Sheriff turns builder over to attorney general
Second-lowest bidder chosen for project
The low bidder for a new 39,000 square-foot law enforcement complex submitted a fraudulent bid bond, causing Sheriff Greg Champagne to go with Aegis Construction Company, the second-lowest bidder.
Champagne decided to go with Aegis after determining that the lowest bidder, Parish General Contractors, had submitted a fraudulent bid bond. A bid bond is debt secured by a bidder for a construction job for the purpose of providing a guarantee to the project owner that the bidder will take on the job if selected.
Champagne said that Parish General Contractors never got that bond, though they indicated that they had done so with their bid.
“Not only did we decide to go with the second-lowest bidder because of that, but I turned the matter over to the Louisiana attorney general for a criminal investigation,” Champagne said.
Aegis submitted a base bid of $6.93 million, which was around $600,000 more than the bid submitted by Parish General Contractors.
“I would love to have built the project for $6.3 million,” Champagne said. “I am required to accept the second-lowest bid because it is a valid bid that was under budget.”
Champagne’s budget for the project is $7 million.
The new facility will consolidate the office’s patrol, K-9, marine, traffic, criminal investigations, juvenile investigations, special investigations, special operations and crime scene investigations under one roof.
“The efficiency and information sharing aspects of our agency will be dramatically increased as a result of this move,” Champagne said. “In addition, the two-story complex will be able to serve as a Category 3 command center when storms threaten the parish.”
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