From DailyBreeze.com: The firm managing construction at West Los Angeles College has been terminated, Los Angeles Community College District Board President Miguel Santiago says. Turner Construction Company which oversaw the district's building efforts at the campus, has signed a settlement that not only removed it from further work, but also prohibited it from seeking new contracts before 2015.
From The Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles County prosecutors are investigating possible criminal wrongdoing by two major contractors in connection with the $5.7 billion campus construction program in the Los Angeles Community College District. The district's inspector general has alleged that companies owned by Art Gastelum and Nizar Katbi submitted fraudulent billings for construction work at Mission College.
NOVEMBER 2011...from The Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Community College District is moving to fire a third major contractor it has accused of mismanagement in its $5.7 billion construction program as part of a crackdown on waste and abuse in the campus rebuilding program. The district accused Turner Construction Company, which supervised West Los Angeles College's construction program, of failing to inform the district that approval of projects at the campus would cause a $123 million budget shortfall. Four major buildings on the Culver City campus had to be abandoned or cut back when officials realized they couldn't afford them, the district says.
OCTOBER 2011...from The Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Community College District is moving to fire a contractor accused of shoddy workmanship and fraud in the construction of a classroom complex at Los Angeles Valley College that became a symbol of problems with the district's $5.7 billion campus rebuilding program. The district wants to bar the contractor, FTR International, from campus work for up to five years. The district cited "substandard work" by FTR on its $48-million contract to build the Allied Health and Science complex at Valley College. The district also says FTR filed a "false and fraudulent" report on the project with the state architect.
Earlier...from The Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley has opened an inquiry into allegations of irregularities in the Los Angeles Community College District's choice of a watchdog for its $5.7 billion construction program. The D.A.'s public integrity division is examining why the college district hired a newly formed company, Policy Masters Inc., as inspector general over higher-ranked candidates. The company's founder, Christine E. Marez, had no background in independent audits and investigations. State Controller John Chiang, in an August audit, concluded that the district broke its own bidding rules in hiring Marez.
SEPTEMBER 2011 .... From The Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Community College District has asked City Controller Wendy Greuel to investigate allegations that its selection of a watchdog to police its troubled campus construction program was rigged. In a recent audit of the $5.7-billion program, state Controller John Chiang's office cited "possible malfeasance" in the district's hiring of Christine E. Marez as inspector general and urged an independent investigation. Marez's newly formed company, Policy Masters Inc., was chosen last year over higher-rated applicants, even though she had no experience as an independent auditor or investigator. From 1998 to 2003, Marez worked for a construction management firm owned by Art Gastelum, a leading campaign donor and fundraiser for the district's elected board members and a major contractor on the construction program.