Report: No special favors given to city contractor

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - City inspectors have concluded there were no special favors given to a city contractor by a public works employee that could have led to a multimillion-dollar contract.

A complaint was filed with the city in 2015 alleging special favors were given to a company, Jax Utilities Management, which was doing work for the public works department. 

The complaint said the contract process was overseen by public works employee William Lawrence, who has ties to company employees, and alleges that he gave them special consideration. It also said he received gifts from the company.

The inspector general’s office wasn’t able to prove Lawrence gave the company preferential treatment. It did find one case of an overpayment of $55,000 to the company, which was less than the amount in the complaint, but it couldn’t prove the overpayment was intentional.

The inspector general also was not able to prove the accusation related to gifts to Lawrence.

The mayor’s office agreed with the report’s findings and said employees involved in the contract process should get more training related to the process.

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