Efforts to uncover the truth stalled at Eastgate Metroplex the day after a bedbug infestation was confirmed. Property managers say News On 6 is banned from the property.
I've been in communication with Eastgate Metroplex Property Manager Dave Ortenburger, who told me he would let me know after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday if DPS would remain closed Wednesday. A check with DPS's website late Tuesday shows their offices at Eastgate Metroplex will open at their normal hours on Wednesday, July 18th.
DPS was given the all clear to reopen Friday after American Services Pest Control reported no evidence of bedbugs inside DPS or the atrium, which I proved to be untrue when I uncovered bedbugs on at least 17 chairs in the atrium. That area was inspected Monday by Mother Nature's who told News On 6 there was indeed a bed bug infestation at DPS and the lower atrium area.
The next text message I received from Dave Ortenburger at 6:24 p.m. says, "Eastgate has made the decision to cease all communication with you and Channel 6 due to your continued misrepresentation and not reporting all the facts. Channel 6 is not allowed back on the property."
I've been transparent about every development in this story and am unclear about the concerns of Mr. Ortenburger, who has continued to invite me to follow the progress. He even invited me there Saturday morning to document his efforts first hand. Dave and Mother Nature's also agreed to an interview Monday to talk about the plan moving forward once bedbug inspectors completed their investigation.
I called Dave and Gerry Chauvin, leaving both a voicemail for clarification, and have not heard back. I have not withheld any information regarding this investigation and am unclear as to what Eastgate management feels I have misrepresented.
I have also tried several times Tuesday to contact Justin Buckmaster, GM of Mother Nature's, for the results of the bedbug investigation at Eastgate's Playtime Child Development Learning Center and the Tulsa Health Department's Employee Training Center. My calls haven't been returned, so we don't have the results we were promised.
I'm told Alorica is releasing a statement from its corporate office within the hour addressing what Mother Nature's confirmed yesterday as a bedbug problem inside the calling center, which contradicts the inspection done by American Services Pest Control Company Friday morning.
Alorica released the following statement late Tuesday:
Alorica’s culture is centered on doing what is right for our employees. We are very aware of the concerns expressed by our Eastgate Metroplex employees and are actively working with inspectors to quickly identify and remediate any pest-control issues in our workplace. While we have been transparent about our efforts throughout this process, our company was shocked and disappointed by recent media coverage of this matter, which may have implied our local office is infested with bedbugs. The reality is there is no bedbug infestation in Alorica’s Tulsa office and any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded and without factual basis. Following recent inspections by two independent companies, no indication or presence of bedbugs was reported by the first inspector, while the second inspector’s report noted finding only a single living insect and several deceased casings.
Regardless of these findings, we believe we have a commitment and responsibility to address these concerns. Therefore, we are immediately undertaking to have the reported area professionally treated. In addition, we have engaged an industry-leading pest control service company to aggressively treat the full worksite, purely as a precautionary measure. As a member of the Tulsa community for almost 20 years, we want to assure our employees, the community and future Alorica team members that we deeply care about maintaining a healthy and safe work environment as we continue to grow in the area.
- Erica Kevin McCarthy