You gotta “pay to play” to get NY State construction contracts

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Mehiel 1-28-2014July 21, 2014- The NY Post reports that several construction contractors awarded state jobs then turned around and promptly donated cash to the Cuomo-2014 campaign. For example, “A $3.8 million project to repair a portion of the Saw Mill River Parkway in Pleasantville served as a prelude to $15,000 in contributions to Cuomo’s re-election, including from the contractor who won the bid. According to Board of Elections records, William Schultz, owner of W.M. Schultz Construction in Saratoga County, donated $5,000 to Cuomo six months after repaving a stretch of the Saw Mill to reduce flooding.”

BatteryPark.TV has previously reported on numerous irregularities within Governor Cuomo’s BPCA RFP contract process.

In one example, the BPCA awarded a multimillion-dollar construction contract to repair the piles that hold up the esplanade. The Construction Manager (CM) chosen was Hudson Meridian Construction Group (located nearby on Rector Street). This decision was made despite Hudson Meridian being the costliest of the RFP bidders by $2.5 Million ($8 Million versus the second place RFP ranked company, D’Onofrio, at $5.5 Million).

After that contract was awarded, former BPCA employee Kirk Swanson filed a complaint with the New York State Department of Civil Rights, alleging, among other things, that the BPCA was making a mockery of the state laws that govern the RFP process. Mr. Swanson listed two contracts as examples that did not go through the proper channels within the BPCA. Mr. Swanson chaired the Contract Selection Committee.

During the June BPCA board meeting, it was announced that the authority had reversed its decision to award the pile repair contract to Hudson Meridien, and gave it instead to D’Onofrio General Contractors. The cost savings was $2.5 million, as previously mentioned. Phoenix Marine will be the company to do the actual repair work. D’Onfrio is the CM.

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