Wednesday, November 14, 2007

City To Sue Police Station Contractors: Mayor Frustrated With "Low Bid Minority Contractor"

As reported today, the city has filed an $8 million lawsuit against the people who they allege have perpetrated the debacle of the unfinished police station that is approximately $5 million (50%) over budget.

View the sister post at Capital Punishment.

Going after the deep pockets, the city filed a lawsuit against the insurer of polics station contractor J.C. Garcete, citing breaches of the contract and defective work.

The company's project manager clearly is not happy with the city:
"It smacks of them trying to get money for nothing," he said, describing
city officials as "shysters" and "con men."

to which Central Services Director (and Acton's Landing builder) Rob O. Schuetz responded:

"There isn't a stronger case (than ours that) I could possibly
fathom," Mr. Schuetz said. "They are grasping at straws."

Alarmingly, the mayor seems to throw in the proverbial towel in frustration while blaming the incapability of minorities (or at least this particular minority) for the troubles!! So says she:
In retrospect, I should have followed the course of previous mayors and done
nothing to improve the police facility. I thought our force deserved better than
the obsolete headquarters we had outgrown. No crystal ball revealed that our low
bid minority contractor would deliver such an inferior product.

Wow. Geez.

A few things strike me:

-The city did an awesome* job of soliciting bids and choosing a good contractor.

-The city did an even better* job of overseeing the project.

-The new(ish) Central Services Director seems to be willing to fight for what's good for the city.

(*Today is opposite day.)

If this is the delay that is preventing the police station from being completed, I'm all for fixing it. None of us will ever know** the true nature of the contract, and thus we can't know if it was breached. But I think we can all agree that if the contract was breached, we would be smart to spend $20,000 (?) in legal fees to recover $8 million that we can give to someone to do the job correctly.

(**You could find out what the contract says by filing a Public Information Act Request and spending $150 to get your information, like I did, but you may want to save that money--rumor is you will be paying more in taxes next year.)

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