Paul Elio Erupts During Shreveport Press Conference
Today was not a good day for Paul Elio. This afternoon, the namesake of Elio Motors, Paul Elio, came to Shreveport to answer to some of these questions.
Speaking on the site of the old GM Plant, Paul Elio became visibly frustrated, and raised his voice at reporters multiple times as he tried to justify his company's lack of movement in Shreveport. When asked about the assessment of the current equipment at the plant from the Industrial Development Board President, Elio erupted:
"So I have had some of the world's most revered equipment people in here, and they believe this is top shelf equipment. So that's why I question...so you're using this guy as an expert, so before you spout off with an expert, make sure...(clarification from reporter that he's not being used as an expert). You...you...you're reaffirming his claim. So before, you, you reaffirm his claim, you ought to challenge his expertise. It..if you're a good journalist. If you go...if you go talk to a homeless guy on the street, and he says the equipment's bad, are you gonna re-report that. Or are you going say I gotta consider the source, that's a bad source. So why don't you challenge him on his...uh, uh, knowledge of auto equipment, and then make...make an assessment, and then if he actually has some expertise, and it might be valuable, then report it. So let me go back to my prepared remarks please."
Unfortunately for Elio, he wasn't done. Some his other highlights from today include:
"There's this overarching story that if Elio weren't here, there'd be jobs in this plant. That is bunk."
"Elio Motors owns all the equipment inside this facility. Uh, it has not been supported at all with any public dollars."
"A company out of Texas. Who was negotiating with Louisiana, and we were asked, by the LED (Louisiana Economic Development), to give them a 6 month right to negotiate. So as a private company, we have no reason to do so, but we're a team player, so we said we would. That delayed the entire Elio project 6 months."
"Over the last year, we've made a lot of progress!"
This is just another chapter in a rough year for Elio Motors. In January the company announced delays in their plan to start production in 2017, which is now scheduled for 2018 (at the earliest). Then last week an SEC filing showed the company is quickly running out of cash, and may not even make it to 2018. Which promoted elected officials in the Shreveport area to renew their criticisms of Elio, and their leadership.
Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator has openly discussed the real possibilities of criminal charges for those involved in the Elio Motors organization, and Caddo Commission President Steven Jackson shared some incredibly strong words about the deals that have been made to benefit Elio, and the possibility of Elio Motors wanting to speak to the Commission under non-disclosure terms.