More on Sam Simon and Amanda

I am not certain as to all of what happened re the S/N vans, but the two links below indicate Sam Simon won a three year contract for City S/N services in 2005. Amanda lost.

It appears that Sam Simon wasn’t able to do as many spay/neuter surgeries as required by the contract and asked to be let out. They were supposed to take over the South LA S/N clinic until a proper RFP for that location was published.

Amanda assumed Sam Simon’s contract to run the van, but it appears San Simon never took over the South LA clinic and has continued to provide S/N services at a lower rate than the contract. Sam Simon has never been paid out of the voucher fund, but out of “the other revenues of the Spay and Neuter Trust fund.”

In 2004 I looked into those funds and revenue sources and there were 4-5 separate funds, each almost in a lock box where monies could not be shifter around. I don’t know what the situation is now.

However, on the face of it, Sam Simon did jump through the RFP hoop as did Amanda, and Amanda took over Sam Simon’s contract and has done a great job. That Sam Simon has continued to provide services paid out of some other fund, not the voucher or the van fund, does not seem to present a problem, does it?


Anonymous said...

This isn't about SS doing something wrong. It's about Boks/Barth entering a contract that is not according to the City's contract codes.

Anonymous said...

Amanda, as the only other bidder on the van, was given the contract that Sam Simon could not pull off. It was done so during the appropriate time span so that no new RFP was required. It was done openly and with the aid of the City Attorney and CAO.

Direct payments to Sam Simon following his release from the contract was a misappropriation of money and was done so against the City's Administrative Codes.

Like so many things that Boks/Barth have done, they could have brought this to the Commission or Council. By not doing that, they compromised the integrity of the department, the City and Sam Simon. There may even be legitimate cause for action by other vets because of this.

Anonymous said...

There's more to it. The city didn't want to have to do another RFQ so they had Amanda assume Sam Simon's contract. They did this by changing the name of the contract to Amanda. It's not legal but it gets the job done so who cares.

Ed Muzika said...

Well, I see it a little differently. I know that I don't know more than 1/10th all that went on here, but it appears Boks and Barth got a relationship going with Sam Simon that got a lot of animals "fixed" at fairly good prices.

You can go out of your way to find fault with technicalities of what Boks has done so that he gets fired, and in that regard say more power to you.

But in fact, I think what they did was effective if, and only if, Sam Simon provided good surgeries.

If they did like Porter, and re-operate on female cats with obvious spay scars, then they all should go to hell. But otherwise I do not see the fuss.

What gets Boks in trouble is his thinking out of the box, then acting out of the box, when the City seems quite box-like. Of course the other wrong thing is Boks seems managementally-challenged on how to run a large shelter system.

I have got to tell you guys though if Boks is forced to leave soon, what then? None of you have provided a strategy to force Villaraigosa to pick a good successor. Only the ADL has been consistent is promoting Winograd. They are the only ones to have thought out a post-Boks strategy. Without a clear strategy, we will get Linda Barth or Kathy what's her name as Acting GM, and then the sudden appointment of some other GM from some other failed major system.

Right now we have a president that does not care about shelter animals, a vice president who does not care and a mayor that does not care.

Without a post Boks strategy, your victory in getting rid of him might be disastrous.

Unless you have a clear strategy, may I humbly suggest that you sign on to ADL's Winograd strategy?

Anonymous said...

Poster 3, the COPPS/Amanda contract transfer was done so openly with counsel from the appropriate City reps. It was a transparent transaction.

What was done improperly was paying Sam Simon from the voucher fund. It was a misappropriation of that money and done so without following the legal contract codes.

If Ed and Linda felt that the city would have benefited from the second van in lieu of issuing more vouchers, they should have taken the proper route to do so. Ed, okay, he's not so smart. Linda, well, she knows the rules of the game.

Anonymous said...

ADL may be constantly pushing for Winograd, but its Winograd interested? From everything I've ever read he's not interested in the job.

Ed Muzika said...

According to Boks and Linda, Simon was not paid out of the voucher fund or the van fund. There are 4-5 funds they could have been paid out of.

There is no proof San Simon was paid out of the voucher fund, and if he were,was he was not providing good service.

This is a non-issue so far as I can see.

Anonymous said...

Ed Muzika wrote: "But in fact, I think what they did was effective if, and only if, Sam Simon provided good surgeries."

Wrong, Since the 100 to 200 thousand a year came from the voucher fund, they could have issued more 70 dollar vouchers to competing vets in the area. Also, Chick's spay/neuter audit indicates that the city gets more from the vouchers than the van. So, taking voucher money and giving it to one provider over all the other vets in the areas that honor the 70 surgeries is dead wrong. It isn't just a technicality. It is a violation of contract law. The insult to injury is Ed blamed the Ordinance and increased voucher redemption on this. That was a lie. What he should have said is "the voucher money disappeared because I was illegally paying someone else for those surgeries without a contract."

The issue isn't whether he did good surgeries. The issue is that it was done wrong, without allowing other vets to compete for that, and lying to Council as to what really happened.

Ed Muzika said...

What makes you think it came from the Voucher fund? Neither Boks or Barth said that. They said it comes from the spay and neuter funds and I think there are several of them.

One commentor said Simon was getting $25 per neuter surgery and Aamanda was getting $80.

Some said Simon did not do an RFP then we find Sam Simon won the RFP over Amanda.

Some say it was illegal for Amanda to assume the Simon contract and someone else said it was agreed on by all parties and a City attorney was involved.

Who the hell is right? Everybody is saying contradictory things and no one is offering proof of allegations of illegality.

Anonymous said...

