Are Tulsa taxpayers paying illegal workers? (bumped)

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This was originally posted on October 7, 2006. I've bumped it to the top since it was a topic of conversation during my weekly visit with Michael DelGiorno on KFAQ this morning. On a related note, KFAQ is sponsoring a special showing of the film Border War tonight at 7 (by invitation only) and paid screenings at 9 tonight and tomorrow night at 7 and 9 (October 17 and 18) at the Starworld cineplex in Bixby.

MeeCiteeWurkor has begun a series of posts about the hiring practices of contractors and subcontractors to the City of Tulsa. In this first post, he is reporting on a specific instance of a city subcontractor employing people who cannot work legally in the U.S. One of the illegal workers was driving a truck carrying city property, despite the fact that he had been arrested on a DUI charge.

On August 17th of this year, between approximately 7am and 8am, I observed one of Don Shope’s “Mexicans” driving a blue and white Ford F-150 truck with an Oklahoma license plate of 396-ZMH....

I was told that the worker driving the truck had recently received a DUI and had his license suspended. I approached the gentleman, who I believe goes by the name “George”. I hollered at the guy in the truck and confronted him. There was an exchange in which I asked the supposed illegal worker why he was driving if his license was suspended, and especially after getting arrested for DUI. The contractor’s worker admitted to being arrested and not having a driver’s license, but soon realized what was happening and began to speak in Spanish and saying that he didn’t understand English.

There is audio (actually a darkened video) and a transcript of a confrontation with the Mexican worker's boss about this situation.

In the introduction to this series, MeeCiteeWurkor explains why he is posting this information, and he also explains the relationship between the City of Tulsa, the companies that contract with the City, and the subcontractors that are hired by the contractos to do the actual work.

As Dan Paden wrote: "Mee's risking his livelihood to bring this to your attention. Go and have a look. I don't think it's putting it too strongly to say that the citizens of Tulsa owe that to him."

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susan said:

In 2002-2003, there was a bond project done
in the Florence Park neighborhood. The City of Tulsa hired subcontractors to do the street/concrete work which was KEYSTONE CONCRETE. They would bring these workers in front of my parents house and they did not speak english. Many problems happened during this project which the City of Tulsa has yet to resolve with cracks in the concrete shortly after it was poured on my parents property and two other neighbor properties and the City of Tulsa would not make KEYSTONE CONCRETE come and redo the concrete work. The work was done on private property because the City of Tulsa subcontractors damaged this area on my parents property. KEYSTONE CONCRETE workers that spoke spanish also hit a gas line on my parents property and because of the error it knocked out their heating air outside unit which KEYSTONE or the City of Tulsa never bothered to pay for the expenses involved with their error on that. There was an ONG report made about the gas line hit and an ONG rep had to come into my parents home with a special gas detector because the subcontract worker KEYSTONE CONCRETE worker accident to the gas line sent lots of gas inside my parents home on top of knocking out and damaging their heating air unit. That was not all. The City of Tulsa subcontractors hired unskilled labor and I watched them as they used big machinery that tore into the terrace taking out huge portions of it when they were supposed to be only doing the work on the sidewalk. The terrace was promised by the City of Tulsa supervisor to be put back properly -- I talked to him myself. It had rich black superior dirt and they finally after many complaints of the City of Tulsa letting the terrace wash out all the good dirt they tossed in dirt with tons
of rocks which you can still see today. They were supposed to replace it and do it right but
they never fixed it and the good rich black dirt where the water lines were was taken out given to somebody else and same rock filled bad dirt where we tried to put a sign and it was such bad dirt we could not even get the sign in the yard. The City of Tulsa also put in "chat" on my parents property by the water lines.
Supervisors came and went and finally the number we were given to call at the beginning of the project they never returned our phone calls or my parents neighbor phone calls. They
also had money left over on this 1999 bond project and we want the damage paid for the air unit the subcontractor employees did that could have been illegal workers possibly since they only spoke english. Problem is Keystone Concrete I asked BBB about this and reported the problem to them but they never could seem to find the phone # as Keystone is not listed at the time in the white or yellow pages. Lisa
Mosely, the Mayor's secretary said she would forward the complaints on but the project was never followed up on and fixed by any responsible supervisor on the bond project. My
last conversation in 2003 was that they were still trying to find the City of tulsa contract
with Keystone Concrete. The City should have paid and fixed the damages and settled it with their subcontractors. I still would like
the City of Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor's office
to settle this. It's not right for them to tear up private property and leave it badly repaired.

susan said:

They also littered each day during the bond project and left it there. When I told a supervisor on the project to start having these
workers pick up their own litter he had the nerve to tell me without an ounce of care in his voice that the City of Tulsa is only responsible for picking up trash at the end of
a project -- the project lasted for at least 12 months. There is a fine for littering and
these workers of subcontractors were never fined nor did the City of Tulsa supervisor that drove in his truck. Yes the trash was left on my parents private property -- not just
where the water line and sidewalk were. It was a 12 month bond project where at the very beginning I was assured to be patient that they would fix everything right but they did not.

susan said:

The ONG supervisor that brought special ONG gas reading equipment into my parents home said that the spanish speaking employees of Keystone Concrete that the City of Tulsa hired for the bond project were the worst as far as making costly mistakes on this bond project. The gas lines were clearly marked by ONG. Yes, I can say on this bond project it's possible some of these workers could have been here in the U.S. illegally. There were other places in the neighborhood where the work of Keystone Concrete workers might have used poorly trained workers and/or watered down concrete mix because one of the neighbors noticed other premature cracks from the Keystone Concrete work.

Twatch said:

Thank-you MeeCiteewurkor. People assume your rightful role and strike back at the corruption, elitism, and lawlessness. Deny them
what they covet, vote no for the Channels Project.

susan said:

The ONG report should be filed about February 3,2004 when the employee from Keystone Service (is the concrete contractor -- if you look in the yellow pages Keystone Service is not listed as a Concrete Contractor--seems a good idea for the City of Tulsa to hire companies that are willing to be members of the BBB don't you think?)
These workers from Keystone Service made mistakes frequently according to the ONG inspector on this 1999 Bond Project which is expensive to have to call ONG everytime the workers made mistakes.
The mistake done to my parents property the Keystone Service employee was nailing a metal stake which hit the gas line which immediately from the mistake the employee made immediately knocked out the air and heat outside unit. The part it knocked out was very expensive $1,800.00 In Good Faith, I think the City of Tulsa should have paid for damage and collected the damage done from Keystone since
City of Tulsa is the one that hired the concrete contractor.
That was just one problem. They parked very heavy equipment in front on my parents property for weeks. Each time they came in and out they would hit and damage the driveway and terrace which they after months finally replaced pitifully. They had rich black soil -- the equipment never should have hit their personal property and there was an huge area in this neighborhood they could have easily parked this heavy equipment. The workers said
"their boss" says they have to park it there.
I called and finally weeks after this was going on they parked their big equipment elsewhere but the damage had already been done.
1999 Bond issue focused on residential, curb-to-curb street rehabilitation work. The water lines had to be replaced. The gas meter on my parents property -- they put it upside down and very wacky where after they installed their work you could not even turn on the water (nutty and careless workers again on this bond project) we had to contact one of the supervisors and the re-did it.
The concrete work that was done there were cracks shortly after the City of Tulsa should have had Keystone Service come back re-do the
work and pay for the damage caused by their employees to any homeowner on this 1999 Bond Project.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 17, 2006 9:09 AM.

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