NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) –You may have eaten their food at the fireworks shows, or even at Live on the Green. All those events have been put on by D&D Events, owned by Randy Dyce.
D&D also feeds the homeless that are housed at the Fairgrounds Expo Center. The shelter was setup to prevent the spread of COVID among the homeless.
News4 Investigates has found that D&D is billing the taxpayers some $28,000 a week to prepare food for the homeless. That’s labor cost only. On November’s invoice, D&D billed the city for work done by fourteen managers and warehouse managers at a rate of $30 an hour. Another 28 workers were billed to the city at a rate of $25 an hour. On some days, half of the people working are billed as managers.
We took our findings to Mayor John Cooper.
“This is federal CARES act money. That’s confirmed by the Metro Finance Department. These rare federal tax dollars sent to Nashville for expense related to COVID.”
Mayor Cooper went on to say, “I’m interested to make sure that for the rest of COVID that the Cares act money is super-well spent.”
Compare the number of staff to the number of people at the shelter. Some days, there is one food service worker for every 3.8 shelter residents.
Randy Dyce is the owner of D&D. I asked why they need so many staff.
“It’s whatever the shelter needed,” Dyce said over the phone.
“Help me understand that.. whatever the shelter needed?”
“We supply what the shelter needs. That’s it,” Dyce answered.
He said Metro Social Services is the one that gives them direction on staffing.
The head of Metro Social Services, Renee Pratt, said not to her knowledge. She assumed the number of food service staff is based on the population.
But it’s not. We charted both. There is no correlation.
We went back to Dyce with more questions.
(Amons to Dyce) “When the population spikes, I would expect you to have more employees. But that’s not been the trend.”
(Randy Dyce) “Depends on what you gotta do. You’re not even asking a logical question.”
Here’s something else, Dyce recently boosted his rates by 66%, increasing his charge for managers from 18 dollars in May to 30 dollars an hour in November.
“That’s the rate we charge,” Dyce said when asked about the rate increase. He couldn’t say who approved the increase.
Here’s what the Metro Finance Office shows: the invoices are approved by Laura Womack, Executive Director at the Fairgrounds.
D&D’s cooking staff doesn’t go up when the shelter population goes up. But D&D has billed the city for more staff at the shelter every time there is a race at the racetrack.
Dyce also runs the racetrack concessions and tickets.
We showed our numbers to the Mayor.
“It’s a legitimate concern and we will try to provide answers,” Mayor Cooper said, adding “Ok. So. Alright. Um. This is why I’m grateful to journalism.”
Dyce could not explain why he scheduled more people to work at the shelter on racing weekends saying the two staffs are different. He says there is no connection between the two. “No! Two separate entities. How many times do I have to tell you this?” Dyce said.
I also found an invoice showing that a D&D expense related to the racetrack was billed to the CARES Act fund.
The Executive Director of the Fairgrounds says that the rented forklift was really for the shelter and it was mislabeled on the invoice.
Changes are reflective that the Iroquois Steeplechase was wrongly identified as using the services of D&D Events for event management and catering. Officials Iroquois Steeplechase said they had previously used D&D for some of their bartenders.