Sunday, May 26, 2013

Conflict-of-interest? Another questionable bid surfaces in county

For the third time in less than a year, a vendor competing for business in Oswego County has protested the manner in which county officials conduct the bidding process.

And, as in the past, there appears to be a relationship between the favored vendor and a county official.

The most recent complaint involves a bid for HVAC maintenance for the county’s facilities. During the Nov. 27 meeting of the legislature’s Infrastructure and Facilities Committee, a bid award was made to Postler and Jaeckle, the third lowest bidder.

Legislator John (Jay) Martino made the motion to award the bid to Postler and Jaeckel, with Legislator David Holst providing a second to the motion. EMCOR submitted a bid in the amount of $78,887, making the company the lowest bidder. Van Hook Services came in as the second lowest with a bid of $79,423. Postler and Jaeckle submitted a proposal for $82,980.

Although EMCOR and Van Hook were the lowest bidders, the committee rejected the bids claiming, “The reference checks and known past performance of these firms indicate that neither would perform adequately.” There was nothing in the file to indicate that the companies had been vetted.

Building and Grounds Director Bill Malone and then-purchasing director Fred Maxon recommended Postler and Jaeckle receive the bid award based on the past performance of the low bidders. POST

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