Portland awards $11.5M energy contract to woke firm run by ex-convict

0
24
Portland awards $11.5M energy contract to woke firm run by ex-convict

The city of Portland, Oregon, awarded a $11.5 million energy contract to a woke company run by a woman who has served prison time for defrauding companies and tax fraud, according to a report.

City staffers had wanted the taxpayer-funded contract to supply heaters and coolers to low-income families to go to an established company, one that had an 85-percent white workforce, The Oregonian said.

But the City Council instead unanimously voted to award it to Diversifying Energy, a newly formed nonprofit with black leadership promising “equitable access to clean, sustainable energy” for “low-income communities and people of color.”

Diversifying Energy is run by Linda Woodley, 71, who has a troubling 25-year history including two stretches behind bars, multiple bankruptcies and millions of dollars in fines for tax offenses, the local paper noted.

She reportedly also fabricated key claims in her proposal, saying she’d “managed” a $30 million energy upgrade program in California — one that has never heard of her, the paper noted.

Linda Woodley, who runs a nonprofit in Portland, had spent time in prison for defrauding energy companies, and racked up millions of dollars in liens for unpaid federal and state taxes.
Linda Woodley, who runs a nonprofit in Portland, had spent time in prison for defrauding energy companies, and racked up millions of dollars in liens for unpaid federal and state taxes.
Twitter / Shades of Green Forum

Red-faced city officials insisted that they were oblivious to Woodley’s criminal history — announcing that the $11.5 million agreement with Diversifying Energy was being put on ice pending a review.

“This is obviously shocking and distressing and sad news for us and the program,” Eden Dabbs, a spokeswoman with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, which oversees the fund, told The Oregonian.

“We are going to have to take responsibility for the decision. We’ll absolutely be looking at this in terms of process and use it as a painful lesson not to let this ever happen again,” Dabbs said.

Woodley — under her maiden name Linda Leonard — was convicted of bankruptcy and tax fraud in 1997 following an investigation by the FBI that found she had diverted over $800,000 from the companies to her own use, the paper’s investigation showed.

She was sentenced to three years and a month in federal prison — then sent back to jail for six months in 2001 after confessing to more than a dozen probation violations, the paper noted.

Violations included fudging financial statements, securing prohibited loans to buy a home and repeatedly lying to her probation officers.

She has also faced a slew of huge fines for tax offenses, most recently in May in California with an $810,000 lien filed against her in Sacramento County for a failure to pay taxes, the investigation showed.

Diversifying Energy was the recipient of a $12 million clean energy contract despite the creators checkered past.
Diversifying Energy was the recipient of a $12 million clean energy contract despite the creator’s checkered past.
Diversifying Energy

Woodley told The Oregonian she “absolutely 100 percent” stood by her claim that she managed an energy company that has no record of her.

She also insisted she deserved a second chance.

“People make mistakes,” she told the paper of her initial conviction that she “had hoped … was behind me.”

“I have worked very hard over the past years to be a good person and I think that I am highly regarded in many circles in the industry,” she said, without noting the tax liens filed as recently as seven months ago.

Source link