Commonwealth Court: Laches Requires Reversal Of Injunction Issued For Violation Of Separations Act

A recent decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania illustrates the extreme perils of waiting too long to challenge a violation of the public bidding laws. In December 2015, the West Jefferson Hill School District solicited bids for a new Read more

Regulations Issued For City of Philadelphia Best Value Contracting

On July 27, the regulations governing the City of Philadelphia's purchase of goods and non-professional services under the "best value" standard became official. Under the regulations, the Procurement Commissioner can permit a contract to be awarded under the "best value" Read more

Third Circuit Affirms Decision On DRPA Bridge Contract But Reverses Judicial Award Of Contract To Low Bidder

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently affirmed a N.J. federal district court decision which found that that the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) had acted improperly in rejecting the low bidder for a painting contract for the Read more

AIA Pennsylvania To Host Debate On Separations Act

On Thursday, July 13, AIA Pennsylvania, the unifying body of the Pennsylvania chapters of the American Institute of Architects, will host a debate on the Separations Act. The moderated debate will take place at Harrisburg University and will feature key players Read more

DGS Issues List Of Exempt Steel Products For 2017

The Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) has finally issued the list of machinery and equipment steel products which will be exempt for calendar year 2017 under the PA Steel Products Procurement Act.  The list was published in the Pa. Read more

DBE Pass-Through Scheme Alleged On Two PennDOT Bridge Projects In Phila.

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According to a criminal information filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, still another fraud scheme involving the U.S. Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) Program has been uncovered on two different federally-funded projects in Philadelphia.

In September 2009, PennDOT awarded a $70.3M contract to a tri-venture consisting of a Philadelphia-based highway contractor, Alpha Painting & Construction Co., Inc., of Baltimore, and Liberty Maintenance, Inc., of Campbell, Ohio, to perform structural steel painting and repairs, and concrete repairs, on the I-95 Girard Point Bridge in Philadelphia. As part of the contract, the tri-venture committed to subcontract $4.7M of work to Markias, a now-defunct certified DBE, to supply materials for use on the the contract.  Alpha and Liberty formed a joint venture and allegedly ordered the needed materials directly from non-DBE suppliers, and allegedly used Markias as a pass-through to give the appearance that the DBE requirements had been satisfied.  PennDOT awarded approximately $3.26M in DBE credit to the tri-venture based on the DBE work allegedly performed by Markias.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in DBE/MBE/WBE, PennDOT Leave a comment

Pennsylvania Steel Erector Indicted In DBE Pass-Through Scheme And Suspended On Federally Funded Contracts

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If you are a prime contractor working on federally-funded transportation projects, beware of fraud involving the U.S. Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program. A recently exposed “pass-through” scheme involving $27 million in federally-funded contracts scheme was engineered together by subcontractor Century Steel Erectors Co., and WMCC, Inc., a certified DBE.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in DBE/MBE/WBE, PennDOT Leave a comment

DBE Fraud Guilty Pleas Result In Sentences Of Probation And Restitution Of $1.3 Million

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In my post from yesterday, found here, I reported on the DBE “pass-through” fraud scheme engineered by Carl M. Weber Steel Service, Inc., and Karen Construction, Inc.

On January 11, 2016, Dennis and Dale Weber, the owners of Weber Steel, were each sentenced to six months’ home confinement and five years’ probation, and Weber Steel was placed on three years’ probation. All three were also ordered to jointly pay $1 million in restitution to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

On February 3, 2016, Judy Noll, the owner of Karen, was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to separately pay $336,219 in restitution to FHWA.  

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General press release on the sentencing can be found here.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in DBE/MBE/WBE Leave a comment

Four Plead Guilty In Fraud Scheme To Obtain $18.7 Million In DBE Subcontracts On PennDOT Projects

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Still another “pass-through” fraud scheme involving the U.S. Department of Transportation’s disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program has been exposed, with criminal penalties for all involved.

On October 8, 2015, Dennis Weber, Dale Weber, Carl M. Weber Steel Service, Inc., and Judy Noll pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges related to a complex DBE fraud scheme that, incredibly, lasted for more than 16 years, totaled almost $19 million, and involved 224 bridge projects throughout Pennsylvania.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in DBE/MBE/WBE, PennDOT Leave a comment

DGS Issues Preliminary List Of Exempt Steel Products For 2016

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The Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) has issued a preliminary and updated list of machinery and equipment steel products which will be exempt under the Pa. Steel Products Procurement Act for 2016.  The list was published in the Pa. Bulletin on Saturday, February 6, 2016, and can be found here.

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Posted on by Christopher I. McCabe, Esq. in DGS, Steel Products Act Leave a comment