MILLION DOLLAR BIDS GO TO QUESTIONABLE CONTRACTOR …
|| By FITSNEWS || Earlier this month we wrote about Lynches River Contracting – a North Carolina-based road construction firm which was formed from the ashes of a Monroe, N.C.-based company called Boggs Paving.
Why should you care? Well, Boggs paving was involved in a huge fraud and money laundering case two years ago – one which resulted in the company’s assets being frozen and its right to bid on road projects in North Carolina and South Carolina revoked. In fact the firm’s former CEO is facing 25 years in prison for his role in the scandal.
But that’s not stopping the company from reinventing itself …
According to a WSOC TV 9 (ABC – Charlotte, N.C.) investigation earlier this year, “two former Boggs Paving employees became president and vice president” of Lynches River Contracting.
Not only that, the station reported that the new company – formed last fall – would be using “asphalt plants, dump trucks and other resources from two other companies associated with the Boggs name, including Boggs Materials and Boggs Transport.”
Oh, and the company was incorporated by the brother of the CEO who got indicted.
Surely South Carolina’s transportation officials aren’t dumb enough to fall for his scam, right? Right?
Wrong. At a meeting of the notoriously corrupt S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) committee held in Charleston, S.C. last week, Lynches River Contracting was awarded more than $13 million worth of business from taxpayers.
Wait … what? How did this happen? How could this happen?
Apparently SCDOT’s legal counsel determined Lynches River Contracting was not an “affiliate” of any individual “who has been disqualified, suspended or prevented from bidding” in the past.
Never mind that ninety percent of the new company is owned by a trust set up for Boggs family members – and that the other ten percent is owned by former Boggs’ executives. Technically, the parties subject to the state’s ban have no direct management interest or control over the “new” company.
SCDOT commissioners made some noise regarding the shady past of Boggs Paving, but they approved the contracts regardless …
Say it with us everybody: Business. As. Usual.
As we’ve noted on numerous previous occasions, SCDOT is a disaster – chronically short on cash despite the hundreds of millions of dollars taxpayers throw at it each year. Yet rather than reform its busted bureaucracy (or stop approving totally unnecessary projects), its leaders expect you to keep coughing up more money out of your pocket.
SCDOT was supposed to have been “reformed” back in 2007, but as we’ve been documenting for the past four years those reforms didn’t take. This scam is the latest in a long line of unfortunate examples demonstrating the need for real reform at the agency.