a Critical Economic Driver for the North Country
BUT Admits While at SAIC He Used Taxpayer Dollars to Build Biomass Plants That He Viewed as "Not Economically Viable"
Havenstein told the Pemi-Baker Valley Republican Committee, “I also, frankly, am not a big fan of subsidizing biomass plants because they too are not economically viable. I built two biomass plants at my last job, one in Connecticut. And if the federal government wasn’t willing to give us $80 million as a subsidy, they weren’t willing to guarantee price breaks on that energy, it would've never been built.”
"The new Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin was supported by both Republicans and Democrats because it is an important part of our electric and heat energy mix, and is providing good-paying jobs at the plant, with hundreds more working in the woods as loggers, foresters and haulers," said North Country State Senator Jeff Woodburn. "It's disturbing to see Walt Havenstein so casually dismiss such an important economic driver for the North Country."
"The latest embarrassing footage of failed CEO Walt Havenstein not only makes it clear he wouldn’t look out for the people and economy of the North Country, but it also raises even more troubling questions about his record of mismanagement and failed leadership at SAIC,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing.
The new Berlin biomass plant is already producing economic benefits for the North Country. A spokesman for the Berlin biomass plant’s owners, Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, predicted, “the company will put about $25 million a year into the forest economy buying 750,000 tons of wood chips,” and a report filed with the state shows that in the first two months of operation, roughly 51% of the purchased wood came from New Hampshire (NHPR, May 23, 2014).
Despite the important role of renewable energy sources like biomass, Havenstein said we shouldn’t have incentives to build such plants because they are “not economically viable." However, that didn’t stop him from using $80 million in taxpayer dollars to build two plants as CEO of SAIC.
"It is extremely troubling that Walt took $80 million in taxpayer dollars for projects he claims weren't economically viable," added New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. "Walt's disastrous tenure at SAIC proves that he can't be trusted to protect taxpayer dollars, and the people of New Hampshire can't afford to let him take our state backwards."
During his disastrous tenure as CEO, Havenstein had a poor record when it came to safeguarding taxpayer dollars. As his failed leadership and mismanagement cost SAIC millions of dollars and thousands of jobs, taxpayers also paid theprice. Not only did Havenstein fail to stop a fraud scandal that overcharged taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, but he’s since tried to duck responsibility and offered no answers for his failed leadership.
Click here for the footage of Havenstein opposing biomass plants.
UNDER HAVENSTEIN, SAIC FACED MULTIMILLION DOLLAR FRAUD SCANDAL IN CITYTIME CONTRACT WITH NEW YORK
“The company also is grappling with its New York City contract to manage an employment timekeeping system called CityTime… the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has alleged that a massive and elaborate scheme to defraud the city’ corrupted the program.” (Washington Post, November 14, 2011)
“NEARLY ALL OF THE $600 MILLION THAT NEW YORK CITY HAS PAID TO THE MAIN CONTRACTOR FOR ITS TROUBLED AUTOMATED PAYROLL PROJECT HAS BEEN TAINTED BY FRAUD”
A New York Times article reporting on the CityTime scandal and charges filed by US Attorneys investigating the matter reported that “Nearly all of the $600 million that New York City has paid to the main contractor for its troubled automated payroll project has been tainted by fraud . . . ‘Today we allege what many have long feared: The CityTime project was corrupted to its core by one of the largest and most brazen frauds ever committed against the City of New York,’ Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for Manhattan, said.” (New York Times, June 20, 2011)
FOLLOWING TROUBLES FOR THE COMPANY, HAVENSTEIN SUDDENLY ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM CEO POSITION AT SAIC, CITES “PERSONAL REASONS”
The Washington Post reported that “Walter P. Havenstein, chief executive at McLean-based contracting giant Science Applications International Corp., will retire next summer, the company announced . . . In the announcement, Havenstein, who has led SAIC for just over two years, said he was leaving for personal reasons. He will depart in June. In recent months, Havenstein has spoken candidly about the budget challenges facing government contractors. In its most recent earnings announcement, SAIC reported roughly 6 percent drops in revenue and profit.” (Washington Post, October 3, 2011)
HAVENSTEIN’S TENURE AS CEO LEAVES SAIC IN DIRE STRAITS
“More than four decades after its founding, the contractor, now public and based in McLean, is struggling, facing two contracting scandals, the departure of its chief executive and declining sales and profit. The company’s plight has led to some soul-searching about whether its problems are linked to a generally tougher budget environment or tied to a change in strategy. In recent years, the company’s units have shifted from pursuing contracts autonomously to teaming up in an effort to bring more capabilities to the table. ‘Where some people would say we may have let go of our small, entrepreneurial nature, I would say what we’ve really done is helped transform ourselves to be able to punch our weight in the marketplace,’ said chief executive Walter P. Havenstein, who plans to step down in June. ‘We’ve got to be able to think as a scaled company, not just in the individual pieces, and I think that’s at the heart of the cultural shift.’ Thus far, that strategy has not yielded the kind of results that SAIC has produced in the past, and analysts and industry observers say the company is at a critical juncture as it readies to select a new leader.” (Washington Post, November 14, 2011)