Measure Z Funds in Dispute... Again

At the school board meeting last week, the Beaumont Unified School Board accepted a release bond for $534,264 from Bogh Engineering protecting them from liability regarding a stop notice filed by Sean Balingit. A stop notice is like a lien placed on money owed Bogh by BUSD for construction projects.  

The agenda item description was the following:

 “Consider approving the bond to release money withheld on stop notice pursuant to section 3196 civil code from Bogh Engineering Inc, for the Beaumont High School Athletic Complex project.”

The following excerpt is taken from the bond in the supporting documentation:

“The condition of the above obligation is such that , whereas, a certain Stop Notice dated February 22, 2013 has been filed by Sean Balingit against the payments which are due the said Principal (Bogh Engineering Inc.) in connection with the Beaumont High School Athletic Complex Increment 2. Whereas the Principal disputes the correctness or validity of any claim so filed and desires to execute and file with the obligee  (Beaumont Unified School District)a bond pursuant to the provisions of Section 3196 Civil Code, to enable the Obligee to pay said funds to the Principal not withstanding said Stop Notice.”

Remember, as Bogh’s senior engineer at the time of the 2008 election, Balingit authored the official comment in voters' ballot information package in support of Measure Z. Bogh just completed more than $40 million in projects, most of it Measure Z funds, for the district. 

A stop notice can be filed by a subcontractor (Balingit) with a public entity (school district) when there is a dispute over funds owed him by the general contractor (Bogh) who is under contract with the public entity. Balingit is asking the school district to withhold funds owed to Bogh until his claim against Bogh can be resolved or litigated.

The school district should withhold the amount in dispute, including possible future litigation costs, from the remaining funds they owe Bogh in case Balingit's claim is validated. In order to enable the release of the funds and protect the school district from any future liability resulting from the claim, Bogh purchased the bond for $10,685  The bond, by law, is required to cover 125% of the amount in dispute plus litigation costs; this puts Balingit's claim at more at about $425,000. The district can now release the funds in dispute to Bogh and then use the bond to pay for litigation and satisfy Balingit’s claim if necessary.

The district could have refused to accept the bond and withhold the amount in question. However, Board members Lara, De Longchamp and Hackney’s election campaigns received $5,000 from Bogh’s PAC, (Pass Area Families For Good Government) and De Longchamp received an additional $5,000 from Bogh’s other PAC (San Gorgonio Pass Area Taxpayers).  Not one of them has ever acknowledged this relationship when voting on previous issues benefiting Bogh Engineering and other contributors to PAFFGG, this time was no different.

Does anyone wonder why Balingit no longer works for Bogh and is now disputing Measure Z funds owed his former employer? I do but none of our local news reporters seem to. This happened 10 days ago and there has been no mention of any of this in the news services covering Beaumont. With no interest from the local press or the city council members, the majority of who are also recipients of PAFFGG funds, I don't expect we will ever find out exactly what happened. The district would likely trot out the "It's a personnel matter and under investigation." spin again. It worked to hide the details surrounding Wael Elatar's resignation, my sources tell me it was also Measure Z related.


The following link is where I learned about Stop Notices, Release Bonds and School Districts