CLAREMORE — The owner of a demolition business said Thursday he’s not sure if he will submit a second bid on a project after a ruling found members of a Tar Creek trust had violated the state’s Open Meeting Act.
Rogers County District Judge Dwayne Steidley ruled Wednesday the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust, which oversees a federally funded buyout of homes in Picher, wrongfully awarded a $2.1 million contract to Stone’s Backhoe, Dozer and Trucking, a Miami, OK, company. DT Specialized Services filed a civil lawsuit on April 22 in Ottawa County, accusing the trust of violating the Open Meeting Act and the Competitive Bidding Act. The lawsuit was reassigned to Steidley, who ruled Stone’s contract was void. Mark Osborn, trust chairman, declined to comment on the court’s decision. The trust is discussing its legal options, said Charlie Price, spokesman for the state attorney general’s office. "I filed the lawsuit because I am a taxpayer and it was obvious it was an inside deal,” said David J. McAfee, co-owner. "The taxpayers and the people of Picher were going to get fleeced again.” Lloyd Stone was awarded the contract in February to clean up or demolish 156 houses in the Tar Creek area. DT Specialized Services bid $558,988, Midwest Wrecking bid $861,671, K&N Wrecking bid $1,447,971 and Stone’s Backhoe, Dozer and Trucking bid $2.1 million, according to the petition. "There was nothing improper,” said Lloyd Stone.