The Perots Gave Willis Johnson's Wai-Wize Its Start, and It's Been Hot Ever Since

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Digging back through old files, I can see some patterns emerging that I missed back in the day. For example, the connection between Willis Johnson, the luckiest radio host in the world, and Ross Perot Jr.

Johnson is a close personal and political associate of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, target of a major FBI corruption probe. Indications are that the FBI is focusing on transactions dealing with the Southern Dallas Inland Port, sometimes called the Dallas Logistics Hub, a major shipping and warehousing development.

A developer in the Inland Port deal has accused Price of sabotaging him after the developer declined to hire a consulting group in which Willis Johnson was a key member.
One of the firms hit with subpoenas in the Price probe is Hillwood, the real estate arm of the wealthy and powerful Perot family. Hillwood is run by Ross Perot Jr., son of the squeaky-voiced, big-eared man with the dry-erase boards who ran for president in 1992.

The Perots control Alliance Airport, a shipping center near Fort Worth that competes with the Dallas Inland Port. Johnson, a Southern Dallas radio personality, is head of a company, Wai-Wize, that has become one of the city's most prolific minority-owned subcontractors, with no-bid "third-tier" subcontracts at almost every local unit of government -- city, county, transit agency, school system, public hospital and others. Wai-Wize supplies these entities with a lot of things you might not associate with being a radio personality -- everything from security cameras to para-transit to archival services.

But is there a connection between Willis Johnson, Wai-Wize and the Perots? Sure. But you have to go back. Way back.

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Lost in my files over time was the fact that Wai-Wize really got its original boost from the Perots. In September 2003, Perot Systems Corporation won a $140-million contract to take over all of the IT operations at Parkland Hospital, Dallas's public hospital. According to their own press release at the time, "Perot Systems has assembled a team of high quality IT services firms in the Dallas/Fort Worth area including ... WAI-WIZE I L.P."

The Perot press release described Wai-Wize, then still a struggling Dallas start-up, in grandiose terms, as "principally a Telecommunications Systems Integrator, formed to serve commercial, civil and military clients at both the domestic and international levels."
It was subsequent to this deal and with the Perot imprimatur behind it that Wai-Wize gained broad entree into public entities in the Dallas area, almost always at the "third-tier" level, meaning as a sub to a sub. Third-tier contracts are seldom if ever subject to open bidding requirements.

Third-tier deals, I am told, almost always come from within. That is, a person on the outside looking in at a vast complicated organization like DART, the regional transit agency, would seldom even know about the availability of such work. But Willis Johnson had friends inside. At DART, for example, he had a good friend in board member Lynn Flint Shaw.

This was the same Lynn Flint Shaw who, as head of the campaign fund-raising committee for former Mayor Tom Leppert, told Leppert in an email:

"Willis is the guy. He is the 'go to' person in all things southern sector and African-American. NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE should be going around and usurping his authority ... "
In July of 2007, Shaw, who's since died, introduced a resolution for the board to approve a modification to a security-equipment contract that had been capped at $450,000. At her prodding, the board upped the amount of the contract to $708,615 -- the amount needed to cover Wai-Wize's role as a third-tier subcontractor, even though Wai Wize was mentioned nowhere in the resolution.

Contract modifications, or "change orders," usually are exempt from open bidding requirements. In fact, by the time you drill down to third-tier subcontractors and change orders, you're usually way below the level of public scrutiny. Believe me. I tried.

I asked DART in December 2007 for all contracts involving Wai-Wize. My original attempt to gain the information was unsuccessful, but in March 2008, I learned that DART chairman Randall D. Chrisman had asked for the same information. I asked for the same report he got, which DART supplied. It showed Wai-Wize clocking in at about $1.6 million in contracts at DART in a four-year period.

Multiply this same scenario by the number of government entities in the Dallas/Fort area, and you begin to get the picture -- a very lucrative picture, indeed, and it all started with the Perots.

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Man
Man

this crap is going on all over the country, in every city that has a large minority, ie black, population to take advantage of the taxpayers and the honest contractors

and dallas wonders why boeing and some others have gone elsewhere

R King
R King

See Dallas Business Journal for group photo of WIllis, Royce and mayor Tom and wives-fall 2011. Royce is WIllis's attorney, so I read.

John
John

A more thorough article defining the relationship between Perot and Wai-Wize can be found at http://washingtontechnology.co....  Reading the article will give you a clear picture of how government teaming and sub-contracting works.  After reading the article, I see no corruption between Wai-Wize and Perot.  Maybe I am missing something...

