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Special Judge Hears Motions in Mays vs. City Lawsuit Over 2015 MEDC Contract Decision – Case Continues on Track to Trial

October 9th, 2017 by

trial update jury courtroomMotions in the Circuit Court case of PF Mays & Associates vs. City of Monticello, were recently heard by Special Judge David Laser.  The case stems from the city council’s 2015 decision to contract with MEDC instead of Mays & Associates for economic development for the City.

The original article describing the history in the filing in the case is posted below.

The City had filed a motion for a summary judgment, claiming that there was not enough confirmed evidence to proceed to trial,  and that the case should be dismissed now.

However, on that Friday afternoon, Judge Laser ruled that there were enough “issues of material fact” to proceed with the case.

The hearing took less than an hour.  Judge Laser said that discovery can still take place. No other hearing or trial dates have been set.

— – –  – – – – – – –

City & Council Sued Over 2015 MEDC Contract Decision, May 16,2016

PF Mays & Associates has filed suit in the Drew County circuit court against the city of Monticello for the way it handled the bidding process in 2015 for economic development, when they renewed the contract with the MEDC.

The lawsuit alleges that….

In 2014, the city council advertised for sealed bids for 2015 Economic Development.
PF Mays & Associated requested a copy of the bid package and was told that there was no bid package, but that she should submit her bid; therefore, she submitted a sealed bid.
Since 1998, the same bidder has repeatedly received the yearly contract for these services – Monticello Economic Development Commission, Inc.
(“MEDC”).
Both Mays and the MEDC submitted sealed bids to the city.
The sealed bids were opened by the city on November 21,2014.
When the bids were opened, Mays bid was the lowest bid.
The City did not award the contract to Mays, even though they had the lowest bid.
After the bids were opened The City changed the requirements for the
bid to include not only the submission of a sealed bid, but to also present an oral
presentation before the City Council’s Budget Committee on December 9, 2014.
Mays was told that only after this presentation to The Committee would the City Council would either accept or reject their bid.
On December 9, 2014, Mays and MEDC both presented oral presentations before The Committee, but no vote was taken at that meeting on what bid to recommend to the City Council.
After this presentation was completed, Plaintiff followed up with the
Committee to determine next steps.
Mays was told that The Committee had decided to make no recommendation to the City Council and would instead have Mays and MEDC make yet another presentation to the entire City Council on December 18, 2014.
At the December 18, 2014, meeting, former Mayor Joe Rogers
(predecessor to Defendant Tucker) asked the Council if they wished to proceed with the presentation of both Plaintiff and MEDC with the Council deciding to not hear any presentations.
The City Council then discussed how to go about awarding the contract to MEDC in spite of the low bid from Mays.
The City Council heard statements from Mays, representatives of
MEDC, and the public during this meeting.
During the December 18, 2014, meeting, the City Council awarded the contract to MEDC by a vote of 7 to 1.
On December 29, 2014, the city Council voted 6 to 2 to throw out
plaintiffs bid in its entirety.
At the December 29, 2014 special City Council Meeting, the City Attorney suggested that The City again advertise the bid for professional services
including requirements that could only be met by MEDC in order to ensure the contract could be awarded to MEDC alone.
On December 30, 2014, Mayor Rogers notified the City Council that
Mayor Rogers was vetoing the December 18, 2014, and December 29, 2014, votes of
the City Council regarding the bids and awarding of the contract.
On December 31, 2014, the City Attorney for The City recommended a special meeting of the City Council to extend MEDC’s 1998 contract, which had
been extended every year through 2013, until February 15, 2015 so that there would be no interruption in MEDC’s payments until, the documentation could be put m place to award the 2015 contract to MEDC. The City extended MEDC’s contract until February 28, 2015. However, at no time was the 1998 contract extended, in 2014.
On January 3, 2015, at an MEDC meeting, MEDC’s President, Bennie Ryburn told the MEDC Board that the city had voted to allow MEDC to continue indefinitely without the need to ever submit a
bid again.
At the January 3, 2015, MEDC meeting, the new mayor, Defendant Zack Tucker told the MEDC Board that The City would clear up the issues in the bidding process to ensure MEDC kept the contract and could get back to work. ”
On January 7, 2015 the city held a special meeting for review for wualifications, prior to The City awarding the contract to MEDC.
Since contracting with MEDC in 1998, The City has failed to perform annual evaluations of MEDC and The City has paid all of MEDCs costs related to
the industrial park, listed as a requirement- for the contract itself while giving MEDC full ownership of tins industrial park.

The plaintiffs claim, under the competitive bidding statutes,
The city violated Arkansas’ competitive bidding statutes and acted in bad faith by initially failing to award Mays the contract when they presented the lowest bid.
The city again violated Arkansas’ competitive bidding statues and acted m bad faith when the City failed to properly solicit bids for professional seryices after rejecting all initial bids.
The City made no secret of showing favoritism toward MEDC, throughout the initial bidding process.
The City openly showed favoritism toward MEDC during the second bidding process by making the requirements impossible for any bidder to meet other than MEDC.
The City openly showed favoritism toward MEDC durmg the second bidding by paying for and then giving MEDC the industrial park required to meet the requirements of the second bidding process.
The City openly showed favoritism toward MEDC durmg the second bidding process by considering no other bids.
The actions of the city deprived Mays & Associates of a property interest, namely the awarding of the initial contract.

The L awsuit continues,
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for appropriate compensatory damages, for
declaratory judgment that the Defendants have violated Arkansas’ competitive
bidding statutes, for a permanent injunction prohibiting Defendants from ever again engaging m the poUcies and practices complained of herein, for a trial by jury, for both pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, for reasonable attorney fees, for costs, and for all of the proper relief.

3 Responses to “Special Judge Hears Motions in Mays vs. City Lawsuit Over 2015 MEDC Contract Decision – Case Continues on Track to Trial”

  1. ArTravlR says:

    Lowest bidder is not always the right choice, seldom is. Low bids are also an indication the contractor has failed to account for all aspects of the contract. Just look at what the “lowest bid” laws have done to Arkansas roads & school buildings that crumble after a few years of use.

  2. Right is Right says:

    It’s about time

  3. Joe Harrod says:

    I am glad to hear this. I wish you nothing but success in your lawsuit PF Mays. Bring it to the establishment.

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