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Tuesday
Nov012016

Mesa County Commissioners place local citizens in harms way by accepting CDBG Grant. See included 171 page document exposing the Devil in the details!

VetTheGov has been fighting federal overreach grants over the past couple of years and the dangers these grants place upon our future generations. Yet as you will read and discover, MONEY, with strings attached for our local government coffers, is way more important than keeping our local sovereignty and citizens SAFE. VetTheGov has included the overview and 171 page documented issues that were presented to the Mesa County Commissioners on October 31, 2016, including the video portions of some very disturbing discussions regarding Community Block Development Grants (CDBG), and the many dangers of the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. 

Issues with CDBG grants and the many Federal strings attached

-In DOLA response specifically related Mesa County AFFH compliance the following was stated- “Since 1968, all CDBG grantees regardless of type of project have been required to, and must certify that they will, affirmatively further fair housing.  This is the reference cited in the contract Appendix noted in this open records request.  The County's contract requires that their efforts to meet this requirement be reported out to the State at grant close in the year 2018.  Please see the CDBG Guidebook on DOLA's website (Section V, pages 4 and 5) for suggested actions that the County may consider to assure compliance.   

The new rule will require all grantees to complete an assessment of fair housing.  Since Mesa County is not the direct grantee of these dollars from HUD, the County is not required to complete the assessment.  As the primary grantee from HUD, the State will be required to complete a state-wide assessment which will be due to HUD in 2019.” Denise Stepto DOLA PR Director 

-Difference between Entitlement & Non-Entitlement areas are Entitlement areas receive funds directly from HUD and Non-Entitlement is cities with less than 50,000 population and counties less than 200,000 population. - https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/cdbg-state/

-Grant application mentions a required Citizen Participation Plan on page 11 section (b) #1-6 that specifically states in #2 that reasonable and timely access to local meetings, information, and records relating to its proposed and actual use of CDBG funds. In the last meeting on September 12th, 2016, Jon Maraschin admitted the RLF meetings are in fact PRIVATE and not even the Commissioners can attend these meetings unless granted permission. There are no details of public meetings listed on the Incubator website calendar nor the RLF tab on the incubator website.

-On pg. 13-14 of the initial grant application, #2 specifically states Mesa County WILL Affirmatively Further Fair Housing.
 -On pg. 14 of the initial grant application, section (f) states Mesa County WILL assume it’s Chief Executive Officer, currently Commissioner Pugliese, the status of responsible Federal Official under NEPA Act of 1969 and other Federal programs.
 -On pg. 15 of the initial grant application, section (i) # 4 Mesa County WILL comply with Executive Order 12259 which is the AFFH rule via Executive Order - https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12259.html

-On pg. 18 Attachment G of new CDBG application for Housing Resource of Western Colorado, there are zero requirements to prove LEGAL citizenship status in order to obtain a portion of this fund.  This means Federal dollars could potentially go directly to an illegal alien or even worse, a terrorist who crosses our borders illegally.
- Shariah Compliant loans already being implemented via AFFH rules in Lewiston, Maine. - http://www.lewistonmaine.gov/Archive/ViewFile/Item/2027

-Shariah Zero Interest Compliant loans available in Grand Junction, CO. “ijaraloans.com is a company specializing in Islamic finance alternatives. We are not a loan originator or broker, but a Sharia structuring company working with licensed providers to structure Sharia compliant financial transactions.  Our mission is to provide outstanding Islamic Loan financing alternatives to consumers who abide by religious or ethical prohibitions relating to the payment of interest on loans. We want to be your resource for Islamic finance alternatives relating to home buying and replacement of existing mortgages. We operate in 50 states and Canada.” - http://local.ijaraloans.com/Lariba_Grand_Junction_CO-p1719885-Grand_Junction_CO.html

