The man who was paid over $100,000 in public funds for a questionable job is not returning phone calls nor did he attend a meeting to validate his employment.
Donald Martin, owner of Martin’s Specialized Services, has been receiving a monthly check of $5,000 for the past 23 months with Yazoo City Housing Authority job for “predevelopment” work.
However, the current Housing Authority Board has been requesting, both verbally and in print, for a copy of Martin’s resume, references, credentials and documentation of the work he has performed.
“He has not responded to the letter or returned any phone calls,” said Danny Neely, Housing Board chairman. “He did not attend this week’s meeting either. He has not provided anything we have requested.”
Following the death of former HA director Betty Reed, the current housing board started reviewing several contracts she handled during her tenure. One contract with Martin Specialized Services caught the attention of the housing board last month.
Martin Specialized Services has been paid $5,000 a month for the past 23 months, totaling to $115,000 from the HA’s operating account. But no documentation relating to what work owner Donald Martin has done has been produced for the housing board.
Martin admitted in January’s board meeting that he has been paid for seven months without doing any work.
A contract was signed between Martin and Reed in March of 2017 for “construction management services.” Martin told the housing board last month that he is the “project manager” for the $43 million-dollar Rental Assistance Demonstration project.
During last month’s meeting, Martin said he has worked on various projects including “looking at blueprints and working with architects.” He said he removed about $360,000 “worth of stuff that was unnecessary, going through blueprints and deciding what was needed.”
But Martin admitted later in that same meeting that after Reed announced her retirement from the HA last June that he has not worked.
Martin also admitted that he has never submitted reports because “there is nothing to check.”
It was confirmed with The Yazoo Herald that Martin was involved with the maintenance department at the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority VI.
Martin’s resume also stated that he “established the F-Troop, a first responder unit to assist housing authorities experiencing disasters throughout the state of Mississippi.”
The Herald discovered that the F-Troop is a volunteer-based group of maintenance workers who respond to aid housing authorities after natural disasters. The Herald did not find any records showing Martin “established” the committee.
Payment to Martin has been made twice a month through HA checks. The address listed on the checks to Martin Specialized Services was listed as 1269 Winterview Dr., Jackson, MS.