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City Of Sacramento Doling Out Large Contracts To Unlicensed Contractors

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  • City Of Sacramento Doling Out Large Contracts To Unlicensed Contractors

    I recently did some research on the Sacramento City Office Of Arts and Culture because I wondered about the money being spent from the transit occupancy tax on art projects that didn't seem to be bid fairly. I requested the records, and although they took some extra time to obtain, they did comply. anyway, the Arts and Culture Department has been spending some millions on artists works to be planted in various city locations. Paintings, sculptures, murals, etc.. I discovered that almost none of the artists that have been awarded contracts, and paid for them, have California State Contractor's Licenses, even though most were well over the threshold for the requirement to have one. Actually, some were in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    If any of you know anything about state contractor's license law, you'd know that any works over $500.00 requires a license. I got wind that the council was going to award another one of these contracts at tonight's meeting. Again, the artist is not licensed. I called in to the meeting, and after the "hold" time, I was allowed 2 minutes to speak. I did my utmost to convey that what they were doing was not only illegal, but the contractor's license board conducts "stings" where they offer work over the stated threshold, and when the bidders show up and tender bids on the work, they ask them for their license number, and when that subject doesn't have one, they perform an arrest. no kidding, they put them in handcuffs. Now here we have the government basically in league with unlicensed contractors. I specifically pointed out to his honorless the mayor, they he sat in the state legislature making these laws, even chairing the business and professions committee where the contractor's law is amended. to make the story shorter, my concerns were dismissed, and I might add, a bit condescendingly. So....i did call the head of the department and state my case in longer terms, but it became apparent that they were convinced they could do no wrong. I plan on seeing this through further. Next I'll be going to the contractor's license board with a complaint. I will be updating.
    As an aside, there was a brief time the council held that item over, giving me a false sense that they had taken my concerns to heart, but those hopes were soon dashed when i heard one of the councilwenches asked for it because she was concerned that the artist chosen was not from sacramento, and she wished the opportunities were to be doled out to "artists of color"
    I'll post a link to the meeting where you can here my angry babbling later.

  • #2
    OK, so I've decided to make a complaint to the CSLB's investigation section. The section I will use concentrates on projects that are currently in progress, That job is still in progress, and the contract for it was just approved, so it should be a hot lead for them. I used that a long time ago, and can say it was worthy. I have a bit of history with the CSLB's investigation and prosecution section, but I doubt that will help here.

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    • #3
      Good News!I actually got a call from the contractor's board yesterday, and spoke with them at some length. My suspicions were confirmed, in that a contractor's license is required by these artists. They appear to be investigating now, which is a good sign. The sac bee just ran an article glorifying the art works that were due to be installed starting next week.
      Four California artists will soon install five new works of public art at the SAFE Credit Union Convention and Performing Arts District in downtown Sacramento.

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      • #4
        The latest on this corrupt activity is that the investigator replied to my email for an update:

        Good morning Mr. Rodrigues,

        Yes, there was been movement. We have met with representatives of Sacramento City Artwork in Public Places and their City . We had a proactive discussion regarding the confidential complaint and the addressed the issues/violations CSLB sees, BPC 7028 – Contracting without a license. Although, the City of Sacramento representatives do not agree that the “artist” is acting in the capacity of a contractor, there is a mutual understanding and cooperation between the City and State to resolve this issue.

        This complaint/contract/plans is under additional review with my direct supervisor and administrative management.

        As of right now, an administrative citation will be issued to the artist who contracted to fabricate and install the “Flip Flop” for BPC 7028 – contracting without a license and BPC 7027.1 – advertising without a valid license. Furthermore, any licensed contractor that contracted with the artist on this project will also have administrative disciplinary action.

        This is not a straightforward case where we find a handyman contracting without a license. With that said, I do appreciate your patience on this case.

        Thank you,


        Nicholas Enriquez
        Special Investigator – Northern SWIFT
        So it is good news that they are addressing it. I was skeptical they would. I'm hoping that the first citation issued to the one artist will resonate with the others, and get them to halt. What's not good news is that the city attorney feeling above this law. Every single article found in relation to "Can I contract if I don't actually perform the work, but hire licensed contractors to do it?" states you cannot. My guess is the city attorney feels they have the political moxie to pull this off in spite of the license board's legal team advising them otherwise. What can I say; Steinberg's influence there is rubbing off. I'm going to keep up the effort. Stay tuned

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