-June 29, 2016 Douglas County Commissioners vote to deny 2016 federal block grants. “We heard from and worked with members of our community concerning the potential impact of receiving these federal dollars from HUD and we share their concerns,” stated Roger Partridge. “Douglas County is wholeheartedly committed to meeting the full intent of the Fair Housing Act. My principal concern moving forward is with the assertiveness of the present rule and the potential that it can prevent us from being compliant with the Fair Housing Act regardless of our desired intent,” said Partridge. “This federal agency is practically reinterpreting and changing the intent of the Fair Housing Act,” stated Commissioner Jill Repella.  “I have significant concern with the new assessment tool that is in play right now. We need to continue to work with our Congressional delegation and fight this battle, said Repella.” - http://www.douglas.co.us/community/partners-and-providers/community-development-block-grant/

-April 5, 2016 Town of Castle Rock votes to deny CDBG funding due to the AFFH rule. “As a Town Council, we will resist all federal attempt to destroy our local sovereignty, be it from HUD, the EPA, or any other government agency. Council will always defend our resident’s right to make their own local decisions without federal interference. While I appreciate the many good works that are represented by your programs, accepting onerous federal grant requirements which harm our community cannot be the price to pay for federal monies.” - http://affh.net/2016/04/22/town-of-castle-rocks-letter-about-declining-hud-affh-funds/

Enforcement of AFFH

-HUD uses another federal grant program to enforce compliance.  The grant program is called Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI) and uses “Testers” or “Posers” who pose as renters, purchasers, or borrowers in order to ascertain if a similarly situated member of a protected class (based e.g. on race, national origin, or gender) has been subject to discrimination. “FHIP organizations partner with HUD to help people identify government agencies that handle complaints of housing discrimination. They also conduct preliminary investigation of claims, including sending "testers" to properties suspected of practicing housing discrimination. Testers are minorities and whites with the same financial qualifications who evaluate whether housing providers treat equally-qualified people differently.” - http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/partners/FHIP/fhip

-Westchester County's $62.5 Million settlement decree for not following AFFH!!! - http://www.antibiaslaw.com/westchester-case

(i) The County shall use all available means as appropriate to achieve the objectives set forth in this paragraph, including, but not limited to, developing financial or other incentives for other entities to take steps to promote the objectives of this paragraph, and conditioning or withholding the provision of County funds on actions that promote the objectives of this paragraph. It is anticipated that the County will accomplish the objectives of this paragraph by leveraging the funds that it is expending pursuant to paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 with supplemental funds, and nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent the County from meeting the objectives of this paragraph by identifying and combining other affordable housing funding sources. - http://www.antibiaslaw.com/list/consent-decree#n2382 There are over 60 decree’s of compliance settled regarding AFFH non-compliance!!!!

-May 23, 2016 - Local HUD complaint from a possible “Tester”???  See for yourself as the entire complaint is attached for your review.  Habitat for Humanity wanted to settle in order to keep this out of the local media’s attention and the request was made in the amount of $25 Million.   How many more of these complaints will arrive in the near future???  Is it worth the small amount of these grants???

Following the Money Trail

-On pg. 9 in the original grant application, #6 describes where the $500,000.00 would potentially be allocated by the RLF.  It describes a dairy farm for $100K, an Oil Field for $125K, Ice cream wholesale $40K, and a roofing company for $300K. 

-In recently received CORA request made to Mesa County and DOLA, the following items were funded by the CDBG grant.  The documents received via CORA are expenditure detail from the Mesa County Economic Development Grants and Invoices from Mesa County to DOLA and are attached along with Mesa County expenditure report.

2015

12/2/15         KT Development LLC           $41,400.00                 RLF Activity

12/2/15         Admin Cost                         $6,600.00                   RLF Activity

Total Funds allocated out of the Grants Fund for 2015 - $239,749.96

KT Development LLC was registered originally in Colorado out of Parachute, CO with registered member Kevin Leuallen.  The LLC then changed addresses in 2014 to Redlands 81507 zip code.  The LLC then changes addresses again in 2015 to a Clifton 81520 zip code still with the original registered member.  When searching Kevin Leuallen in google, a small business website appears of company performing ice cream wholesale out of the incubator address but operating under the name Leuallen Sales & Service http://coloradosbdc.businesscatalyst.com/success-stories/leuallen-brandon-leuallen  Interesting to note that a new LLC was formed on 02/23/2016 under the name Leuallen Sales and Service LLC with Kevin Leuallen still the registered member using the same address as KT Development LLC. Not sure how many jobs created/retained or if they meet the 51% low to moderate-income obligation.

