* Last month in the Sun-Times…
Over the past three decades, a family-owned construction company got 32 contracts from the city of Chicago to repair sewers and install water mains — work that cost taxpayers more than $295 million.
Now, in a federal lawsuit against the company that was initiated by a whistleblower, City Hall accuses Joel Kennedy Constructing Corp. of lying and cheating to get six contracts since 2013, including falsely claiming to be a Chicago company when it’s actually headquartered in Waukegan.
According to the lawsuit, the company also submitted phony paperwork showing 50% of the work was done by Chicago residents, as required by a city ordinance.
But an investigation by City Hall’s inspector general’s office found that Kennedy’s company submitted its weekly payroll records only after first deleting the names of its suburban employees, making it wrongly appear Chicago residents had done more than half of the work.
* This morning in the Sun-Times…
A Waukegan contractor who has gotten nearly $300 million in water and sewer construction work from the city of Chicago has been banned from getting any more city contracts.
That’s after City Hall Inspector General Joseph Ferguson found that Joel Kennedy Constructing Corp. cheated to meet the city’s residency requirement for workers employed by a contractor.
Now, Joel Kennedy, who says the ban would put his company out of business, is asking city officials to rescind the order. The company says it has “taken multiple steps to make sure we are fully compliant with residency requirements in the future.”
If he can’t persuade City Hall to drop the ban, “we intend to challenge the city’s debarment decision in court,” according to a written statement from Kennedy.