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Council Member Gruber Fights Mayor Lovely Warren Over 14.5 Million Dollar Mystery Startup

Updated: Oct 27, 2021

The October Committee and Public Hearings meeting on the 7th listened to Mayor Lovely Warren's request to amend the 21-22 budget. The meeting took place just days after Warren accepted a plea deal for an election law violation, a weapon, and child endangerment. At that time, Warren and council member Mitch Gruber went head to head over the multi-million dollar proposal to a startup organization. The company allegedly will provide training development for employment to residents. The beef heated up when Gruber suggested Warren was desperate for Council to pass without a thorough review. Warren's plea deal is one misdemeanor charge, admitting to 'knowingly and willfully contributed, accepted campaign donations in an amount more than the maximum amount specified.' It includes her resignation by December 1, leaving her with a few weeks remaining in office.

Gruber wasn't the only council member that had questions about the startup company rumored to have city employees on the board. Soon to be Mayor Malik Evans also had some concerns about dishing out 14.5 million dollars to an unknown business that never submitted an RFP. According to Google, a request for proposal (RFP) is a business document that announces a project, describes it, and solicits bids from qualified contractors to complete it. Most organizations prefer to launch their projects using RFPs, and many governments always use them. An RFP is a standard process when doing business with the city. Apparently, someone waived this process for one reason or another. Evans also requested an address for the organization, the name of the president or executive director, names of board members, how the funds will be used, and other information.

The introductory passed with Gruber being the only council member to vote no.

Watch the video below to view the exchange.

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