Local News

More Details About Company Being Sued By City Come To Light

By Gordon Hopkins

A company being sued by the City of Fairbury recently lost the right to do business in its home state of Texas.
The City of Fairbury has filed a lawsuit against Industrial Engineering Solutions (IES), LLC, owner James Daniels, which contracted with the city to remove thousands of dollars worth of machinery from the now defunct Fairbury municipal power plant but left town without paying the full, agreed-upon amount of $120,000. The court filing is dated September 29, 2023.
Texas Secretary of State records indicate IES has forfeited the “right to transact business in Texas.”
FJN reached out to the Texas Comptroller’s office. A representative said they could not release any information about why IES’s right to do business was forfeited due to confidentiality rules, except to say that the company was “not meeting their obligations.”
The date of forfeiture is October 20, 2023.

FJN asked Fairbury’s city attorneys how this turn of events might impact the lawsuit. As of press time, no response was received.
Although the address for IES listed on the contract is in Riverside, California, the company was actually registered in Texas on April 22, 2022, just six weeks before the first recorded contact with the City of Fairbury and well before the contents of the power plant were advertised for sale.

FJN has obtained emails between the company and city staff. The earliest contact is an email from IES owner James Daniels to City Line Superintendent Nathan Francis on July 6, 2022, (sic) “Hey, James daniels owner of industrial engineering Solutions LLC good talking to you today nate.”
A resolution to sell the equipment was approved by the Fairbury City Council on August 16, 2022.
When asked if he knew how IES could have been aware that the power plant equipment was available before the resolution, Fairbury Mayor Spencer Brown said he did not but hypothesized, “If finding decommissioned power plants where (sic) something you were after, I’m pretty sure Google could make quick work of it.”

The registered agent’s name on file in Texas for IES is Tony Mitlo. The remitter listed on a $12,000 check paid to the City of Fairbury as a deposit by IES was Joey Mitlo.
When asked if he had met or spoken with either Tony or Joey Mitlo, Mayor Brown responded, “At this point I will not be commenting on active litigation. Press releases will be sent out when appropriate.”
On September 11, 2023, IES created a new website, https://industrialengineeringsolutions.org. Services being advertised include: demolition; removal of hazardous and toxic materials, such as asbestos and mercury; purchasing; removal and scrap.
As of Monday, October 30, 2023, the website is no longer accessible.
One of the photos used on the website’s front page is of the interior of the Fairbury Municipal Power Plant taken by city staff. FJN asked the Mayor and City Attorney’s if they were aware of this and how they felt about IES using a photo of the Fairbury power plant on their website. No response as received.
As of press time, no criminal charges have been filed by the city against IES.

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