06/18/04 — County sued over landfill bid

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County sued over landfill bid

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 18, 2004 1:59 PM

A contractor from Autryville is suing the Wayne County commissioners and an engineering consultant and his company for more than $240,000 over the county board's decision to award a construction bid to another company.

ES&J Enterprises Inc. contends in its lawsuit that the other company, R.M. Soderquist Inc., was not qualified to perform construction work in Phase 2 at the county landfill.

ES&J says it submitted a construction bid in response to the county board's solicitation. Soderquist offered the lowest bid, $2,832,826, but the suit alleges that Soderquist did not have the necessary public utilities license to perform the work.

ES&J says it offered the lowest responsible bid. Lloyd Cook, the landfill supervisor, said the bid was for $3,328,066.

The Autryville company also contends that it protested the bidding to D. Wayne Sullivan, the project manager for Municipal Engineering Services Co., but to no avail.

ES&J contends that the county violated two general statutes and the due-process and equal protection clauses in the North Carolina Constitution.

The company also alleges that Sullivan and his company made numerous misrepresentations and non-disclosures to the county board and to the N.C. Licensing Board, engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices and interfered in a contract between ES&J and the county.

ES&J also contends that it was damaged financially because of negligent misrepresentations of the defendants.

ES&J is seeking at least $10,000 for each of its eight allegations and then is asking for triple damages. The company is represented by lawyer Anne Runheim of Raleigh.

The defendants have not answered the lawsuit. County officials were not available today for comment.