GIRARD City doesn't have to accept low bid
Dante Massacci Jr. admits he missed the deadline, but had permission.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- The city controlling board would be justified if it didn't award a contract to the lowest bidder on a project, in part because the company owners bribed a Warren official, the city law director has advised.
Law Director Mark M. Standohar released his opinion Friday, saying the board would be within its right to not award the bid to DPM Paving.
Dante Massacci Sr. of Warren is president of DPM and his son, Dante Massacci Jr. of Howland, is vice president.
They pleaded guilty in December to charges that they paid $70,000 to an unidentified Warren official to get a Warren demolition contract. They are awaiting sentencing.
DPM bid $14,400 for work to move a city-owned water line at state Routes 193 and 304 in Liberty. The second lowest bidder was M & amp;M Inc. at $14,818.
In his opinion, Standohar wrote that the low bidder must be "responsive," that is, containing no irregularities or deviations from bid specifications, and "responsible."
Standohar said that although DPM was the lowest bidder, it appears a bid bond didn't accompany the bid package when bids were opened Feb. 12.
"This deviation from standard bid opening requirements presents possible legal action from another bidder to seek an injunction if the contract is awarded to DPM," he wrote.
Concerning being a responsible bidder, Standohar called attention to the Massaccis' legal problems.
"DPM's impending sentencing on this criminal charge also brings into questions the company's financial condition and ability to complete the job," Standohar said.
The younger Massacci responded Friday that Rex Funge, city zoning inspector and assistant engineer, told him DPM could submit the bid bond by the end of the day, Feb. 12, rather than the 10 a.m. deadline.
The telephone conversation with Funge, Massacci explained, was overheard on a speaker phone by one of his employees. Funge couldn't be reached to comment.
Massacci said bad weather prevented his bonding company from being able to fax the documents to him so that he could get them to city hall before the deadline.
"They're going to do what they want," Massacci said of the controlling board composed of the mayor, auditor and service director.
"It's just because of the legal situation, I'm sure," he said.
If DPM isn't awarded the contract, Massacci said he will take legal action to get reimbursed for the money spent in submitting the bid. He has estimated the expense at $1,500.
"I'm not going to eat that money," Massacci warned.