Can't get into details of the funds. As much as you wish to believe Boks, he is lying. It's internal info that I cannot provide at this time.

I hope to do so in the future.

Anonymous said...

Ed told Council he would cut the Sam Simon van to save the vouchers. If that money was voucher money, then he just cut 200 thousand from the vouchers.
Second van or vouchers, we just lost 200 thousand of s/n money.

In the March 9 report he says he'd make slight cuts from three areas. Seems to me, the s/n vouchers took the majority of cuts and we've been fooled.

Ed Muzika said...

I am not sure. He could have cut the van to save money on one of the other Spay and Neuter Trust Funds to shift to the Voucher fund.

Anonymous said...

What you morons don't get is that contracts END..the situation has changed with SS, through various contract periods.

Ed Muzika said...

I worked at UCLA for 7 years. I was a mid-level manager. The University accounting system was very complex. What appeared to improper in some cases was not improper or illegal at all.

You cannot jump to conclusions with only partial knowledge. A new RFP has been issued for S/N surgeries. So, we are to discontinue all vans until a new contract is let and the operation up and running, especially since Amanda and Sam Simon are likely to be two of the bidders?

I want to note that many of those vets taking vouchers have questionable ability as well as ethics. In my opinion that means Porter and Devonshire and maybe others.

You guys that are making a big thing out of this have an agenda--get rid of Boks. I applaud that effort.

If you can hang him for screwing up on accounting, good for you. But until I see otherwise I am withholding judgment. AND, even if there were some shifting of money from one S/N locked fund to a van, so what if it produced abundant good surgeries.

Until I see an accounting of all S/N Trust Funds, I don't know that the animals were not benefited rather than having Porter redo tons of already spayed females, or to Value Vet with their incredibly high, City-sponsored spay neuters.


But someone who makes a statement that contracts end and calls anyone who disagrees with that--(No One Disagrees that the current van contract has ended)--a moron, needs to seriously rethink communications skills.

For Amanda to assume the San Simon contract when they were not performing, and Amanda had been through the RFP process and been found qualified, and all parties, the City, Amanda and Sam Simon agreed to the assumption---if true--presents nothing to me I'd find objectionable.

Jeff de la Rosa said...

Ed, that's exactly what you're doing--and you're admitting it. You're jumping to conclusions with only partial knowledge. It is true that the SS contract ended in 2006. It is true that there is only money in the budget for one SN van. It is true that anyone billing the city for $20K+ must have a contract approved by city council. It is true that SS billed and was paid over $100K for the last 3 years. Ergo...Boks and Barth have been illegally paying Sam Simon. It may or may not be criminal but it is misappropriation of funds.

Ed Muzika said...

Yes there was one contract which was assumed by Amanda. Is the Amanda contract also illegal because they didn't go through a second RFP?

There is only one van fund, but that does not mean the van could not be paid for out of another fund if all the other funds are not locked into one specific function.

If the Sam Simon funds since 2006 came from the Voucher Fund that is a different story.

Even then, if Sam Simon did a better job than the other hacks out there, good for him.

Anonymous said...

Ed, are you suggesting that all the participating vets are bad? I agree, some are, but not all.

When people are given a 30 or 70 dollar voucher, there is a list of vets they can choose from. What happened here is, for almost 200 thousand a year for three years, none of those participating vets got that business. That's what the money was intended for.

Sam targeted approximately two areas. There are low income people throughout the city who needed free sterilizations.

If Sam's vets are doing a good job, then Ed should have gone through the proper channels to make it happen without taking from Peter to illegally pay Paul. Because he didn't, the sterilization budget cut may end up being worse.

This is not to belittle Sam Simon. I hope he continues providing this service without the city paying the bill. We need it.

Anonymous said...

First, I suspect the needing authorization for $20,000 or over is refering to a one time payment of that amount. If someone is continually reimbursed lower amounts, I think there may be a way around that (at least thought so by Boks and Barth.)

Second. Vets DON"T WANT city vouchers because often they are losing money by doing the surgery. Remember, spays cost a lot more than neuters and the voucher is good whether it's for a 5 lb dog or a 250 lb dog which clearly would be much more expensive and time consuming to spay. The vets that I know take the vouchers in hope that they will gain new clients for other vet services and make up some of the losses. The other issue is the city is always so far behind reimbursing these vets, they don't want to deal with that.

SS does a fantastic job. They are not as fast as Amanda and so can't do as many surgeries, but they have high tech equipment on board and are doing complete exams, blood, and treating other issues that might be found. All of that has been donated. They are serving under served communities and are doing a fantastic job.

These contracts that are "awarded" by the city...No one is making money off them. Both Amanda and SS are running these vans to benefit the animals and the community and both are doing terrific jobs.

Ed Muzika said...

Thank you for this info. This is more or less what I expected. I don't mind going after Ed if he screws up, but I didn't think there was much proof here that whatever he did hurt the animals.

Anonymous said...

To the person who thinks that the code applies to a one time payment, you are wrong.
It applies to any payment and sum total of payments within a fiscal year. Call the City Attorney or the CLA if you have doubts.

The money for Sam was paid for from two funds, the voucher fund and the shelter adoption sterilization fund. Both of those funds were targeted (by Council motions) for vouchers and state mandated shelter adoption sterilizations.

You folks keep trying to justify this misappropriation of money because the service was invaluable. Again, it isn't about that. It's about an illegal back door deal between Boks and SSF.

Not Sam's fault. Ed's fault. Get past the "it's a technicality" issue or "he provided a good service."

This misappropriation of money is more egregious than you seem to realize. We're talking close to 200thousand a year for 2.5 years.

You all blew gaskets on the suspension of the voucher program. There's your answer.