ISPAC Exclusive: New Info on the Insider Dealings of the Racino Contract.
Independent Source PAC has some breaking updates on the secret dealings involving the Martinez Administration and the Expo New Mexico contract with the Downs of Albuquerque.
Newly Discovered Campaign Contributions to Martinez:
ISPAC has learned that William C. Windham and John Turner, the Louisiana based majority co-owners of the Downs, contributed an additional $10,000 to Susana Martinez. ISPAC is the first to uncover these additional contributions. This raises the amount of contributions to Martinez from Windham and Turner, who are bidders on the Racino contract to over $80,000, not the $70,000 previously reported.
Windham and Turner’s contributions were made through an entity called Brazos Land & Cattle, Ltd. Co.
These contributions, according to the Secretary of State’s website, included $5,000 to Susana PAC in May 2011, less than three months prior the issuing of the RFP for the Racino contract and two contributions totaling $5,000 to Martinez’s gubernatorial campaign dated 12/30/10–all came AFTER Martinez was elected Governor. (See Below).
Neither Windham nor Turner are listed on the PRC Corporations website in connection with Brazos Land & Cattle. However, according to United States Bankruptcy Court Western District of Louisiana Shreveport Division Case No. 09-11674, (In Re Debtor: Harold L. Rosbottom, Jr,) Turner Windham, LLC, an entity operated by William C. Windham and John Turner, received “free and clear” of liens and encumbrances, the ownership interests of Brazos Land & Cattle, Ltd. Co. The court’s order was dated August 19, 2010.
Commissioner Goff’s Exclusive Input into Amending the Downs’ Contract:
In addition, ISPAC has confirmed that the deciding vote cast by New Mexico State Fair Commissioner Kenneth “Buster” Goff, in support of the lease deal came after Goff was permitted to recommend changes to the lease agreement.
Goff, who was handpicked for the commission by Martinez after he and his wife contributed $8500 to her campaign, publicly stated that he would vote no on the deal just two weeks prior to the November 21, 2011 vote.
According to a fellow commissioner, Goff was the only commissioner given the opportunity to offer amendments to the lease agreement. On November 9th, when the vote was initially scheduled all of the commissioners were told they would only be able to cast a yes or no vote on the contract and that no amendments to the agreements would be allowed.
Further, while it will be up to lawyers to decide, the wording of the RFP specifically appears to preclude Goff, from recommending amendments to the contract.
Concerns about Windham and Turner’s Prior Business Dealings:
ISPAC has unearthed some information about Downs’ majority interest co-owners Windham and Turner that casts a dark shadow over their management and ethics.
Windham and Turner operated the Orleans Regional Hospital, a Medicaid funded psychiatric facility that was managed through two companies, the North Louisiana Regional Hospital and Precision, Inc. Following changes in Medicaid policy in 1994 that affected the admissions and length of stays covered by Medicaid at psychiatric hospitals, Windham and Turner saw the enrollment at their facility drop off.
In October 1995, Windham and Turner decided to shut down the psychiatric hospital. Prior to closing the hospital they paid themselves $1.5 million in cash distributions from the hospital. Windham and Turner waited until October 27th to notify hospital employees of the shutdown and the employees were let go about a week later.
Windham and Turner then created a new entity that took over the hospital’s operating license and Medicaid provider agreement.
Windham and Turner were then sued in a class action lawsuit (Hollowell et al v. Orleans Regional Hospital et al) for violating federal labor laws. Windham and Turner lost the lawsuit at trial and then lost the appeal. They were ordered to pay over $ 330,000 in back wages and over $300,000 in legal fees for violating federal law.
In addition, Windham and Turner were notified by the State of Louisiana that Louisiana was contemplating legal action against them to seek reimbursement for more than $2,000,000 of overpayments the state made to Windham and Turner’s hospital.
Rather than repay the money they owed, Windham and Turner then prevented the break up of the management company Precision, Inc. despite the fact that the hospital was closed, because the state was less likely to pursue the money from a company still in business than from people who received a large cash payout from an entity that was closed.
That action may have technically been legal, but was most certainly questionable conduct when they had been overpaid taxpayer funds.
Finally, the Mississippi Department of Health sued one of Windham and Turner’s facilities located in Mississippi because the entity had failed to make improvements that were funded and approved by the legislature.