|Black County Mafiosi Steer Contracts to Friends
Contractors Excluded from $50 million
in Redskins Stadium Deal
Web Posted 07/10/00
The tale of the construction of the new Redskins football stadium is an all-too-familiar
tale of corruption, greed, and racial politics which seem to surround a great many racial
set-aside contract deals. Prince Georges County, Maryland, neighbor to Washington,
DC, exemplifies the shady dealings, cronyism, and corruption which are part of most
government racial set-aside projects.
Prince Georges County's first black county executive, Wayne K. Curry, seized upon the
controversial federal and state racial set-aside goals, and proceeded to dole out
substantial stadium contracts to his black friends and political contributors.
Beginning in 1996, 70 minority firms (many black) were given racial set-aside contracts to
work on the Washington Redskins stadium in Prince Georges County. Many standard
accounting and review practices were short-circuited or eliminated altogether. A
number of the largest minority contracts went to minorities who had made, and continued to
make, substantial financial contributions to Wayne Curry's political campaign. Some
of the favored minority contractors didn't even know how to complete an invoice for the
work they allegedly performed.
On Sunday, July 9, 2000, the Washington Post broke this story after many months of
Ingredients of Prince Georges
- Prince Georges county executive Wayne K. Curry
assumed the office in 1994, and is the first black man to hold the job. His campaign
featured a great deal of pro-minority rhetoric.
- Prince Georges County, MD, is one of the
wealthiest majority-black counties in the nation. Politically, the citizens vote
heavily for the Democratic Party. The wealth of Prince Georges County's black
citizens has resulted largely from federal and state racial-quota regulations.
- A lucrative $260 million football stadium project
-- the Washington Redskins stadium, formerly known as Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, currently
known as FedEx field. County executive Curry used a variety of questionable methods to
make good on his promise to steer $50 million worth of stadium work to his friends and
other firms of the "correct" skin color.
- The State of Maryland is dominated by a liberal
Democratic governor, Parris Glendenning, who professes a strong belief in racial politics
and minority set-asides. Governor Glendenning formerly held the post of Prince
Georges County Executive, and Wayne Curry was his immediate successor. The Maryland
state legislature is dominated by liberal Democrats and a large number of black
legislative activists who have repeatedly made public statements about the preferred
position they think blacks should have in all state and county-level contracting
decisions. (Historically, the State of Maryland has a reputation for Democratic
Party Machine Politics second perhaps only to that of Chicago, Illinois.)
- The county is adjacent to Washington, DC which is
the national nexus of racial politics and race-based contract set-asides.
Other Major Players in the
Prince Georges Stadium Scandal:
William D. Miller II: Not
to put too fine a point on it, but Miller served as county executive Wayne Currys
bagman and enforcer, and is also black. Miller is a former inspector general at the
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and is thus well-schooled in the politics of
racial quotas and set-asides. As it happens, Miller is also a neighbor of
Currys in an exclusive Prince Georges development called "The Reserve".
Curry and Miller are buddies from their law school days.
One of Millers assignments was to make sure that four minority firms in particular
reaped huge benefits from the Redskins stadium construction. These firms
owners, it turns out, were heavy financial contributors to Mr. Currys political
campaign fund. Like Miller, the owner of one of the favored firms is also a neighbor
of Curry's in the exclusive "Reserve" enclave. (Footnote: After
completion of the stadium, Miller resigned and went to work as a freelance consultant for
the county in Jan. 1999 for a tidy $525,000 contract.)
Duane W. Oates, minority businessman:
Oates is owner of Global Supply, a janitorial firm, and later also owner of Vertx
LLC. Both of Oates' minority-owned firms received the double-benefit of the racial
set-asides and Wayne Curry's gratitude for past and future campaign contributions.
Oates's business philosophy for dealing with Curry is cited by the Washington Post
as "You have to give to get."
Thus, while Oates companies received over $3 million in contracts, Oates has also
raised over $500,000 for Curry and his political allies. Additionally, Oates, his
family, and his relatives have personally given over $17,000 directly to Currys
campaign coffers during stadium construction.
It is hard to avoid the appearance of mutual payoffs between Oates and county executive
For example, in the spring of 1996 county executive Curry appointed Oates to the board of
the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. This represented a very significant
perk for Oates: As a commissioner, Duane Oates had enormous power over the permitting
process for all major construction projects in the county who needed water and sewer
connections. Oates made many influential contacts in the local construction industry as a
commissioner for the WSSC, and he was in a position to extract favors and concessions from
construction firms across the county. (The WSSC commissioner's job also pays $13,000 per
Vesharn Scales, minority businessman:
Scales is owner of MTI Construction, and is a big financial contributor to Curry's
political fund. For example, in 1994 Scales MTI Construction company bought a
$10,000 box at the Upper Marlboro equestrian center for Curry and his cronies to celebrate
During the course of the Redskins stadium project, MTI earned at least $1.9 million in
road construction and storm-drain work relating to stadium construction.
