Winston's Wayward Partnerships: John Shavers of JESCO and J5Global
The firm must be a small business based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for size standards. The business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, or a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, or an Indian tribe (including Alaska Native Corporations).
The firm's principal office (the location where the greatest number of employees perform their work, excluding contract sites) must be in a HUBZone.
35% of the firms total workforce must reside in a HUBZone.
In case you didn't notice, the grant is for small businesses not municipalities. The grants are also designated for urban business owners. So the HUBZone would benefit a company like Wheels and Deals but it's not designed for offering assistance to a municipality. But Mayor Winston said it was for the city but the HubZone website (https://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-support-small-businesses/small-business-cert-0) clear states that the grant is for small businesses; that's why Winston became agitated when C. Rogers asked to see the application. I don't know about you, but something in the milk ain't right. This whole ordeal, including the chance encounter with John Shavers, seems planned. Do you remember when Winston was cited for storing those formadahyde laced trailers in Lumberton? At the time, he was serving as District 2 Supervisor. During the process, nothing could be confirmed because the land belonged to one person, the trailers were handled by another and multiple entities were on the FEMA grant application. Allegedly, Winston signed up for the grant but Aaron Lott was the manager. Winston allegedly included his name and businesses so they could get preferences for being a minority owned company. Now, the HUBZONE grant is designated for minorities. Therefore, it would seem that the partnership between Shavers and Winston would benefit Wheels and Deals, not the City of Lumberton, another reason Winston became irate when questioned about the slew of lawsuits filed against John Shavers. So, who is John Shavers? Well, I'm glad you asked.
Shavers is supposed to be the owner of J5Global. When he appeared before the board, he said the company was in business for over 29 years. My question is this, which company was he referring to. When searching for J5Global on the Mississippi Secretary of State website, J5Global is not listed. However, the following companies are listed: Jesco Construction Corporation, Emerald Corporation, Hercules Manufacturing, Inc., JAGG Company LLC, Shavers Steele, Inc., and Steelco. Most of the companies have been dissolved but still, no J5Global and none of the companies listed were in business for more than a few years. So why lie and where is J5Global? Good question. In order to find J5Global, you must search the Florida Secretary of State website since J5Global is listed as a company in Tahallassee, FL. John Shavers is not listed as the owner, Ann Shavers has that distinction.
When I saw that application, it reminded me how Ben Winston and Bobby Gibson had companies established but their wives were listed as the managing partners and/or incorporators. When you Google Shavers, there's a list of lawsuits against Shavers, JESCO and J5Global. Why would a mayor and candidate for Lamar County Supervisor bring a person like this into their city whill claiming they're here to help the city? It seems that Shavers is here to pad his pockets and the pockets of Ben Winston.
The question remains, what are they looking to gain? Shavers can't oversee a 1033 grant because that application is submitted either by the Chief of Police or the Sheriff's Department and he's neither. Shavers mentioned the Cooper Building but I called the County land office and it's still owned by Cooper Industries and on the market for $1.57 million. Upon further investigation, I discovered that J5Global is no longer an active company.
So again, what's their plans? Winston allegedly said, there are no smart people in Lumberton and I can see why he would have that perspective. If I were Winston, I'd probably think the same way. Let me explain. Before getting elected as mayor, Winston had eight years of political experience and he did nothing to better his city or community. He decides to run again and surprisingly, he gets elected. Now this is my opinion, Winston knows all the low down, underhanded things he's done. The fact that he's in office has led him to belive that the people in Lumberton are either mentally or developmentally challenged because one would have to be a moron to see Winston's name on the ballot and vote in his favor. Unfortunately, Winston didn't take into account that intelligent people didn't put him into office. Right before the special called meeting, I Googled Shavers and had access to all his failed business ventures. In my opinion, Winston is the dumb one. Did he think this information would remain hidden or did he think it would pass before we noticed?
I don't think all of this is happenstance. I may be giving him more credit than he deserves, but I think Ben has been plotting this for years. Remember when Miles "The Bishop" Smith was arrested while accepting job applications at the old Movie Star building? He was a Gulfport businessman that wanted to open a tool and dye company here in Lumberton. Everything was going swimmingly until he started talking about the Cooper Building. Smith toured Cooper and it all went downhill from there. When he was arrested, there were reports that he had six felony charges filed against him in Gulfport but the warrant was served in Lumberton while applicants were in line to get a job application. Not surprisingly, News 7 was there, the Movie Star building was shut down and wrapped in police tape like it was a crime scene. Most of the news reports focused on the fact that Smith was given a key to the city for his efforts to bring industry to Lumberton. After the smoke cleared, and the business venture was completely shut down, it was revealed that Smith was arrested on a misdemeanor bad check warrant.
It has always been my belief that Ben has always been behind the scenes during the previous administration. Gibson, Crider and Johnson were making the moves but Winston was calling the shots. It was like Winston was using the City of Lumberton as his personal game of chess. He sent out his pawns to do his bidding but he never took into consideration that one of the most powerful players in a chess game is the Queen. I truly believe that most actions that are taking place now would have already been in place if Mayor Holder wasn't in place to block their next move. The pawns did everything they could to destroy the Queen: prohibited her from addressing the citizens (but Winston does so at every meeting), challenging every item she placed on the agenda, walking out of meetings when they were caught in a web of lies, trying to prevent the implementation of checks and balances and they even went as far as trying to have her jailed. Now, here we are, dealing with the consequences of electing a mayor that lacks moral fiber. By now, one would think he would get tired of the underhanded business ventures but he's still convinced that he's doing the right thing. Hopefully, he'll see the error of his ways; until then, I will continue to expose the hidden agenda. Check mate!