U. of I. Board Kills Multimillion-Dollar Contract

The controversial contract raised conflict of interest concerns

By Ngozi Agomo
|  Friday, Jul 20, 2012  |  Updated 12:20 PM CDT
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U. of  I. Board Kills Multimillion-Dollar Contract

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

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The University of Illinois board of trustees killed a multimillion-dollar contract Thursday.

Earlier in the year, the university granted a $4.6 million contract to an architectural firm BLDD to renovate the 120-year old Natural History Building on the Urbana- Champaign campus, the Chicago tribune repoted.

The owner of the firm however was the key official and the university’s associate director who oversees campus construction planning Jill Maxey’s husband Bruce Maxey. Bruce partially owns 8.9 percent the company which led to some conflict of interest concerns, the report said.

The state requires the university to warn officials about potential personal interest which the university failed to do when the conceptual design plans was awarded two years ago, the report said.

Board Chairman Christopher Kennedy told the Tribune that the board does not want the university to be associated with any more ethical issues which is why they killed the contract.

Though the BLDD has already paid $368,000 for the first plan, the university now wants to rebid the contract which may delay and add cost to the project, the report said.

A principal with the architectural firm BauerLatoza Studio Bill Latoza  is not in favor for rebidding and told the Tribune that it's unnecessary and will add additional cost to taxpayers.
 

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