Additionally, since 1994 when Wayne Curry took office as the County Executive,
Scales MTI construction has won an additional $10 million in county contracts
exclusive of the stadium work.
Scales' company was not even located in Prince Georges County, according to the
Post. MTI is a paving company that was based in the District of Columbia during
stadium construction. A highly qualified local paving company in Prince Georges with
an asphalt plant near the stadium was excluded from participation.
Richard E. Shields, minority businessman:
Shields just happens to live next door to county executive Wayne Curry in the
exclusive "Reserve" neighborhood. Shields is a retired federal security
specialist. Shields formed a company named Shields Protective Services (now called
Resco Security), and received a $280,000 contract to perform security services at the
Redskins stadium construction site. Without commenting on Shields' competence, the
Post reports that subsequently construction officials felt it necessary to hire a second
security company to patrol the site.
Pass-Throughs and Laundering
Oates' company, Global Supply, functioned in many cases as a "pass-through"
company, inserting itself as a middleman -- buying materials then turning around and
selling them to the "real" construction contractors on the project.
The Post cited on example in which Global Supply obtained a $134,443 contract as the
drywall source for the C.J. Coakley company which was performing work on the
stadium. Global Supply simply bought the drywall from the same supplier as Coakley
had previously used. Construction officials, mindful of the racial quotas on the
job, had urged Coakley to buy their drywall through Global simply to improve their
minority quotas. (They called them "minority participation goals".)
On another occasion, Global was handed a $651,000 contract to supply window glass to a
bona fide construction firm on the project, TSI/Exterior Wall Systems.
The Washington Post writes: "Gary E. Evans, vice president of TSI/Exterior
Wall Systems, was at a loss to explain why Global Supply was listed in the reports.
"I don't know the company. I've never heard of them," Evans said. "We had
to design a window that had never been built before. We did everything out there on that
The "laundering" of the glass purchase through Global helped the stadium project
meet its minority participation goals.
Amazingly, the Washington Post reports that the Redskins Stadium deal is now considered to
be a model for employing minority-owned companies on economic development projects across
County Executive Wayne K. Currys apparent efforts to reward his black friends with
stadium contracts and influential appointments escaped public scrutiny in large part
because Curry shrewdly never instituted the legally required "minority business
oversight board" in Prince Georges County.
Currys favor-granting resulted in the exclusion of many bona fide, local Prince
George's companies with successful track records (real construction experience) which
firms theoretically would have been given contracts if Currys promise of awarding
stadium work to local county firms was to be realized.
Clearly county executive Wayne K. Curry fully exploited federal and state racial-quota
rules requiring that government funded projects employ anywhere from 12% to 25% minority
firms (persons of the correct skin color). Like bureaucrats everywhere, Curry lorded
this power over the serfs and peasants who depended upon the county government for
"fair" review and approval of permits on the project. Curry could easily
speed up or delay necessary construction and occupancy permits.
Curry's enforcer, William Miller, allegedly made it known to all participants in the
Redskins stadium project that failure to meet minority hiring quotas, and especially
failure to hire the minority firms owned by friends of county executive Wayne K. Curry,
would result in costly delays in the granting of permits.
In its July 9, 2000 expose, the Washington Post reports that, according to an advisor to
Jack Kent Cooke during construction of the Redskins stadium, "From the moment we
began the [stadium] project, we were squeezed by the [county] government at all levels. We
were subjected at every stage and with almost every permit to pressure. If we did not [do
what was asked], we were faced with the unthinkable prospect of not opening" on time.
Adversity.Net anxiously awaits the results of the vigorous federal and state investigation
and subsequent prosecution of the corruption and racial favors which appear to have been
routinely granted in the construction of the Redskins stadium (aka, Jack Kent Cooke
Stadium, aka FedEx Field).
But we are not holding our breath. -- Editor.
(Based on the Washington Post, 07/09/00, "Favorites Won Stadium Jobs", page A01,
by David S. Fallis and Scott Wilson)
Additional reading on this topic:
Page (1) Prince Georges: Overview of Racial and Political Favoritism
Page (3) Prince Georges: Political Donors, Allies Rewarded with
Page (4) Prince
Georges: Term Limits are Racist? (10/24/00)
END (2) Prince Georges: Race-Based Stadium