Government
2:58 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Audit: 'Session Contract Cost Legitimate MBE Companies Millions'

A city audit of the repurposing of the old Richards Gebaur air force base concludes that a company owned by a Port Authority attorney should never have been certified as a qualified minority contractor.

The audit also concludes that the 2007 certification of William Session's TWS Technical Services kept legitimate minority contractors from bidding on more than $10 million worth of work.

City Human Relations Director Phillip Yelder said the deception and similar ones have taught the city a lesson.  He said the city is now taking steps such as site inspections to try to eliminate situations where firms are being utilized as "a front or as a pass-through by a larger GC, and that was what was taking place here.”

Yelder says Session and Kissick Construction collaborated to trick the city into thinking developers had lived up to commitments for use of minority contractors. But he says Kissick's employees and equipment were doing the work.

The most the city could do is ask for a refund of $135,000 from the Port Authority, which is now under new management.

Kissick denies the deception. Session had no comment.