At the regular meeting on September 8, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners rejected BRW Contracting’s (BRW) bid on the resurfacing of Snow Hill Road and Jones Road. Despite being the lowest bidder, a verified history of fraud and unsatisfactory work on the Osowaw Blvd resurfacing project was the top reason for the unanimous decision.
The contract will instead be awarded to the second-lowest bidder, Goodwin Bros Construction, though their price for asphalt preparation was higher.
Purchasing and Contracts Manager James Wunderle explained that BRW is not legally barred from Hernando County, however, Commissioner Jeff Holcomb provided a deeper explanation of the past work and contracts from BRW.
After the submission of a police report from a competitor contractor of BRW, Holcomb explained that he started skeptically however, verified the sources. “This report indicated BRW purchased a subpar product from Cemex,” after which they were found to have falsified the actual product information and submitted that ticket to the county. Holcomb continued, “None of that is legal, obviously.”
Holcomb went on to say that the owner of BRW was “sentenced by the federal government to two years in prison, stemming from an affirmative-action fraud scheme.” Holcomb concluded that with the federal fraud charges, charges of fraud in Hernando County, and reported examples of unsatisfactory work from the City of Brooksville, “they will not be getting my vote to work for this county.”
John Allocco added, “While there is no legal impediment, according to the legal department, there is no legal requirement, either.” Allocco explained his concerns about value over cost, and stated “the numbers (bid prices) are not that much different” and also had concerns about extra staff hours required for supervision of BRW having knowledge of the previous problems.