Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ky. Official Criticized For Bid To Cookeville Firm

A Cookeville company has been mentioned in an audit, which is critical of the way officials in Monroe County, Kentucky, awarded a bid for the construction of a wellness center. But the audit focuses on the elected officials who made the decisions, not on the company that got the bid -- J & S Construction in Cookeville. According to a story in the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, officials in Monroe County used an improper process in hiring J and S to build a wellness center in Tompkinsville and then, within days, the county judge-executive approved an extra $415,000 payment to the company. According to an audit released Thursday, the extra money was for items not specified in the original request for bids. And that meant other companies that competed for the contract didn't know to include those items in their bids. The auditors claim the county failed to follow proper procedures in choosing a contractor, but
Johnny Stites, the chief executive officer of J&S Construction, told the paper that he was not aware of any problems or improprieties in how the contract was awarded. He said his company has experience in energy-efficient buildings and was well qualified to construct the wellness center.