Friday, January 30, 2009

Synagro, City of Detroit Agree to Void Tainted Contract

Within days of James Rosendall's guilty plea in federal court to bribery charges (reported here), Synagro Technologies and the City of Detroit have reached an agreement to terminate the $1.2 billion sludge contract at the center of a still-unfolding public corruption scandal.

As outlined in a DWSD Press Release (here) and as reported by the Detroit Free Press on January 29, 2009:

"City officials called Synagro President Robert Boucher this morning and asked if Synagro would agree to terminate the contract. Boucher immediately accepted, understanding the taint that former Synagro vice president James Rosendall’s guilty plea put on the deal.

“I think they recognized that the contract could not be allowed to continue,” Detroit Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. said. “If we have a contract that has been let and approved by the City of Detroit and we have a representative … who has pled guilty in a court of law to paying bribes, the contract at least on the surface obviously appears to be tainted.”
"Darci McConnell, a spokesperson for Synagro, issued a statement on behalf of the company, expressing its disappointment.

“We reached this mutual decision with the city because it was appropriate under the circumstances,” she said. “We at Synagro take our, legal, ethical and environmental obligations seriously, and we are confident that the controls we have in place will ensure that inappropriate behavior will not be repeated.”
"Synagro’s agreement to terminate the contract without a fight saves the city from what would have been a costly legal fight to void the contract."

Click here for the rest of the story

This story is reported by the Detroit Free Press (here and here).

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