The activists at WidenI.77.org lay out how the contract basically allows Cintra to get around ever paying anything to the state in revenue sharing as required by the P3 authorizing legislation. This is due to the thresholds being set at levels likely never to be reached before the state would receive a dime from any excess toll payments.
What's even more egregious is that this wasn't made clear by the state until citizen activists essentially forced them to admit to it prior to signing the financial close with their partners at Cintra/I77 Mobility Partners.
...and remember, after all of this numeric tomfoolery, the debt for the HOT lanes still only came in one level above junk bond status. If the contact was written fairly for NC taxpayers and forced them to give up any revenues, what does their rating likely look like? Not good is the likely answer.
But that was just the first of a one-two punch combination with the second hitting the wires Saturday night.
In a press release sent out Saturday evening by Vallee Bubak and Diane Gilroy separate from WidenI77 and the story mentioned above, another potential bombshell is dropped. Gilroy is the wife of Cornelius, N.C. Commissioner Dave Gilroy, and recently traveled to Spain to research Cintra's parent company Ferrovial and its subsidiaries. She has become a real thorn in the side of Javier "Mr Who Knows" Tamargo and the folks at Cintra. She has also been the target of some of the company's pushback.
The information in the press release is said to come from a 198 page Spanish language document received on Friday.
Press release below.
Charlotte, N.C. – September 6, 2015 – Opponents of the I-77 toll project may have just gotten a needed break as a result of documents revealing that Cintra, the subsidiary of parent company Ferrovial, failed to disclose in required contractual documents that its affiliate was being investigated for breaking Spain’s anti-trust laws. Ferrovial’s waste management subsidiary called Cespa had their offices raided in 2012 and 2013, yet failed to disclose those investigations as required by the NCDOT’s Request for Proposal (RFP) process in 2014. As a result of those investigations, Cespa (Ferrovial) was fined more than 13.6 million Euros (approximately $15 million USD) for engaging in market sharing and collusive activity.
Journalist Baltasar Montaño explained in Spain’s January 28, 2015 digital publication Vozpópuli how the “garbage cartel” was rigged. He explained, the CNMC [Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia – Spain’s National Commission of Markets and Competition] went through thousands of emails from companies like Ferrovial, FCC, ACS, and Sacyr in which they divided contracts, clients, territories, and they expelled possible competitors among other illegal practices.
“A 198-page document by Spain’s CNMC dated January 8, 2015 details the investigations, scandalous emails and documents showing collusive joint agreements between Cespa (Ferrovial) and others,” said Diane Gilroy, a local Spanish professor who recently traveled to Spain and researched Cintra’s parent company Ferrovial. “Because Cintra failed to disclose this serious anti-trust investigation that Ferrovial/Cespa was notified of by the CNMC in 2012 and 2013, the toll contract
documents signed in 2014 between Ferrovial and the NCDOT are likely invalid and the so-called $100 million penalty is baseless.”
As more and more of these revelations start to pile up, everyone looking at this situation should channel their best Ricky Ricardo and say...
"NCDOT and Cintra, you got some splaaaaynin' to do!!!"