As one prominent citizen of Clovis, a member of the CIDC, noted recently, when there are mistakes made in private industry, heads roll and someone suffers the consequences of making a bad decision. In the case of the loss of the tax payers $2.8 million in the BHSI (Beauty Health & Science Innovations, Inc.) debacle, there have been no consequences for any city official even though it is apparent that negative credit information, which should have put a halt to spending on the project, was known before city funds were spent. Until those responsible for bad decisions are held accountable, and suffer consequences, similar mistakes will continue, and justice will not be satisfied.
Yesterday the High Plains Patriots found that three tort claims against the City of Clovis were filed by the office of Michael Garrett, attorney on February 5th, 2014. These three vendors lost over $176,000 total when they were not paid by BHSI for work done on the new manufacturing plant. The reason that the claim is being made against the City is because of the assurances each received from City and/or CIDC officials.
According to the claim wording, “The City’s failure to reasonably discharge its duties and due diligence in approval of the loans to BHSI, Inc, and the false representations by the City that they had properly vetted BHSI.” was the cause of the damage suffered when each relied on representations made to them.
At more than one City Commission meeting, the High Plains Patriots had asked that the City consider finding a way to make these vendors at least partially whole, but since the contract was between the vendors and BHSI, the City was not advised that they would be able to do anything. However, attached to the tort claim, was an appeals court decision that supports the concept of a “quasi contract” when determining an equitable judgment for non-payment of services rendered. It will be very interesting to see if the City responds and accepts some responsibility for what these vendors have suffered. That is the beginning of accountability and the beginning of actual consequences.
The fact that the claims have been filed was not noted in the local newspaper. Perhaps no one told the Clovis News Journal about it, until yesterday… It will also be interesting to see if the story is reported in the days ahead.. before city elections are held.