Remember how the DOT managed to miss I-84 construction work that had amongst other significant problems drainage collection catch basins connected to nothing? Well, the DOT has managed to keep the company on the “pre-qualified” list of approved contractors and then awarded them a $2 million contract. Our tax dollars hard a t work here. The Courant reports:
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a potentially lucrative consultant contract to the Maguire Group, an engineering and inspection firm fired in 2006 for its central role in a botched construction job on I-84.
Maguire was one of two firms that settled a lawsuit by the state attorney general by agreeing to repay or forfeit millions of dollars in public money. The state eventually recovered about $22 million which had to be spent on redoing the project.
The suit and Maguire’s firing came after the DOT’s own inspectors cited “a complete breakdown” of Maguire’s inspection work in a searing, but belated, report on the dangerously shoddy and substandard reconstruction of a 3.5-mile stretch of 1-84 in Cheshireand Waterbury.
Yet the DOT never took Maguire off a list of “pre-qualified” consultants and last month awarded the firm an on-call contract for environmental assessment and soil and groundwater testing that could pay the firm up to $2 million a year.
The award last month sent ripples of frustration through the state’s network of environmental consultant firms, and one losing bidder for the on-call contract said the DOT was acting as if the Maguire Group — suspended from DOT work for two years in the early 1990s for what former Commissioner Emil Frankel called the firm’s “serious disregard for professional ethics” — was the only company that was open for business in Connecticut.
In a letter dated Friday, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who had sued Maguire and defunct contractor L.G. DeFelice, urged DOT Commissioner Joseph Marie to reconsider the contract award.
“In light of Maguire’s performance on the I-84 project completely failing to properly inspect the horrific … work of L.G. DeFelice DOT must conduct a responsibility determination of Maguire prior to awarding any contract … In particular, DOT should reconsider its selection of Maguire as an on-call consultant [as well as] Maguire’s pre-qualification status in all categories of proposed work.”