The city of Dallas employee who allegedly steered over $800,000 in federal contracts to a long time friend has been terminated after being on paid administrative leave, a story in the Dallas newspaper reports.
Carl Wagner, an employee of the city’s housing department, was found culpable in a federal probe of the city’s housing department, which is aimed at providing housing for low-income residents.
The Inspector General’s office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last month released an audit claiming that the city had failed to vet Dry Quick Restoration, a Fort Worth-based contractor run by Kenneth W. Williams, a preacher and former business partner of Wagner.
Wagner was placed on paid leave in March after the city discovered Wagner gave the contracts to Williams and Dry Quick.
Wagner and Williams were childhood friends who had joined in business ventures since the 90s, according to reports.
Despite being placed on administrative leave in March, public records show that Wagner continued to collect his full pay and benefits up to and beyond the federal probe of his actions.
Records show that Wagner was paid over $10,000 in net wages after being placed on leave, money that the city cannot recoup.
During the time of his leave, Wagner’s Facebook page claimed he owned a company he calls Wagner Consulting Group, where he is a former owner and a “certified lead supervisor and lead project designer” with the state. State records show a Carl Wagner with such a certification that lapsed in 2009.
The city did its own investigation of how Wagner was able to hire a friend and business associate with a few credentials in housing work.
“The city is supposed to verify everything included in the application,” Dallas housing department director David Noguera told the Dallas newspaper. “That did not happen.”
According to the Dallas newspaper story, “city officials disclosed [Wagner’s] departure Thursday, but would not detail the findings of their investigation.”
When contacted by The Texas Monitor for a comment, Wagner hung up the phone.
When Kenneth Williams applied to work for the city of Dallas in 2015, he falsely claimed on his paperwork that he had never filed for bankruptcy.
The HUD report found that the city’s deal with Dry Quick failed to provide warranties for Dry Quick’s work, and the company withdrew over the allotted amount of money for materials.
“…The City tried to avoid its responsibility by including clauses in its contracts stating that it was not responsible for the contractor’s failure to carry out work in accordance with requirements…as a result, the City paid Dry Quick almost $700,000 for seven reconstruction projects that were completed late and not in accordance with contract terms,” the audit’s report stated.
Steve Miller can reached at [email protected].