The Wayne County, Mich., prosecutor has charged three current and former county employees with felonies and misdemeanors for misconduct and neglect of duty in allegedly failing to inform county commissioners of increases in the cost of a partly completed jail project. Days after charging the three, the county announced it had settled its claims in state court against the project's at-risk construction manager.
Officials of the construction manager, a joint venture of Walbridge Aldinger Co., Detroit, and dck Worldwide, Pittsburgh, could not be reached for comment. A Wayne County spokesman said that, under the settlement, the county would pay the construction manager about $6.7 million; however, because of money owed to the venture, the terms were in the county's favor. Claims against the jail project's designer and project manager, a joint venture of AECOM and Ghafari Associates, have not yet been settled, said the spokesman.
The county's building authority suspended work on the project in June 2013, terminated its agreement with the construction manager in August and now, before deciding what to do, is weighing alternative proposals from developers. The conflict centers on the almost $49-million increase from the initial cost—$220 million or less to complete the project, cited in the county's contracts with the designer and project manager—and the final issue guaranteed maximum price, of $269 million.
Much more unusual than an owner suing all the members of a project team are the charges against former county chief financial officer Carla Sledge, county assistant corporation counsel Steven M. Collins and county project representative Anthony Parlovecchio, who had been a member of the county staff.
Attorneys for the three could not be reached prior to their scheduled arraignments on Sept. 23. Sledge and Collins face felony charges for misconduct for allegedly giving false or misleading information about the project to the county commissioners. Parlovecchio faces a misdemeanor charge for neglect of duty.