Monday, May 14, 2012
Criminal companies get city contracts
From NBC 4:
Hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts are going to firms with criminal histories and serious safety violations, News 4's I-Team has found.
The I-Team analyzed 25 of New York City’s biggest public construction projects by dollar value.
Data from the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services show 10 of those jobs went to construction firms that have criminal convictions, criminal settlements, or serious safety violations on their records.
One corporate offender is Skanska, the international firm currently in charge of the $508 million Brooklyn Bridge renovation.
Before winning the bridge project, Skanska pleaded no contest to criminal charges related to the mishandling of asbestos in California. Last year, Skanska paid $19.6 million to settle charges it defrauded the federal government in a scheme to win contracts intended for minority-owned businesses.
Another company that won a city contract despite disclosing a criminal record was Worth Construction. The Connecticut-based firm is in charge of a $13 million renovation of Queens Borough Hall.
Before winning that bid in 2011, Worth pleaded guilty to tax evasion. The former owner of the company also admitted to giving an illegal kickback to a public official.