Banner Company Scams Former Mayor, Local Businesses

It is easy to be the target of a scam; just ask former Mayor Joe Adame.

The former mayor of Corpus Christi thought he was accepting an award on behalf of the City. It turns out, however, that he signed a contract to work with a company to place banners all over town. The City would actually have to put up and maintain those signs for three years.

The City filed suit against the company on Thursday to stop it from selling more of the banner deals to local businesses. They believe businesses have signed off on thousands of dollars worth of these contracts since October, when David McCarthy and his company, Community Showcase Banners, descended on the city.

On Thursday afternoon, City Attorney Carlos Valdez held a press conference to announce the City's lawsuit against McCarthy and his company. They say the company got the mayor to sign off on the deal after telling him there would be no cost to the City.

It turns out that the City would be on the hook for hanging the advertising banners and maintaining them for three years.

Valdez said the mayor doesn't have the authority to sign off on any deal that would cost City dollars. City Council and the City Manager must sign off on such deals.

This contract was signed back in June, after the City says McCarthy approached Mayor Adame at a mayor's conference in Orlando, Fla. Valdez said he and the mayor met with McCarthy in late October, and thought the matter was resolved; but then they say McCarthy continued to sell the advertising banner packages. Those run anywhere from $500-$6,000.

A number of local businesses signed onto the deal, so the lawsuit was filed to stop things.

"I think he was probably misled," City Attorney Carlos Valdez said. "I think, I think even to this day he probably still thinks he was accepting an award for the City of Corpus Christi, because that's the way it's presented."

The City says that it feels that, if this case eventually ends up before a jury, it will win.


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