Buncich questions Lake County Jail contractor's minority hiring practices

2012-10-05T18:57:00Z 2012-10-05T21:13:54Z Buncich questions Lake County Jail contractor's minority hiring practicesLU ANN FRANKLIN Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 05, 2012 6:57 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Sheriff John Buncich expressed concerns that the LaPorte-based contractor hired by the Lake County Board of Commissioners to renovate the Lake County Jail isn’t meeting the required Equal Employment Opportunity quotas and isn’t a Lake County contractor

Buncich voiced those concerns about Larson-Danielson Construction Co. at Friday’s commission meeting in the Lake County Government Center.  However, the board’s attorney John Dull said there wasn’t any requirement that the contractor working on the jail must be from the county.

“They don’t have the required 20 percent minority workers. I count three African-Americans, three Hispanics and one female,” Buncich said. These workers also aren’t from Lake County, which Buncich said disturbs him.

Larson-Danielson Construction was the lowest and most responsible bidder for the project that was ordered by the U.S. Department of Justice. The contract was awarded in a 2-1 vote in July by county commissioners.

Commissioner Roosevelt Allen, D-Gary, said Friday he cast the “no” vote because the company worked on a Gary school project and subcontractors used by Larson-Danielson didn’t meet the EEO minority quotas.

Dull said the company’s records will be scrutinized to see if they meet  minority hiring quotas.

“That’s why we’re going to go after them,” the attorney said.

Dull said after the meeting the problem is that there aren’t many minorities in the trades used on these construction projects.

However, Dull said, he and John Reed, the project manager, will go over workers’ timesheets to evaluate the minority hiring.

When asked when that will be done, Dull said, “Soon.”

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