March 13, 2014, Contact: Press Office (518) 474-4015
DiNapoli Rejects DOT Contract due to Unanswered Questions About Contractor
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today rejected a state Department of Transportation (DOT) contract with Whitestone, N.Y.-based Limnes Corp. for $4.7 million for painting bridges in Nassau and Suffolk counties citing its ties to two companies debarred by the state for prevailing wage violations.
“This company appears to be closely affiliated with two other entities that have been in serious trouble and are forbidden to do business with the state,” DiNapoli said. “The Department of Transportation should have investigated Limnes’ affiliations and had concrete answers before awarding this contract. There are many companies competing for work right now and the state should make certain that it puts public projects into the hands of companies that will follow the rules.”
Limnes is located at 154-15 Cross Island Parkway, Whitestone. The contract was a $4.7 million contract to paint 13 NYS DOT bridges in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
During the contract review, DiNapoli’s staff identified several serious concerns about Limnes and the lack of due diligence in the contracting process by DOT.
The primary concern is Limnes’ connection to Matsos Contracting Corporation, which Limnes disclosed to DOT. Matsos was debarred by the state Department of Labor (DOL) in February 2010 from doing business with the state until 2015. At that time, DOL determined that Matsos was the alter ego of another entity, GBE Contracting Corp., which failed to pay prevailing wages and falsified payroll records. Limnes did not disclose the debarment of Matsos, as required. DOT had access to the information showing that both of these companies were debarred.
The State Comptroller reviews and approves contracts for all state agencies and some contracts for state public authorities. While DiNapoli’s office legally has 90 days to review contracts, most are approved within 15 days, and one-quarter are approved within five days. In State Fiscal Year 2012-13, the Comptroller’s office reviewed approximately 23,700 transactions totaling $49 billion.
Click here to see the rejection letter to DOT.