Timeline shows Councilman Jack Petsche’s involvement in Brecksville municipal projects
The Ohio Ethics Commission is investigating Brecksville Councilman Jack Petsche and his firm, USA Roofing, Inc., and the way USA Roofing bid on Becksville city contracts. (Bob Sandrick, special to cleveland.com)
BRECKSVILLE, Ohio – Here is a timeline of events related to Councilman Jack Petsche and his firm, USA Roofing Inc., bidding on two municipal projects over the last two years, based on interviews and meeting minutes. Click here for the main story.
2014: The city chooses Panzica Construction Co. in Cleveland to construct its new police station on Brecksville Road, across from City Hall.
May 18, 2017: Petsche says USA Roofing receives an invitation from Panzica to bid as a subcontractor on the Brecksville police station project. The two firms have worked together on several past projects. Petsche says the invitation came through The Builders Exchange, a construction industry website.
June 2, 2017: USA Roofing sends a bid for the Brecksville police station project to Panzica.
Aug. 8, 2017: Petsche files petitions to run for Brecksville City Council, according to Cuyahoga County Board of Elections records. Petsche says he doesn’t remember when he pulled petitions to run.
Aug. 23, 2017: USA Roofing sends a revised bid for the police station job to Panzica. That same month, Panzica accepts USA Roofing’s bid, Petsche says.
Sept. 13, 2017: Petsche says Panzica gives the city a list of its subcontractors, including USA Roofing, thus notifying the city that USA Roofing is involved in the police station project. However, Brecksville Law Director David Matty said Panzica’s subcontractor list only included the name “USA,” making it hard to know precisely who the subcontractor was.
Oct. 9, 2017: Panzica issues purchase order to USA Roofing for police station roof, according to Petsche.
November 2017: Petsche is elected to city council.
December 2017: USA Roofing signs official contract with Panzica for the police station roof. When asked this week why he didn’t seek legal counsel at this point, Petsche told cleveland.com, “It didn’t occur to me. I thought it was a private contract between USA Roofing and Panzica.”
Jan. 2, 2018: Petsche is sworn in as Brecksville councilman.
Jan. 8, 2018: Panzica signs contract with USA Roofing for the police station roof. The contract is for $154,000, according to Petsche.
April 17, 2018: Council unanimously approves issuing $500,000 in notes to help pay for the new police station. Petsche takes part in the vote and does not abstain, telling cleveland.com earlier this week that council had already approved borrowing money for the project.
May 15, 2018: Council unanimously approves issuing $2 million in bonds to help pay for the new police station. Petsche takes part in the vote.
June-August 2018: USA Roofing installs most of the police station roof. Touchups are still needed, Petsche says.
July-August 2018: USA Roofing submits a $4,812 change order to Panzica for the police station roof. Panzica refuses to pay that amount and after negotiating with USA Roofing, Panzica agrees to pay an additional $2,406 for the roof work, according to Matty. Ultimately, council would vote down a larger change order from Panzica that included the extra money for USA Roofing.
Aug. 7, 2018: City Council unanimously approves an increase in the police station design fee for Perspectus Architecture in Cleveland. Petsche takes part in the vote. He told cleveland.com earlier this week that he didn’t see a conflict of interest in voting because taxpayer money going to Perspectus had nothing to do with Panzica or USA Roofing.
Feb. 2, 2019: USA Roofing “substantially” completes the police station roof, Petsche says.
Feb. 5, 2019: According to meeting minutes, Petsche recuses himself from a council discussion regarding a $59,507 change order Panzica had requested. When Matty asked why he was recusing himself, Petsche said he “is doing a lot of work with Panzica Construction” and wants to avoid the appearance of impropriety. He didn’t say he was working on the police station roof, however. “I’m shocked they didn’t know,” Petsche told cleveland.com ealier this week. “It’s a small town.”
At this meeting, Councilman Dennis Rose also abstains from the Panzica discussion. He says Panzica is a client of his law firm, Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP in Cleveland.
March 5, 2019: Council rejects the change order Panzica had requested in a 5-0 vote. Both Petsche and Rose abstain.
At the same meeting, council voted unanimously to amend its pricing agreement with Panzica for the police station project. Petsche said he participated in the vote because the pricing amendment involved extra costs for gabion baskets and the dispatch center and had nothing to do with the police station roof.
Also at the March 5 meeting, council unanimously agreed to issues $6.5 million in bonds to help pay for renovation and expansion of the city’s aquatics center. Petsche takes part in the vote.
May 2, 2019: City officials open bids for the aquatics center project. They noticed USA Roofing on the list of subcontractors from Seitz Builders Inc., the firm that would be selected for the job. City officials notified Seitz that the city would not approve USA Roofing as a subcontractor because it was Petsche’s company.
May 21, 2019: Petsche takes part in a unanimous vote to suspend council’s rules requiring three readings of legislation and vote on a contract with Seitz for $7.1 million. However, Petsche abstains from the vote that actually awards the aquatics center contract to Seitz.
Petsche said that before the meeting, he told council members Laura Redinger and Michael Harwood that he had submitted a bid for the aquatics center roof and was negotiating a contract with Seitz. Harwood said that was false, and according to Redinger, Petsche had only said he was “having discussions with Seitz.”
Petsche then tells council he had erred by even voting to suspend the rules on the Seitz vote and advised council to schedule another meeting and re-vote.
May 27, 2019: Council holds a special meeting on Memorial Day to revote on suspending the rules and approving the Seitz contract, this time without Petsche present.
June 11, 2019: Petsche says the Ohio Ethics Commission calls and interviews him about the police station and aquatics center projects. Someone had filed an anonymous complaint with the commission about USA Roofing’s involvement in those jobs.
Aug. 6, 2019: Petsche submits petitions to the elections board to run for Brecksville mayor. That same day, he abstains on a council vote to increase the contract with Perspectus for the police station design. Matty says it’s the first time that Petsche reveals that USA Roofing, his firm, was working on the city’s police station.
Aug. 20, 2019: At a council meeting, Matty announces that the city has been served with a subpoena related to a “criminal investigation” of USA Roofing and its contracts for municipal jobs. Petsche said there is no criminal investigation, and to say so is to “slander my good name.”
Sept. 3, 2019: Council discusses possibly impeaching Petsche for allegedly violating state code and the city charter, due to USA Roofing’s contracts for city work.
Sept. 17, 2019: Councilwoman Kim Veras asks Petsche to resign for his sake and the sake of the city. Petsche reads a statement, saying council is overreacting by considering impeachment. Council gives Petsche’s attorney until Sept. 25 to respond to Veras’ request that Petsche resign.
Sept. 25, 2019: Petsche’s attorney, Peter Pattakos, says Petsche will not resign and will fight any attempt to remove him from office. Pattakos says Petsche did nothing wrong.
Meanwhile, Petsche announces that he will suspend his run for mayor. However, last week, he tells cleveland.com he is resuming his mayoral run.