January 09, 2012

2 courts back TDOT suspension of 2 contractors (Associated Press)

2 courts back TDOT suspension of 2 contractors (Associated Press)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two courts in Nashville have backed a decision by state transportation officials to bar two guardrail companies that were implicated in corruption investigations from bidding on projects.

Lu Inc. and Tennessee Guardrail contend in separate lawsuits that their suspensions weren't proper.

Lu Inc. owner and president Novice Cole has acknowledged giving a Tennessee Department of Transportation supervisor $30,000 as the TDOT worker oversaw a 2005 Interstate 65 widening project in Nashville. Cole has not been criminally charged and claimed in his lawsuit that the suspension of his Kingston Springs-based company violated terms of a 2006 agreement he reached with TDOT, according to The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/tIShL9.)

The state argued before Davidson County Chancellor Russell T. Perkins that Lu's suspension was required to preserve "public confidence in the integrity of the department's bidding and contracting processes" and was based on evidence of irregularities" committed by Cole.

In his lawsuit, Cole noted the payments to the TDOT supervisor occurred in 2005, and he held that a one-year bidding suspension should be overturned. He contended the 2006 settlement with TDOT keeps the state from punishing him for anything the state knew about at the time of the agreement.

Full article located at: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/nov/08/2-courts-back-tdot-suspension-of-contractors/