April 16, 2009
Petaluma, Calif. – On Wednesday, United States District Judge Marilyn H. Patel issued an order directing the Small Business Administration (SBA) to pay the American Small Business League's (ASBL) legal fees in a recent federal court case. The ASBL filed suit against the SBA after the agency refused to provide the names of all the firms that had received federal small business contracts for fiscal years (FY) 2005 and 2006. (http://www.asbl.com/documents/feeaward_sba_names_of_firms.pdf)
The ASBL requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to prove the SBA included billions of dollars in awards to Fortune 500 corporations and other large firms towards the government's 23 percent small business contracting goal.
In a recent story in the National Law Journal regarding the ASBL's legal victory over the SBA, the agency's Associate General Counsel Eric Benderson tried to deny that the ASBL won the case when he stated, "We won the case and decided not to appeal." (http://www.law.com/jsp/ihc/PubArticleIHC.jsp?id=1202429063119)
Benderson's statements stand in stark contrast to Patel's initial ruling against the agency, in which she stated, "The court finds curious the SBA's argument that it does not 'control' the very information it needs to carry out its duties and functions."
The ASBL has won a series of lawsuits against the SBA forcing the release of information that proves the SBA was one of the agencies responsible for the diversion of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 500 companies and thousands of large businesses around the world.
As recently as March 13, the ASBL filed another suit against the SBA because the agency refused to release SBA Press Office Director Mike Stamler's telephone records for 2006 and 2007. The ASBL intends to file an additional suit against the agency for refusing to release all of Mr. Stamler's emails for 2006 and 2007. The ASBL began requesting Mr. Stamler's communications after several journalists informed the organization that Mr. Stamler had libeled and slandered the ASBL and its President, Lloyd Chapman. (http://www.asbl.com/documents/20090312complaint.pdf, http://libizblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/expletives-the-sbas-forte/)
"There have been over a dozen federal investigations that found billions of dollars in federal small business contracts have been diverted to Fortune 500 firms. It is time for the FBI to investigate Stamler and Benderson and find out why these two SBA executives have worked so aggressively to mislead Congress and the public on this issue, withhold information, and libel and slander anyone that tries to expose the rampant fraud and abuse in SBA programs," ASBL President Lloyd Chapman said.