2016

3/7/16           KT Development LLC           $21,600.00     RLF KT Development

4/14/16         5 Star CDL Academy LLC     $40,000.00     Pass Through CDBG Grant

4/14/16         Admin                                $6,400.00       Pass Through CDBG Grant

7/11/16         Vintage Overland                $50,000.00     Pay Request #4

7/11/16         Happy Trails CO                  $10,000.00     Pay Request #4

9/8/16           Vintage Overland                $15,000.00     CDBG payment-bus. assist.

9/8/16           Happy Trails CO                  $10,000.00     CDBG payment-bus. assist.

9/8/16           KT Development LLC           $60,000.00     CDBG payment-bus. assist

9/8/16           Colorado Clean                   $160,000.00   CDBG payment-bus. assist

9/8/16           Admin                                $51,550.00     CDBG payment-bus. assist

- Total Funds allocated out of the Grants Fund for 2016 - $296,912.87

*5 Star CDL Academy LLC is a CDL drivers training course currently based at the Incubator center on Legacy Way.  LLC was established 1/2/16 with registered member William Cotton living in 81505 zip code.  The name was amended on 1/6/16 with by a new agent Samual J Baldwin. http://www.5starcdltraining.com/ Not sure how many jobs created/retained or if they meet the 51% low to moderate-income obligation.  FYI Samual Baldwin involved in previous Sentinel Story involving Bonnie Beckstein which involved overcharging a client $333K - http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/theft-probe-centered-on-council-candidate

*Vintage Overland is a small manufacture of vintage camping trailers.  Vintage was registered in 2014 in the Redlands 81507 zip code by registered agent Britton Purser. http://vintageoverland.com/ Not sure how many jobs created/retained or if they meet the 51% low to moderate income obligation.

*Happy Trails Colorado is a clothing retailer located in Fruita, CO.  The LLC registered by Alison Daniel in 2015 in the 81504 zip code and then changed to Fruita 81521 zip code in October 2016.  No website available only a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HappyTrailsFruitaCO/ Not sure how many jobs created/retained or if they meet the 51% low to moderate-income obligation.

*Colorado Clear MSW LLC is a water bottling company located in Palisade, CO.  The LLC was registered member by Timothy Huff on 1/19/16 in the Palisade 81526 zip code. http://coloradoclear.com/ Not sure how many jobs created/retained or if they meet the 51% low to moderate-income obligation.

-The details in the financial documents only show checks written to the Western Colorado Business Development (WCBD) is a non-profit organization and from they’re the trail ends.  No other information is available because WCBD does not have to disclose to the public, information regarding their private business, even though Federal taxpayer funds are being used.  No idea if 100% of the monies are passed forward by WCBD to the companies listed above.

-However in one related CORA request, WCBD 2015 annual financials were obtained and are included along with WCBD 2014 990 IRS filing. 

Attachments

-DOLA CORA response, which includes original 2014 CDBG grant application, emails, and Mesa County Invoices to DOLA.

-Westchester Lawsuit

-Local Mesa County Habitat HUD complaint documents

-Mesa County 2015-2016 expenditure reports for economic development grants

-WCBD 2015 financial statement

-WCBD 2014 990 IRS form

Last minute hot off the printer Memorandum by Mesa County CFO Scott Stewart

Videos related to presentation

Please take the time to study the many associated tentacles of Federal overrreach that come attached with AFFH. VetTheGov posted an earlier story that has a simple 5 minute video explaining the dangerous overtones and hidden agendas in accepting AFFH funding. 

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