AG’s office: Gloucester charter school violated bidding laws

Tell me again why Paul Reville and Mitchell Chester still work for the Commonwealth

By Britt Braudo

Cape Ann Beacon

Sep 15, 2010

Gloucester – The Gloucester Community Arts Charter School Board of Trustees violated bidding laws when choosing the location of its facility and must submit new plans, the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a letter to the charter’s lawyers on Wednesday.

In a letter to Colin Zick of Foley Hoag LLP, the charter school’s legal counsel, Assistant Attorney General Jed M. Nosal said the GCACS violated the public construction bid law and the designer selection law when it entered a lease with the owners of its facility at 2 Blackburn Drive in Gloucester. The building previously housed the Cape Ann Medical Center.

“We request that the GCACS immediately come into compliance with these laws and submit a compliance plan to this office on or before Sept. 24, 2010,” Nosal wrote.

“After investigation of the bidding practices related to the lease, we have determined that the GCACS, a public charter school, entered into the Lease that included design and substantial construction without adhering to the competitive bid laws and the designer selection law that govern such procurement,” Nosal said.

“The source of the money to pay for the construction is public taxpayer funds, which will be used to pay the landlord back in the form of lease payments over this extended period of time,” Nosal said.

Nosal said the use of design services, mostly to construct the modular classrooms on the site meant for use until the permanent building was complete later this fall, qualifies as “design services” and is a further indication that competitive bidding laws apply.

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