by Max Grossman
Erik Elken of KVIA aired an exclusive report last night revealing that ZTEX Construction, Inc. filed two lawsuits against the City of El Paso over of its plan to award lucrative contracts to its competitors.
The lawsuits allege the City failed to assign sufficient points to ZTEX during the bidding process, and they aim to force the City to re-evaluate the bids.
In the November 8 election, voters passed Proposition A, authorizing the City to spend $246,480,000 for streets as part of the Community Progress (to Insolvency) Bond.
Obviously, street repair should be covered by the General Fund, but because our City Council has spent us into a gigantic black hole, they decided to finance the work with a nine-figure bond and drive us deeper into debt.
Christopher Hernandez, managing partner of the political consulting firm Fair Data, was paid by special interests to establish the local PAC “El Paso Progress,” which sent out mailers to convince El Pasoans to support Proposition A, resulting in higher taxation and more deficit spending.
Fast-forward to June 20, when our City Council was about to award street paving contracts to International Eagle Enterprises, Inc. and Allied Paving Co. of El Paso, Inc. totaling $34,051,687.60, under agenda items 37 and 38.
Apparently ready to strike, ZTEX had already filed its two lawsuits on June 15, the day the items appeared on the agenda.
As a result, a judge issued temporary restraining orders in time for the June 20 meeting, compelling the City to remove items 37 and 38 from the agenda.
ZTEX claims they risk going out of business if they are not awarded the contracts because they had a “reasonable expectation” they would have the winning bids.
That is very interesting.
Why was ZTEX so convinced that they would be awarded $34 million worth of contracts from our City, to the point that they would risk the survival their business?