Monday, May 16, 2016

Rat Bag Peddler Making A Mint As Result of $ Sit Down With Mayor

Mint-X bags being used by the Parks Department.  (click on image to enlarge)


By Geoffrey Croft

Price of Doing Business With the City These Days. The financial benefit for the Queens-based company that markets rat repellant bag is far higher than previously known. 

Shorty after winning a $ 15,000 Parks Department no-bid contract which lasted from March to June 2015, the city issued another contract this time seeking EPA registered rodent repellant trash bags. The JAD Corp is the only company that makes such bags. Central Poly Corp. won the contract. The company had an agreement with Joseph Dussich the owner of JAD to buy his “Mint-X” and resell them to the city.  

Central Poly Corp won the more than $ 3 million dollar contract to supply the bags to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services as part of a larger deal.  The Parks Department in turn gets the bags from DCAS. The bags can now be found in in park facilities all five boroughs.   

Originally marketed as “Repel-X” bags, the product is now called Mint-X, and advertises as the World’s First EPA-Registered Rat Repellent Trash Bags.

Joseph Dussich had been peddling his invention since at least 2007 without success with the Parks Department.  In 2008 the agency purchased $ 800 worth of the bags but not since.  That changed overnight after Mr. Dussich donated $100,000 in two separate $ 50,000 payments to Campaign for One New York, a group De Blasio’s campaign manager,   Bill Hyers helped establish in 2014 to promote the mayor’s agenda.  Ten days after the second donation, Mr. Dussich was able to arrange a meeting with Mr. de Blasio at City Hall.  One month after Dussich’s second donation, the Parks Department bought $15,000 of his garbage bags. 

The contracts are being scrutinized by investigators.

Parks Department lawyers recently prevented the FBI from interviewing parks employees involved with the deal when the feds showed up unannounced at the agencies’ Filth Avenue headquarters as part of the U.S. attorney’s office investigation into whether the mayor violated federal laws.  The Mayor’s alleged “pay to play” fundraising tactics are the subject of several investigations including the Manhattan DA, and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, a New York State ethics panel that has been investigating the activities of the nonprofit political group tied to Mayor Bill de Blasio since May 2015.

De Blasio's Campaign for One New York accepted millions of dollars from dozens of people and businesses currently doing or wishing to do business with the city. The scheme allowed the mayor to raise money outside the regulations of the city Campaign Finance Board.

A businessman whose dealings with the de Blasio administration are already under federal investigation used a middleman to profit from a nearly $6 million city contract for rat-repellent trash bags, The Post has learned.
Joseph Dussich and his Queens-based JAD Corp. of America spent nearly a decade futilely trying to convince the Parks Department to consider using his anti-rodent “Mint-X” garbage bags.
Dussich finally convinced Parks to test them out in spring 2015 as part of a $15,000 no-bid contract with his firm — after donating $100,000 to the Campaign for One New York, which was then the nonprofit fund-raising arm for the mayor.
That contract is now being scrutinized by federal and state investigators probing the mayor’s fund-raising activities, sources have told The Post.
But the probe hasn’t stopped Dussich’s janitorial-supply company from inserting itself into a much larger five-year, $5.9 million contract for more of the bags — thanks to a tailor-made city proposal for bids.
A few months after the Parks Department’s trial run of Mint-X, city officials took steps to ensure their agencies were heavily stocked with them for years to come by issuing a request for trash bags that have been officially “registered” with the US Environmental Protection Agency “to ward off rodents.”
Mint-X, its site proclaims, is the “world’s only EPA-registered, rodent-repelling trash bag.”
So when it came to the bidding process, JAD submitted a proposal to sell those bags directly to the city, as well as to provide other trash-can liners. As it turns out, the Mint-X maker lost out to a New Jersey competitor, who submitted a slightly lower bid, records show.
But JAD still came out a big winner. That’s because the competitor, Central Poly Corp., also had an agreement with Dussich to buy his “Mint-X” bags in bulk and resell them to the city.
“It sounds like the bid language was tailor-made to guarantee Dussich’s product would be sold to the city no matter what,” said Geoffrey Croft, of the watchdog group NYC Park Advocates.
“Not everyone has $100,000 to secure a meeting with the mayor and, as a result, be awarded a small fortune in contracts.”
Although Mint-X bags aren’t the only product Central Poly is providing the Department of Citywide Administrative Services through the contract, they represent more than $3 million of the deal, records show.
Dussich’s lawyer, Roland Riopelle, declined to say what his client’s share of the profits is but insisted that the “contract is a not a very profitable one” after costs are factored in.
“There’s no evidence of collusion between Mint-X and Central Poly on this bid,’’ he added. “It was a legitimate bid. The bags work wonderfully, and that’s why the city wants them.”
Dussich spent nearly a decade unsuccessfully lobbying Parks to use the bags, whose non-toxic mint scent is supposed to keep away rats, squirrels and other rodents.
His luck changed after he donated $50,000 in December 2014 and another $50,000 in February 2015 to the Campaign for One New York, which operated outside the campaign finance system, and which the mayor this year disbanded amid scrutiny of its handling.
Ten days after the second donation, Dussich was granted a private sit-down with de Blasio at City Hall, and a month later, JAD was handed the trial contract with the Parks Department.
Sam Biederman, a Parks Department spokesman, said the agency “decided there was enough demand” for the bags following the trial run and now buys them as needed through DCAS.
DCAS, the Mayor’s Office and Central Poly did not return messages seeking comment.
Additional reporting by Yoav Gonen
Read More:
New York Post - May 16, 2016 - By Rich Calder

I-Team: Rat-Repellent Trash Bag Maker Profiting From 
City Contract After Donation to Mayor's Nonprofit 
WNBC - May 16, 2016 - By Melissa Russo
A Walk In The Park - May 11, 2016  - By Geoffrey Croft 

1 comment:

  1. So it seems that duh blazio has learned from the Clintons and we now have a rotten, rigged system in New York City with an equally corrupt non-profit charity for the Mayor for another uncontested shot at Mayor. Does he have no shame? He's become as brazen as the Clintons. Is this trickle down economics?

    No wonder people are angry. Our City infrastructure is falling down around our ears and the Mayor doesn't even try to hide the corruption.

    And, it seems that JAD Corp. had to have their arms twisted after trying "for a decade" to do business in this City. At the same time the other New Jersey corporation that gave a better price for the same product lost completely. No wonder our taxes and water bills are through the roof. Do they think the populace is made of money? The corrupt politicians, residing in their ivory towers, don't have the same dwindling effect on their wallets we do -- and no wonder. The U.S. prints its own money and New York City just keeps raising taxes and fees for everything.

    I'm am truly astonished that the City was able to prevent the FBI from interviewing City workers about the situation. How did they do that? I have an inquiring mind and I'd like to know.