Bk
Bk

and so if you throw a spitter in baseball and you do not get caught ,,it is all good correct..lol... not in the true spirit of these contracts on (2) points to grow  diverese  minority owned companies , and most important save Dallas some money !@#$%

 

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

The funny thing is, if you look at the corporate filings on SOSdirect for Wai-Wize, it doesn't seem so grandiose.

Bk
Bk like.author.displayName 1 Like

brenda.. the dear crooner is all about keepin it real..lol... backdoor and back pocket deals for wai-wize , do you really think what is on the books is all that transpires ??.. While uncle Willis can spin almost any tid bit and make it a white Man is holding us down!! on the radio every morning, he is in bed with these SAME WHITE MEN... love that green gubment dollars lol, = 

Mike Dimone
Mike Dimone

Jim,  Did the Perots ever cross paths with the Obama Administration?  As I think you have said before, this raid and investigation had to be ok'd by Holder/Obama. Any chance JWP and Inland were collateral to get  to Perots?

The Derelict
The Derelict

any way i can screen for the model search banner?  I want to be the JWP of the casting couch.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo like.author.displayName 1 Like

Contrary to the "JWP hates white people" trolls, the issue is not about blacks or whites. It's about green, it's all about M O N E Y. 

black power
black power

Dallas is such a prejudice city. Dickey need to go back and work for her family business that nasty barbecue with her lily white skin you know she prejudice,she want even tan her self, looking like casper the unfriendly ghost.

Brendabarber
Brendabarber

I am inteligent american. Black power is bullshit. I am black.Let's stop all of the division!!!!!

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Hey, Whitey in Black Sheep's Clothing--If you want to try to talk like a "ghetoo black," then try better next time. Nobody will take your bait, so stop. You are embarrassing your mother--mutha.

RTGolden
RTGolden

and now, folks, we've come full circle.  We're back to exposing the problems wracking DISD.

Wiley Coyote
Wiley Coyote

Racial tension? No. There is NO racial tension in Dallas!  There is NO economic tension in Dallas. There is no tension, period.  There is APATHY.  Worse yet,  is that the "constituency" has the collective attention span of a GNAT!  In addition, the dollars just don't matter.  Fiscal responsibility begins at home.

Let's just fast-forward and elect "good hair" Perry and get on with it.  Until we prune the corporate from the politico; This is the "deal" our hands hold.  "We"  MUST own these fear-based foibles of in-action!  JWP has his a-coming....tho few will have the courage to call him on the *ish. Doing so would embarrass the individual and challenge the votes/choices that brought the Emperor to the clothing store.

I hope for this sentiment:  "ne·mo me im·pu·ne la·ces·sit!"   (No one attacks me with impunity)!

I'm sensing a cluster of impunities to cancel the iniquities!

 Keep digging!  Some of us ARE comprehending!

Observist
Observist

Friends don't let friends toke and post.

tmickle
tmickle

No wonder Mike Rawlings got a helicopter ride of Alliance .....during the campaign....

felipeuofmich
felipeuofmich

Willis Johnson flew Mike Rawlings and Ross Perot over southern Dallas and the Inland Port also discussing how vast the possibilities are for economic development.  Seems a little SALTy to me but check the story out for yourself:

http://www.dallassouthnews.org...

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Isn't it funny how rich, really rich Republicans complain about government spending, but here they are at the trough..... That is how the Perots got rich in the first place, gov't contracts. TAX dollars. TAXPAYERS. And how do they repay us? By setting up a corrupt system that wastes money and sucks up the available contracts for OTHER minorities.

Hey PEROT--The FBI may  not get you, but God surely will have a few questions for you one day.... And He won't be talking to your lawyers first. Hope you can figure out a way to explain all the wheelin'-dealin' to Him.

Watching
Watching

Perot's are not Republican -- they are bi-political.   They could care less about party affiliations or principles.   They hand out $$ across party lines.   They are shakedown artists who hire little people who are as greedy as they are to get in the trough -- but they are cheering them on.   As someone else asked already -- can you name one venture Jr. has been involved with that did not include tax abatements, government subsidies or favortism from some elected official?  Perotistas -- but not Republican or Democrat.

