“Maybe Balfour Beatty got [Summitville’s] price from the distributor,” said Brent Long, of Charlotte, N.C.-based Choate Construction, which won the subcontract to install the German brick.
Brent Long of Choate and Kent Long of Balfour Beatty are twin brothers.
In early December, Summitville Tiles filed a formal complaint with the Defense Department’s office of inspector general claiming a “no-bid” contract award. Gary M. Comerford, a spokesman for the inspector general’s office, confirmed recently that an administrative investigation is under way. The office’s policy is to decline to comment on such matters until resolved, he said.
On Jan. 12, Mr. Johnson received a letter from Mr. Moore of the Army Corps of Engineers, explaining that “Balfour decided to procure the brick directly from Feldhaus in order to improve its ability to meet the construction schedule.”
Mr. Long of Choate Construction, however, said the brick does not need to be delivered “until spring at the earliest, because of delays due to wetlands issues.” Mr. Johnson replied that Summitville could have delivered the brick by now with no problem. “We have a whole new product line - it’s ‘shovel-ready,’ ” he said.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democrat, declined to comment, although his office said it was looking into the subcontractor issue and that the senator had concerns with World Trade Organization procurement rules.
A spokesman for Sen. George V. Voinovich, Ohio Republican, said his boss does not get involved with individual procurement matters. Although the office regretted that Summitville was not selected, he said, “if any [federal regulations] were violated, we hope [the Defense Department] will address the issue through proper channels.”
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