Bob Solari, Vero Beach
Letter: Tough questions by Posey about possible AAF corruption
Congressman Bill Posey is to be commended for his continued efforts in the fight against All Aboard Florida. On May 10, he wrote Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx about the practices of the Lewis Berger Group Inc., evidently the same group that performed a ridership and revenue study for AAF.
Posey notes that the World Bank debarred the Louis Berger Group for "engaging in corrupt practices."
Posey further notes, "News reports indicate that the Asian Development Bank debarred the Louis Berger Group in 2006 for misconduct …"
Further, Posey writes, "The now former CEO and chairman of the board of the Louis Berger Group, Derish Wolff, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the U.S. Agency for International Development …"
Posey goes on to ask a question that Secretary Foxx should answer if he is to properly fulfill the duties of his office: "Will the Department of Transportation rely on the ridership and revenue study conducted by the Lewis Berger Group to sustain the $1.75 billion private activity bond allocation or use the study as a basis to approve a renewed $1.65 billion RRIF loan application for All Aboard Florida, or to approve any other federal transportation grants?"
George Andreassi's, April 3 article, "The Gravy Train," mentions AAF "lining the pockets of lobbyists (and) political insiders."
The actions last year by the Florida Development Finance Corp. indicate a culture of questionable practices. Congressman Posey's letter, if left unanswered, would suggest the possibility of corruption at the highest levels.
Bob Solari is an Indian River County Commissioner.