Guest
Guest

Don't worry about it, Dianne. Ol' Ross will pull out his whiteboard and start doing those insane flowcharts again.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell like.author.displayName 1 Like

No, his whiteboard days are long gone, and Junior is just one of a long line of "sons of self-made men" to totally handle things wrong. The Hunts, Murchisons, etc... Their spoiled children have no idea of what is right or wrong, as long as the money is flowing. You have to ask, "How much is enough?" for these guys...

Plfarmer
Plfarmer

To quote the Bosspoor man want to be richrich man wants to be kingking is not happy tell he owns everything

Montemalone
Montemalone

To answer your question:

Everything plus one.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

Where is Betty C with the Lynn Flint Shaw defense post???  I thought the Observer could not post anything even tangentially mentioning LFS without us being castigated!

Honeybee
Honeybee

Sincere question:  What have the Perots done that is wrong?  I would expect any business owner to minimize competition as much as possible.

If they paid him to block the Inland Port deal and he blocked it, I don't see the problem (legally). 

I would think the only illegal part would be HOW he (JWP) blocked it and if the Perots paid him after they knew he did something illegal.

Can someone explain the illegal part for me? 

Joehlindsay
Joehlindsay

Yes. The legal issues are conspiracy and extortion.  To pay a public official to undermine a project dishonestly is graft (illegal) combined with Conspiracy (illegal).

To try to extort money from the Inland Port developer to not obstruct the project is also  illegal.

whackedupside
whackedupside

Do you think that anyone should be able to pay a county commissioner to block a vote, or to vote in a certain way on any kind of issue??  That's buying votes, and I believe that both parties to that transaction are engaged in illegal activity at that point.  

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Creating fake Minority contrators to get government contracts is illegal, but silly me I think the law applies to everyone regardless of their new worth or political connections.

honeybee
honeybee

I agree about the fair application of law; I just don't know exactly what JWP did to shut the port down.As for the Perots, it's legal to pay accts to help you pay less taxes, it's legal to hire attys to get you off even if you really committed the crime, and it's legal to pay a detective to catch your spouse cheating.  So I would think it would be legal to pay someone to find a way to minimize competition, even if that person is also a public official--as long as the public official doesn't break any laws doing so.

And shouldn't you be at Starbucks in your Dockers about now? :)

Honeybee
Honeybee

Thank you!That is exactly the info I was missing (the unreported income).And I agree about the Perots.  Morally guilty if not legally.

MisterMiguel
MisterMiguel

 There are laws against corruption. There are antitrust laws as well.

If there was no wrongdoing to worry about, they could have paid their flunkies directly.

They didn't in order to remove their culpability. And to make their pay-to-play relationships less obvious.

So JWP and others will likely go down for misreporting their income.

Perot Jr. may ultimately walk away without being indicted, but it won't mean he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

Honeybee
Honeybee

Thanks for the responses.

I'm not sure how exactly JWP blocked the deal (what was done to prevent Allen from going ahead), but I think it's going to be difficult to link a bribe to the Perots.

I'm for all of them going to jail.

Montemalone
Montemalone

You might just do a search on this here blog for JWP, Inland Port.There's been a line or two reported about it.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Well, I'm no lawyer, but "If they paid him to block the Inland Port deal and he blocked it" smacks of one or two RICO violations to me.

Montemalone
Montemalone

It's illegal to bribe a public official, regardless of the amount of money the briber has.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

To encourage a shakedown--or to have others shakedown businessmen--and to BLOCK development, to USE gov't policies or power.... THAt is part of this....

Montemalone
Montemalone

Is cross between a schmuck and a putz a schmutz?These guys are all schmutzes.

rudekarl
rudekarl

Careful Schutze - this is starting to unravel - and, these crazy billionaires can afford to hire a crack-head to make it look like an accident when you're taken out by a DART bus downtown.  Just imagine the stuff they've really buried for years.  Someday, this is going to make a great book and probably a movie, if you're around to write it.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

One may not have to win a legal contest-just bleed them to death with legal fees.   I can see those "billable hours" for the attorneys now. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I just hope Jim comes back as a Robocop/Terminator/JohnWayne sort..with a shotgun of course.

TheDog
TheDog

@JimS - Jim if the rich white people have you knocked off, your loyal supporters will not stop until the guilty are taken down. So you keep reporting Big Boy........

jfpo
jfpo

I think it will take more than one movie. How about "The Wire II, Dallas Boogaloo?"

Doug in DFW
Doug in DFW

I hope this doesn't take away Ross Jr.'s focus on suing the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, 2011 NBA Champions.

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