Officials Want Key Figure Paul Simmons in BioPlex Project Out

by Ted Wagnon  on Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 12:00 am  

Promoter Paul Simmons at Aug. 17 press conference. (Photo by Tom Honeycutt) | Originally published in Arkansas Business Oct 1., 1984.

• The same acronym is used to identify Research Oriented Systems Technology, a high-tech engineering firm he plans to bring to Arkansas. He claimed on Sept. 25 [1984] to have used ROST since 1976 to develop specialized manufacturing equipment for the biotech industry.

One recent ad described ROST as “maintaining the leading edge of technology” in a series of processes related to genetics and biotech-related pharmaceutical manufacturing, and he described it in that initial interview as the source of several inventions.

Records at the Florida Secretary of State’s Office indicate the company was incorporated in 1980. Given that information on Sept. 26, Simmons said he actually set up ROST two years earlier in North Carolina, and then moved it to Florida.

He has advertised ROST as having offices in “Tampa — Little Rock — soon to be in Europe,” but revealed Sept. 27 that it is a one-man firm operated from the same office he uses for all his businesses.

• Simmons allegedly told Florida developers he was bringing his project to Arkansas because he had the support of the Rockefeller enterprises in this state. At about the same time, according to his contacts in this state and elsewhere, he was telling them that his financial supporter was a wealthy hotel owner in Florida.

In conversations with Arkansas Business, Simmons first acknowledged having told several Arkansans the Florida hotelier was his backer. He even repeated the claim during that initial interview.

Told that a representative of the hotelier had already denied any ties between the two men, Simmons modified his statement and eventually denied having made the claim to anyone.

He also denies having suggested to the hotelier’s business associate that the Rockefeller empire had a financial interest in the Arkansas project.

• Simmons said in a recent article (published in September by a magazine he helped found) that he is certified in Florida to teach college-level engineering and has 12 years of seniority as an engineering instructor in junior college.

Florida education officials say Simmons once held a certificate allowing him to teach part time at a Daytona Beach community college, and that he taught at that school for a number of years. But the certificate covered only vocational courses in refrigeration mechanics and is no longer valid.

• Simmons advertised in his latest magazine that he holds membership in at least three professional and trade associations. Officials of the organization say he is a former member, reporting that his memberships expired anywhere from 1980-82.

Confronted with that information, Simmons insists that any lapses in his membership must have occurred recently and through oversight. He denies any misrepresentations on his part.



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