Rep. Bodi White & BREC Sports Park: Just the Facts

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By Dave Freneaux

    Normally, election strategies and political jabs thrown in a campaign are not news. Such battles are usually fought out in well defined political ads and campaign speeches.  However, when the jabs become front page headlines and the subject matter is a much needed BREC Sports Park for Central, everyone wants to know what exactly happened, or, Just The Facts.

    How did Representative White come to be involved in the project if he invested no money?  In a telephone interview, Rep. White shared that he and his business partners put together a business plan to develop an industrial park on this property.  Funding was obtained to purchase the property.  Rep. White spent a year working to bring the project to a marketable state, going through wetlands determination, laying out the projected development, marketing the concept and, in general, investing his time as “sweat equity” in hopes of making a fair profit in the coming years.  In a telephone interview Mr. Rogillio stated, that when Representative White left the property venture it had a net profit of approximately zero, owning property equal to the funding that had been secured to purchase it.

    Did Representative White make any money as a result of his involvement in this property?  Mr. Rogillio clearly explained that Bodi White never invested any money in the project, and that when he withdrew from the project he received no money because the project had not made any profit.

    When did Representative White bring this issue to the public?  In documents from a May 6, 2008 BREC meeting, four days after he became aware of BREC’s serious interest in the property, the minutes reflect that Representative White disclosed his ownership interest in the property.  Among those in attendance at this meeting were State Representative Clif Richardson, Metro Council Member Scott Wilson, State Representative Steve Carter, four BREC Board Members, two attorneys, State Representative Regina Barrow, Central Mayor Mac Watts, and BREC Superintendent Bill Palmer.  Once Bodi White knew of BREC’s serious intent to purchase the property, he stated publicly his desire to dissolve his interest so that he and BREC could avoid even the appearance of any conflict of interest.

    Did Representative White dissolve his interest in the property?  On September 24, 2008, nine months prior to BREC’s eventual purchase of the property, documents filed with the Secretary of State evidence that Representative White did withdraw from the corporation which owned the property. And those are, Just The Facts.

    In addition to his cooperation in assembling the facts above, Mr. Rogillio forwarded a copy of a letter to the editor written to another publication, and gave permission to publish it here.  It is a simple and well organized response to questions raised about the business dealings of a Central family and what role Representative White did, and in one case did not, play in these dealings:

E. Gordon Rogillio Jr.
17526 Hazeltine Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810
September 27, 2011

Woody Jenkins
Editor, Central City News
13567 Hooper Road
Central, Louisiana 70818

Dear Editor,

    While I choose not to engage in the sensationalism that was the Central City News,    September 22, 2011 edition, I am compelled to provide you with the rest of the story. Enumerated below are some facts which will be important to any reader interested in the whole truth.

1.         November 2006- Brandon Rogillio enters an agreement to purchase a 52 acre tract with a 60 day due diligence period and authorizes the design of an industrial park

2.         January 2007- Parcel 52, LLC purchases 52.104 acres at the fair market value of $300,000

3.         April 24, 2007- Parcel 52, LLC purchases an adjoining 7.128 acre tract for $95,744 and Rogillio Real Estate begins marketing the 59 acre site as potential location for industrial warehousing

4.         July 2007- BREC does parkland acquisition study of the tract, as Rogillio Real Estate continues to market it as a potential warehousing site

5.         October 2007- Parcel 52, LLC invests in the improvement of the property, including large scale drainage improvements

6.         May 6, 2008, Mack “Bodi” White publicly discloses his interest in the parcel after BREC puts it on their short list of potential sites 

7.         August 7, 2008- BREC presents their review appraisal to Brandon Rogillio, demonstrating a strong interest in the land

8.         September 24, 2008- Bodi White dissolves his interest in the potential warehouse project in favor of a BREC sports park. He received no money from the transaction

9.         June 19, 2009- BREC purchases 50.62 of the 59.23 acres owned by Parcel 52, LLC         

10.       As a condition of the sale, Parcel 52, LLC becomes responsible for improvements to the BREC property, including the construction of a multi-acre retention pond

11.       As a condition of the sale, BREC becomes responsible for a portion of the cost to construct a 750-foot-long street which will serve as the access road to their park

    I also wish to make it known that Rep. White was not involved in the creation of Central Auction House, LTD. The 2008 House Bill 610 was one of many pieces of progressive legislation pertaining to electronic bidding since 2001.  

•           2001 HB 888 allows transmission data for Louisiana procurement electronically

•           2003 Central Auction House began developing its proprietary software

•           2006 LA DOTD begins accepting electronic bids with

•           2006 the Office of the Governor, Division of Administration, Office of Information Technology, promulgates the rules for Louisiana Political Subdivisions to accept electronic bids

•           2006 Central Auction House, LTD registers with the LA Secretary of State and begins providing e-bidding services

•           2008 HB 610 receives unanimous approval from LA House and Senate & Governor Jindal signs into law

•           2010 LADOTD requires that all bids must be submitted electronically

•           2011 HB 192 receives unanimous approval from LA House and Senate & Governor Jindal signs into law

•           2011 SB 83 by Senator Jack Donahue authorizing Reverse Auctions is signed by the Governor

    At this juncture, I can only stress how unnecessary these errors and omissions were. This fiasco could have been avoided by simply contacting us before running your story.  

E. Gordon Rogillio Jr.