LACCD terminates Mission College project manager

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Infograph by Lindsey Maeda

By Brian Villalba

Accusations of billing fraud and violations of California Law led to the termination of Los Angeles Mission College Project Manager Nick Quintanilla.

More than $600,000, in one instance, was awarded to fictitious businesses owned by Quintanilla.

Los Angeles Community College District took steps to mitigate the loss of taxpayer bond funds that included voiding of contracts, termination of Quintanilla and the suggestion of submit evidence to the Los Angeles District Attorney for further investigation.

That instance was resolved with the termination of Quintanilla, according to the LACCD and the Office of the Inspector General of the LACCD.

The LACCD created the OIG to provide oversight and a whistleblower program. The OIG reports to the LACCD Chancellor.

The OIG recommended that the LACCD report the evidence to the Los Angeles District Attorney for further investigation.

Quintanilla owned at least five businesses, which were all paid by the LACCD.
His business interests varied from plumbing and electrical construction to trucking.

He was an employee at project management firm Gateway Science & Engineering, Inc.

A 2011 press release from the LACCD detailed Gateway’s substandard work, Division of State Architect violations and billing for work that was not done.
The LACCD took action to void project management contracts with Gateway in response to the offenses in October 2011.

In March 2012, The Office of Inspector General released a report detailing Quintanilla’s continued relationship with LAMC, in spite of his previous employment with Gateway.

The OIG found Quintanilla to be awarding his own fictitious corporations with contracts.

Kay Management was one of the project management firms for LAMC that Quintanilla owned. A college project manager works with the president of the college in making recommendations to the chancellor concerning construction.
The President of LAMC during Quintanilla’s time was Adriana Barrera.

Ernest Moreno, former President of East Los Angeles College was named interim President in June of 2006.

In November of 2006, KAY Management’s services were terminated for failure to provide insurance requirements of the LACCD.

On March 21, The OIG  published a report concerning a conflict of interest at LAMC.

Government Section Code 1090 reads in part “…employees shall not be financially interested in any contract…”

The OIG specifically points out that the scope of the law includes “preliminary discussions” on bids.

The Inspector General collected evidence that Quintanilla used multiple fictitious business names and a bankrupt business name to procure contracts from the district.

The OIG suspects that Quintanilla may have involved other Mission College employees.

Bob Hermann, a project manager at LAMC and Kathryn York Quintanilla (Quintanilla’s wife), billed LAMC and LACCD through KAY Management $16,000.

Quintanilla’s wife was listed as the sole owner of KAY Management as of a few months before the billing of LAMC and LACCD started.

Quintanilla approved more than $600,000 in informal contracts to a fictitious business and a subcontractor, which he also owned.

Nick and Kathryn Quintanilla could not be reached for comment.

 

 

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