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Friday, June 24, 2011

County Supervisors accused of doing Dirty Deals

Clay Simmons
Four in your Corner exposed D-O-T supervisors delivering free dirt to family members and the officials said they'd do the same thing for other Lee County taxpayers but we found that may not be the case. D-O-T Operations Director Clay Simmons claims he doesn't do favors when it comes to delivering free dirt saying, "Because if you happened to own a piece of property there I'd be happy to give you the material."

North Fort Myers Firefighter Commission
But Tom Mere requested dirt about a year ago and last month D-O-T workers finally dropped off four loads of dirt at Mere's mobile home park in North Fort Myers. Four loads is not enough and Mere says he still needs more. Mere is considered a prominent figure in Lee County since he's a Commissioner of the North Fort Myers Fire Department but despite that he still didn't get any special favors.
Berner home

The Berner family did, however, according to D-O-T workers who say Simmons had more than 130 loads of dirt and fill delivered to the Berner's Buckingham home last November. Mrs. Berner happens to be the sister-in-law of a D-O-T supervisor.

D-O-T workers, such as Bob Maxey, say that's downright dirty, "We've never done that, I've never seen it in 9 years. I can't say it has never happened but I've never seen it or witnessed it and no one else has."
One family who lives at a home in Buckingham only 5 miles from the Berners say they called D.O.T yesterday to request some dirt. They say they were told they would be put on a waiting list and it could take up to one and a half years before they got any dirt.

Four in your Corner spoke to D-O-T truck drivers today who tell us they also made another huge delivery to the Berners this past April. According to them, they dumped more than 100 loads of fill material free at the Berner home free of charge and that job was done by county workers on the taxpayer's dime.

Four in your Corner began digging even further, finding the Berners have been receiving free dirt for their 10 acre property since 2008. Tom Mere feels the county should spread the wealth and the dirt to other people who need it and says, "as long as the county if being fair to everybody. The people are paying the taxes so if they're paying the taxes and people would like to have some dirt and the county has some dirt that they'd like to get rid of then it's a win-win for both situations."

If you live in Lee County and would like some free dirt you can call the D-O-T and ask for a ‘Dirt Request Form'. The number to call is 239-533-9400. If you have any problems getting the dirt please let us know.

To view the Fox 4 report click on this link:

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