The lawsuit against the contractors responsible for shoddy workmanship, legal bills footed by taxpayers, and the lovely drapes on our courthouse drags on.
The Freeholders under Lou Magazzu, attempting to protect their friends, refused to file a lawsuit until it was almost too late. Fortunately pressure from concerned citizens such as those behind MWatch forced the issue.
The time limit to file expires next month, Lou Magazzu has allowed the case to drag on to the very cusp and understandably the defendants are in no hurry to file anything.
The problem, as reported in The News:
The Cumberland County freeholder board filed a complaint in 2007 against Vitetta, Gilbane Building Company, Arthur J. Ogren Inc. and Continental Cast Stone, alleging that failure to properly construct a 1995 addition to the courthouse resulted in serious water damage to the building.
It is estimated repairs to the building would cost between $8.4 million and $16 million.
$8-16 million is a BIG mistake. No where is there any mention of the alleged news that the basement windows that flooded were installed backwards. It seems the repairs will cost more than the original construction. AND – these construction outfits have been allowed to big on, and get new work in the county.
Is it me, or would it be prudent to wait and see how the lawsuit shakes out before we throw more money at a comapny that is possibly at fault?
I find this particularly amusing:
Cumberland County officials hope that the lawsuit will result in the county being able to recoup some of the money it must spend to repair the courthouse facade.
Lou wants to recoup SOME of the money – still leaving taxpayers responsible for a problem caused by the contractors. I don’t know, weren’t there blueprints of the new project? Wasn’t there a foreman or supervisor that checked on the work? Aren’t there county building code inspectors that are supposed to ensure that work is up to code, and according to plan? Why the cover-up for ten years?
Could it be that Vitteta Group is a major Democrat campaign contributor in South Jersey, pumping tons of cash into the Camden and Gloucester machines, as well as smaller contributions to persons such as Ed Salmon? To be fair, Vitetta contributes to Republican campaigns in areas where the R’s are in the majority.
Gilbane, a major Republican contributor, still managed to find a few extra dollars in his wallet for Camden County Democrats. To their credit Ogren and Continental Cast Stone seem to be apolitical, I can find no trail of contributions to any party; at least not on the surface.
As always, stay tuned…