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Fairgrounds board member told of midway contract score changes weeks before it became public

A board member of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which oversees the Del Mar showrooms, learned in December that the ratings of proposals from two companies vying for a contract to run halfway through the 2021 show had changed properly, according to testimony. filing by a district official.

Less than two months after learning of the rating fraud, board member Don Mosier voted along with all other board members to award the contract for this year’s halfway point to the company that benefited from the rating change. The board unanimously voted to give this contract to Ray Cammack Shows, without any comment from Mosier or any member.

The revelations were made in a statement by Paul Blaney, sales and rental manager and head of concessions in the area. They are the latest to come to an ongoing controversy over the interim contract for the 2021 report that has shaken the region.

The 2021 report was eventually canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was replaced by a significantly reduced version. The rating change contract was never formally awarded.

However, the exhibition returns this year, opening today, albeit with a daily entry fee of 50,000 people and a duration of 21 days, slightly shorter than the usual, approximately, one-month duration.

Allegations of last year’s contracts reached this year’s report and led a judge to issue precautionary measures against the last contract – a decision that almost derailed the event.

Board members were briefed at a board meeting on Jan. 31 about the change of rating by attorney John Moot, who represented the losing company Talley Amusements. However, Blaney testified that Mosier was informed that the scores had changed much earlier – at a 90-minute emergency meeting on Dec. 2 at the home of former Del Mar councilor and district board member Lee Haydu.

Blaney testified that during the meeting, retired district procurement director Michael Ceragioli called and said how the scores had changed to determine the winner. Ceragioli testified in his own statement six weeks later that the changes were ordered by Carlene Moore, the area’s managing director – and that the ratings changed not once, but twice.

Blaney said that after Ceragioli spoke, Mosier made no comment and had little visible reaction. “We were wearing face masks, so it was difficult to see anyone’s reaction,” Blaney said. “But he was present when Mike conveyed this information over the phone.”

Mosier was not available for comment. The area’s marketing director, Jennifer Hellman, said in an email that she was out of the country, and in a statement from the district said Mosier was not the only board member to be aware of the allegations.

“The DAA board was aware of Mr Ceragioli’s claims about the RFP for the 2021 report – which was canceled due to the pandemic – long before the December 2 meeting, so Mr Mosier did not raise these issues again. “, The statement said.

Also in attendance was Deanna Spehn, policy director for San Diego State Senate President Toni Atkins.

In a written statement, Atkins said she had been informed of her concerns and was concerned by the report.

“Accusations like this raise public suspicion in a government agency that is critical to San Diego – I also have concerns based on what has been made public,” he said. “Although I am not aware of the closed-door discussions, I have communicated my concerns to the Board and will continue to monitor this situation closely.”

Haydu, the host of the private meeting, did not reply to many messages asking for comments about the meeting.

Moot, Talley’s lawyer, criticized Mosier for not talking about what he had learned long before Ceragioli’s testimony was made public. He said that Seragioli told him that he remembers that Mosier told the meeting that she was the first to hear about the change of grades and called for a check on the district.

“The testimony that a board member was informed of the CEO’s behavior in changing the rating two months before the $ 80 million contract was awarded to the losing contractor and that nothing was done raises some serious questions as to why,” he wrote in An email.

“It is time for those responsible for overseeing this service to ask the Joint Audit Committee to conduct a thorough audit of any wrongdoing, as has happened in many of the other Provincial Agricultural Associations.”

The meeting was organized by former district officials, according to former employee Donna Ruhm, who was there. He said he intended to express “concerns about the ongoing controversial contract and recruitment practices and fragmented management style” of Moore, the region’s current chief executive.

Many workers in the area had left in 2020 during a huge layoff due in large part to the loss of revenue from the cancellation of the 2020 report due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Blaney’s testimony came in a lawsuit filed by Talley over the 2021 contract. The company claims to have won the potentially five-year contract on merit, but the district illegally directed the contract to RCS.

On April 5, San Diego Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Mendel ruled that Talley had shown sufficient evidence that the contract rating process for the 2021 report was tarnished to justify an insurance decision that prevented the contract from commissioned by RCS in January for this year’s report.

At the time, the district warned that the order could not only jeopardize the popular means of walks and games, but could cancel the entire exhibition. Within days, however, both sides struck a deal where RCS got 60 percent midway this year and Talley 40 percent.

The lawsuit is pending, but is pending for the duration of the report, which expires on July 4.

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Fairgrounds board member told of midway contract score changes weeks before it became public Source link Fairgrounds board member told of midway contract score changes weeks before it became public

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