Daytona’s own “Deep Throat”

During the Washington Post’s investigation into the Watergate conspiracy, a high-ranking FBI official, decades later identified as Mark Felt, surreptitiously provided key information to reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein regarding the Nixon administration’s involvement while operating under the now infamous pseudonym “Deep Throat.”

The revelations helped to confirm the reporter’s suspicions – exposing what was arguably the biggest scandal of the last century – and ultimately resulted in the resignation of a sitting United States president.

Interestingly, Woodward and Bernstein met “Deep Throat” in a darkened parking garage. . .

Sound familiar?

This week, Pat Rice, editor of The Daytona Beach News-Journal, published some disturbing photographs depicting the unfinished interior of the Protogroup’s languishing hotel and condominium project – which remains virtually stagnant at the epicenter of our core tourist area.

According to the report, these compelling photographs and other revelations received by Mr. Rice, originated from someone close to the project who wished to remain anonymous. . .

In addition, Mr. Rice detailed some troubling information regarding the condition of internal fixtures – including what appeared to be rusting pipes associated with the fire suppression system – and “surface rust” on two escalators that have been stored under tarps on the first floor of the south tower.  

Look, I’m no expert on the construction of skyscrapers – in fact, I don’t know which end of a hammer you blow in – but does storing expensive escalators in a corrosive salt mist protected only by a blue tarp – or potentially installing a rust-pitted moving staircase in a “luxury” hotel,  sound right to you?

Me neither. . .

Maybe it’s just my debilitating paranoia, but when you assemble the mysterious puzzle pieces of setbacks, slowdowns, allegations, lawsuits and revelations that have surrounded this project from its inception – one gets the idea maybe all is not as it seems.

In fact, the intrepid civic activist, Paul Zimmerman, president of Sons of the Beach – whose only motivation is preserving our quality of life – has been sounding the klaxon for months.

To make matters worse, I recently read a disturbing social media post from someone purporting to have inside information alleging serious irregularities surrounding the project – which, if true, would not bode well for the future of the already overdue towers.

I’ve learned to take things I read on the internet with a grain of salt – unless and until they comport with other material evidence at hand – but every time we see workers slap another coat of paint on the corroded reinforcing steel on the “north tower” – residents become increasingly uncomfortable.

I’m glad that people seemingly ‘in the know’ are beginning to speak out.

It takes courage to come forward with information vital to the well-being of our community – and it can be extremely intimidating, especially when one looks at how whistle blowers are treated in Volusia County government and beyond.

The fact someone with internal knowledge brought this to Mr. Rice’s attention should not be looked on lightly.

When one feels an ethical obligation to expose acts and omissions they believe are contrary to the public interest, be it in public or private organizations – it comes at great personal expense – and exposes whistle blowers to retaliation, the potential loss of a hard-earned career and the destruction of personal and professional relationships that results in ostracism and isolation.

That’s a heavy price to pay for doing the right thing.

But, in the end, sunlight is always the best disinfectant, and, as Einstein said, “To remain silent is to be guilty of complicity.”   

As Mr. Rice pointed out, everyone hopes the Protogroup’s project is a “resounding success” – because the alternative is grim – and I’m not sure our beleaguered beachside can withstand another blow.

In my view, based upon the News-Journal’s excellent reportage – and the various rumors that are swirling throughout our worried community – perhaps it’s time our ‘powers that be’ consider investigating these serious concerns – then take steps to enforce whatever neutered performance guarantees they agreed to back when everyone who is anyone in the Daytona Beach elite were soaking themselves in a fit of excited incontinence over the ‘next big thing.’

This ones important.

 

Photo Credit:  The Daytona Beach News-Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “Daytona’s own “Deep Throat”

  1. Anyone of any experience will attest, you don’t re coat/ prime oxidized or corroded structural steel. More so on the beachside That is just plain lunacy. There are proper and just wrong ways of doing things.

    Like

  2. From Pat Rice’s piece:

    the IRS didn’t buy Protogroup spokesman Alexey Lysich’s claim to have purchased millions of dollars of “produce” from a Bahamas “shell company” that, according to the IRS, wasn’t in the produce business.

    ahemƃuᴉɹǝpunɐl ʎǝuoɯcough

    Suddenly the request to convert a bunch of hotel rooms to condos makes a lot more sense.

    If this building ever gets finished, it will either be largely unoccupied (like certain Трамп properties), or filled only with airbnb/VRBO customers.

    (When did Lysich get demoted from VP to “spokesman”?)

    The same city council that was clutching their pearls about a plaque for Edward Armstrong is probably about to give this schmuck a performance incentive. Unreal.

    Like

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