line of responsibility for the design and compliance with code is established. It is the position of RCI, Inc. that the use of "buy boards,” group-purchasing agencies, and all similar purchasing models in any type of building construction, remediation, or rehabilitation are not transparent, do not ensure compliance with the minimum requirements of the codes, do not provide a competitive bid situation, and should not be utilized.


This is what the NRCA has to say:  Click to enlarge.

There you have it.  The largest roofing organization (NRCA), and the premier Consultant's organization: RCI (Roof Consultant's Institute) have spoken, and any reasonable person will agree.

Please help stop this assault on taxpayers, and school maintenance budgets across all of North America.  The "Scam" is impossible for them to argue, so they take the position of  subterranean termites, and hide.

NOTE;  Retired 2003, do not solicit nor accept, compensation or personal advancement of any kind.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

It is humbling that anyone cares one bit about what I have to say, and please know I am thankful for your time.


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Public Procurement Analyst
State Certification  CCC 1325620
Licensed Consultant
Tampa, Florida  33647


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Contractor facing federal kickback charges


The lowest life forms always seem to find each other.


It is my hope that someday "Ration" overcomes "Greed".  Foolish as it is to dream.

Rampant "Greed", and "Bid Rigging" crash down like ocean waves, but will keep chasing those who steal from taxpayers.

Anyway, check out today's story:

Contractor facing federal kickback charges

(Credit: Fotolia )

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