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School corporation’s renovation of building violated public bidding laws

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The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation’s renovation of a building to be used to house all administrative offices violated the state’s Public Bidding Laws.

In Alva Electric, Inc., Arc Construction Co., Inc., Danco Construction, Inc., Deig Brothers Lumber & Construction Co., Inc., et al. v. Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp., and EVSC Foundation, Inc., 82A01-1201-PL-2, several contractors sued – as taxpayers and as contractors – the school corporation and the nonprofit EVSC Foundation, claiming the school corporation’s renovation of an administration building should have been subject to the competitive bidding procedures required for a public work project under Indiana Code 36-1-12-4 and that the actions taken to accomplish the renovation constituted an antitrust violation under Indiana Code 24-1-2-3.

The school corporation wanted to renovate a warehouse into administrative offices and did not open the renovation process up to contractors for public bidding. Instead, through a series of transactions with the EVSC Foundation, it sold the building to the foundation and later purchased it back. Since the foundation is a nonprofit, it was not subject to the public bidding laws.

The trial court ruled in favor of the school corporation and foundation.

Judges James Kirsch and Rudy Pyle III reversed, finding that the school corporation under statute had to provide public notice and public bidding for the construction or renovation of the school property, or if it wanted to proceed under the lease-purchase agreement statutes, the school corporation had to hold a public meeting on the terms of the lease and submit plans to state agencies for approval. None of those events happened.

“…[the] School Corporation ‘selected a contractor to renovate a public building according to plans prepared by an architect selected by the School and fully intended to pay for the project and in fact is paying for the project with public funds, without following the public bidding laws,’” Kirsch wrote. “This scheme has not been authorized by our General Assembly and, indeed, violates the public bidding laws that it has enacted.”

The judges vacated the summary judgment and ordered further proceedings on the matter.

Judge Ezra Friedlander dissented, believing the actions of the school corporation and foundation were lawful and not subject to the competitive bidding procedures.

“I am unconvinced that the series of concededly lawful transactions at issue in this case adds up to a violation of the Public Bidding Laws or the Antitrust Act,” he wrote.

“Moreover, I believe that today’s opinion creates uncertainty for private foundations regarding the extent of support they may provide for public educational institutions before becoming subject to Public Bidding Laws.”

 

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  1. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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