Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 23, 2013

Spurned bidder's suit going forward


Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Kloch scoffed at that, insisting hand-made corrections are fairly normal in bid documents.

Ottaviano switched gears and suggested a responsible bidder is merely one who meets the bid submission deadline — which Scott Lawn did not.

"When you deviate from (the state law) you invite problems," he insisted.

Repeatedly, Kloch asked why the city didn't take the Scott bid for the cost savings. By his calculation, the $190,000 difference between the Scott and Empire Dismantlement bids works out to $9 "for every man, woman and child in the city," he said. Doesn't the city "care" about that?

"Your honor, I cannot let the ends justify the means," Ottaviano replied.

The judge also wanted to know why city agents, who'd been informed the lost Scott employee was on his way to the bid opening, didn't hold up the opening for his arrival.

"We followed the bid specs to the law," Ottaviano said. "There's case law that says if a bid is one minute late, we can reject it. ... (Scott Lawn) was negligent in the person they used to deliver their bid. We don't take responsibility for that."

"You don't think the city misdirecting him is a problem?" Kloch asked.

Ottaviano again denied that any city agent had misled or misinformed the Scott employee, and the judge decided a hearing on the sides' opposing versions of the story is required. June 5 is the date agreed to by the attorneys, Ottaviano and Scott Lawn's counsel John Bartolomei.

In the interim, the restraining order on parking-construction work, issued May 1 by Kloch, remains in effect. Before the Scott suit, the city expected work would get under way around May 6 and be done by early August.

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