Tuesday, April 28, 2009
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
You may have noticed this item in the news over the weekend:
A Virginia company has agreed to pay $4 million to settle claims it breached a contract to set up a base camp for relief workers in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Lighthouse Disaster Relief and two of its partners, Gary Heldreth and Kerry Farmer, were accused of billing the Federal Emergency Management Agency for work they never performed after the August 2005 storm.
Two days after the contract was issued, FEMA was "deluged with Katrina-related invoices" when it paid the company $5.2 million for the full price of the contract, according to the Justice Department's lawsuit.
"Had officials at (FEMA) known that defendants had billed for work not yet performed, they would not have authorized such payments," the lawsuit said, adding that auditors uncovered the erroneous payment in January 2006.
A contractor that took over for Lighthouse told FEMA the camp was "in chaos" when they arrived, according to the suit.
You might not recall that Lighthouse was apparently awarded the contract as part Bush's faith-based initiative. From a 2006 Scout Prime report:
Heldreth never did the work but pocketed the $5.2 Million. And the pastor began spending it……
U.S. District Judge James Brady on Monday froze the assets of Lighthouse Disaster Relief and owners Gary Lee Heldreth and Kerry Lynn Farmer one hour after the Department of Justice filed papers claiming the two are “moving money at an alarming pace” — spending it on a motor home and three new cars, and cashing checks $10,000 at a time.
Investigators have since determined that Lighthouse Disaster Relief wasn’t even incorporated until October 2005 — a month after it won the FEMA contract.
I guess there's one more similarity between the Bush administration and the Nagin administration.