Atlanta-Based COT Vendor Turned Down By Feds Seven Times in Two Years

The Atlanta-based Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), the vendor that is paying Mayor John Marks approximately $20,000 a year and was included in a City of Tallahassee (COT) federal grant application, has had little luck in securing federal grant monies in the past. However, sources from inside the city tell Tallahassee Reports that one of the reasons city leadership chose to partner with ADE was because of their past success in receiving such grants.

At the time that the City of Tallahassee chose to partner with the Atlanta-based vendor in a federal grant application, ADE had applied for federal grant money through the Broad Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) five times, and each time the request for funding was denied.

Tallahassee Reports could not find any grants awarded to ADE from the federal government through BTOP. A review of ADE’s tax returns for 2008 and 2009 show that the organization received no government grant money, only donations.

A federal database of grant awards for the BTOP shows that ADE has submitted four grant applications on their own to the federal government and all were rejected. The four grants totaled approximately $5,000,000 in requests for projects in Miami, Houston and in two locations in the Atlanta area.

In addition, the BTOP database shows that ADE has partnered with three organizations seeking grants for projects totaling over $23 million in Ohio, Kentucky and South Carolina. All three grants were not funded by the federal government.

It appears that the only federal grant monies ADE will receive through BTOP will be with the partnership with the City of Tallahassee.

The ADE tax returns for 2008 — the tax returns available for review before the COT grant application was submitted in March of 2010 — show that ADE collected $2.7 million in donations. The document shows that of the $2.7 million in donations, over $960,000 (over 30%) went to board salaries, consulting fees and accounting bills.

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10 Responses to "Atlanta-Based COT Vendor Turned Down By Feds Seven Times in Two Years"

  1. I am in high hopes the FBI is not afraid to do their job;all the information is right there in front of them. The city of Tallahassee Mayor and certain commissioners as well as the city manager are just as crooked as the group in California! Governor Scott needs to make a stand Like Governor Brown of California. Appoint current City Commissioner Mark Mustian as Mayor and sweep the rest out including the manager. Dannitte Mays

  2. Interesting how Marks is caught in this web.

    Most of our esteemed consultants are clever enough to get paid from another source.

    Example: Todd(consultant #1) is trying to bring some city business to his client. Todd gets paid by a business that has nothing to do with the city or the organization trying to get the contract.

    Jim(consultant #2) is working on a different project in another city for a different client.

    Todd has Jim’s client pay him and Jim has Todd client pay him.

    Now the consultants can’t be traced to the real deal.

    Marks is not dumb enough to take money directly from ADE. He thought he was taking money from the company ADE made up in order to hide the money trail. ADE people did a poor job setting up the dummy corporation.

    ADE was really dumb paying $25,000 a month to a consulting firm run by the CEO of ADE.

    Kudos to Steve Stewart uncovering this deal.

    Bet this happens all the time. With FBI snooping at the books, they are bound to uncover more stuff.

  3. Hey Tallahassee, we have hit the big time, we now have our own Kwame. Which by the way brings up the dilemma that the good people have in this town. With the black, block vote and the allied white liberals being well over 50% of the possible vote, only a miracle will get our Kwame in dutch.

  4. 2008 ADE statement
    Julius Hollis Chairman of ADE is paid $55,000
    Jeanne Hollis Advisor (wife of Julius Hollis) is paid $22,000

    ADE hires an outside consultant for $25,000/month and pays $300,000 for the entire year — outside consultant? Julius Hollis the president of Hollis and Co. Inc. consulting. (conflict of interest maybe for this ADE non-profit chairman hiring his own/separate consulting company?)

    Wow – what a wonderful company the mayor is associated with.

  5. Want a good chuckle? Follow Steve’s links in the article and have a gander at the “executive summaries” for the grant applications written by ADE.

  6. Yesterday evening, Mayor Marks attempted a brief rebuttal to the allegations he now faces. During that rebuttal he admonished Steve Stewart, in essence stating that we need to listen to someone who knows what he is talking about.

    This writer has found everything cited by Steve Stewart to be factual. I can only deduce therefore that it is Steve who knows what he is talking about, but what of Marks?

    He tried to tell us what a great asset a coal fired generating plant would be. Yes, I agree we should have additional means of generating our electricity but why would Marks choose coal? Does he not know that coal fired generating plants are responsible for mercury, sulfur, CO and CO2 pollution at the least? Did he expect we here in Tallahassee would breathe so much easier with the added soot?

    He touted the benefits of smart meters and gave the contract to supply them to Honeywell, a company he represents, and did so without adhering to the bid process.

    He touts the benefits of red light cameras and spent tax-payer money to install a number of them even when other Florida cites are disabling them. Oh yes they are moneymakers but what of “Big Brother” and Innocent until Proven guilty?

    If I were in Siberia and my wife or a friend drove my car through a red light it is I that would be cited. It is I who would have to prove that I wasn’t the driver and I would have to prove who was driving. It seems to me the onus of proof should be on the city as it would be if a patrolman had issued the ticket.

    In essence I thank you Mr. Marks for a whole lot of hot air most of which is not from you coal plant thank the Lord. Thank you for the waste of taxpayer money and smart meters that aren’t doing a hill of beans worth of any thing beneficial.

    On the other hand thank you Steve Stewart for your diligence and caring about the people of Tallahassee. Please keep up the good work. It would be a good thing to keep in mind that Marks fears you as he fears the truth will out, thus his feeble attempt to discredit you.

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