Saturday, April 10, 2010

SCA screwing its contractors

From the Times Ledger:

After 16 years in the construction business, Patrick Dempsey is at the end of his rope.

The Maspeth-based electrical subcontractor is on the brink of bankruptcy, the electrical workers’ union has convinced most of his 25 employees to quit over unpaid retirement benefits and he blames his woes on his biggest potential income source: the city School Construction Authority.

He is one of dozens of companies waiting — and struggling — as the agency works to resolve hundreds of millions of dollars of SCA contract changes for work already completed.

“My company’s dead, I’m done,” Dempsey said, noting his Bayside apartment is in jeopardy of foreclosure. “My name is shot with the SCA now because I’ve had to go to the politicians. My guys are gone.”

Any time a school construction contract is significantly altered, contractors and subcontractors are required to submit a “change order” requesting additional payment if the project expands or reducing the charges if the job gets smaller. For example, if asbestos were found during the work, the contractor’s job would become bigger.

Of 3,545 open change order applications listed in a March 5 report on the SCA’s Web site, only 173 appeared to have been resolved. At least one open case dates back to 2005.

Rockville Centre-based attorney Henry Goldberg, who specializes in contractor cases, has estimated there are between $600 million and $800 million in change orders waiting to be finalized and paid to contractors and subcontractors.

Dempsey said the SCA owes him a total of $720,457, some of it for jobs he completed nearly a year ago. The agency finally signed off on two change orders from June 2009 last month, he said.


Helen said...

Only in a Nanny city like NY, NY would a businessman be held in such utter contempt that he isn't able to pay off the mortgage on an APARTMENT! And how can anyone expect him to pay "retirement benefits" when he's waiting to be paid for work already finished?

Sounds as if Mr. Dempsey does have some loyal (non-UNION) workers. Maybe he'll be able to make a go of restarting a business after bankruptcy.

Only communists expect someone to "provide" a "job" and operate a business for NO profit.

Anonymous said...

I have business with the SCA. I am not familiar with Mr. Dempsey's case however I do know that if you follow the SCA's procedures and pre-requisites to the letter (as you should be prepared to do if you are going to be doing business with any government agency)then they pay promptly and without hickups.

Anonymous said...

if you build them you'll get screwed! SCA makes life a hell for any contractor and i think the guy should sue the city!!!