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Thread: In case anyone ever wondered....

  1. #1
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    Default In case anyone ever wondered....

    why Kurt, myself, and some others that were helping through vendor-assistance programs had to stop: http://lincolnparishnewsonline.wordp...ory/jonesboro/

    Jackson Parish Ward Four Fire Chief Curtis Roller Indicted by Feds

    Jackson Parish Ward Four Fire Protection District Chief Curtis Roller was last Thursday indicted by a federal grand jury. In an email late this afternoon from the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana:

    JONESBORO MAN INDICTED FOR WIRE FRAUD AND LYING ON WORKERS COMPENSATION FORMS

    SHREVEPORT, La: United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Curtis Roller, 56, of Jonesboro, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for 11 counts of wire fraud after obtaining Federal Emergency Management Agency grants and four counts of making false statements on workers compensation forms.

    According to the indictment, from Jan. 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2010, Roller submitted false information on grant applications he sent to FEMA so Louisiana and Arkansas fire departments he wrote grants for were eligible to receive the funds. Roller is accused of inflating population data, agency coverage areas and numbers of responded calls on the FEMA grant applications. He also is accused of overstating the type of calls responded to, under-reporting the size of budgets and increasing the scope of their needs on the applications.

    It is further alleged in the indictment that Roller asked those awarded the FEMA grants to purchase equipment from his two companies, Louisiana Firefighters Services and a vehicle manufacturing company in Smyrna, Ga. It is against FEMA rules and policies for a grant writer to financially benefit from money awarded.


    Obviously since we are still in business our arrangements were without conflict as subsequent conversations with DC personnel confirmed. But another example of bad eggs ruining it for everyone. I know, here's the part where I say it's just an indictment, innocent until proven guilty, etc, but enough suspicion was cast to cause the over-reaction in 2009that temporarily overshadowed the good deeds that were done by our colelctive programs at no cost to the departments. Also the reason that we all refrained from getting involved in bids, and still do, other than general help about format and NFPA codes.

    Also a warning to all, eventually they'll catch up to you, it's all on paper after all. Jack with the statistics and it's not hard to figure out...
    Brian P. Vickers
    CEO - Vickers Consulting Services, Inc
    FH.com/Firehouse Mag Contributor
    www.helpmewithgrants.com
    www.facebook.com/vcsinc


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    And what is really telling - this is not the first time he has had issues like that.

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    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    The IG's office has a long memory and even longer reach to haul folks in

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    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    I have been waiting 4 years to say something and I guess now is as good a time as any, so pardon my jumping up on a soapbox for a moment here.

    The difference here, as I have always said, is that "procurement integrity" has nothing whatsoever to do with "grant writing". A grant consultant or grant writer's involvement with a grant ends the moment that the "submit" button is pushed.The issue of "conflict of interest" raises its ugly head only if and when (as this poor fellow is about to find out) when the grant consultant or grant writer changes hats from being the "grant writer" to that of being part of the "procurement process" which technically does not begin until a grant award is announced. I personally, nor the company I was employed with, ever allowed that situation to exist and we took great pains to guard against finding ourselves in that position.

    I would like to thank those few unscrupulous greedy individuals who managed to also cast us into their greedy, unethical lot. You cost me a really good job and salary with retirement and health care benefits with a great company and ruined any chance I had at all of retiring comfortably.

    What has now taken its place now is a 7 day a week work schedule, a whopping $14K a year in police retirement, a +50% cut in pay, no health care insurance for myself or wife (who is dealing with a deadly disease that has already claimed 4 of her family members and has $4K a month in RX costs). We struggle every month to pay our bills and mortgage and which not a single bank bailout program will offer us any relief on.

    Am I bitter over this you might ask? You bet your sweet patootie I am! Just give me 5 minutes in a locked room with each one of them and personally speaking, I hope they bury your unscrupulous backsides under the darn prison they put your sorry backsides in! Ya'll be sure to say hello to all those other dirtbags I have locked up over the years and who I am sure will be waiting with breathless anticipation for your arrival on the inside of those iron bars!

    Rant off! Sorry about that folks, it had to be said!
    islandfire03 and EMT6126 like this.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    MembersZone Subscriber LVFD301's Avatar
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    It has to be said. People just don't understand what can happen when they jump the rules. When I wrote the regional commo grant for our area, a total of a million, I wrote myself out of making a dime off of it. And here I am about to do another for a neighboring area.

    Or the people who write SAFERS with a paid coordinator for recruiting and retention. They can't make a dime off of it. Hard to let your baby go in that situation.

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    So what liability do the departments have that got grants under false applications?

    If their information was correct would they have scored lower?

    Who didnt get a grant becuase they did?

    How many more times has this happened?

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spegram View Post
    So what liability do the departments have that got grants under false applications?

    If their information was correct would they have scored lower? Hard to say for sure but if the information was artificially inflated it was probably done so in order for the application to score in the competitive range

    Who didnt get a grant becuase they did? That's why it is fraud and a crime, it is not a victim-less crime as many might think. No telling how many departments he may have caused to have been denied but then again no way to rectify it now; the damage is done.

    How many more times has this happened?
    The indictment states the number of departments this occurred with from his actions.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    If it is proven that the grant writer handled things without the input of the department, they are generally left alone. Even though the Guidelines say that it is the applicant's responsibility to verify everything, many times the writer won't give them login access or ask them any questions to get the proper information from them to include. We've been hired several times in the past couple of years and the other for-hire writer wouldn't give the department access to their own application, so we had to tell them how to get it through DC since after all, applications belong to the applicant. That's also why we can't share them directly, we don't own what we create for clients. It's theirs to decide.

    Anyway, that's why we don't submit applications. It forces everyone to review what was written, statistics, and everything else in the application. Several have caught things that we included in what we wrote, that we pulled from prior applications that they had hired others to do for them. One had claimed the department made the scene of a multi-alarm fire over 100 miles away, which they didn't. Chief asked me about it and I showed him where it was in the app from the prior year that they had paid someone else to write. That's why everyone here that I know of (Sly, Kurt, Mike (LFD), and more) will all give references when asked. There are obviously more writers out there, but like any other industry, there appear to be more unscrupulous ones than good ones. Make sure you vet any person you're going to spend money on. I never hired a contractor that I didn't verify references on, I don't expect anyone wanting to hire us not to do the same. This is a legal game, and if you step over the line Uncle Sam will catch up to you eventually. I don't look good in orange, and I can do without living in a small room with someone that might want a relationship that I don't want....happily married and going to stay that way...

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    MembersZone Subscriber ktb9780's Avatar
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    As Brian pointed out; my business model requires the extensive participation of the department in the development of the application. You don't simply hire me and I write your grant without you being extensively involved in that process. By the time we are finished we will have exchanged the document back and forth on a number of occasions so anyone claiming that they were not knowledgeable about what was in the grant that they and I have worked on is just not being truthful. I have also never submitted the application for clients as, like Brian, I want to be sure that the Chief ( who ultimately has the responsibility for the accuracy of the application) knows exactly what is being stated and is comfortable with same.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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