KANSAS CITY, MO. — Kansas City, Missouri, could face a Federal Aviation Administration investigation as it responds to a discrimination complaint over a $70 million contract awarded for the new single-terminal construction project at Kansas City International Airport.
ESCO Construction, the losing bidder, asked the the FAA to look into the KCMO City Council's intervention into the bidding process for concrete. A sub-contractor for the losing bidder also filed a complaint, alleging discrimination against the city council.
ESCO, based in Colorado, partnered with Kansas City-based G2 Construction Services, a female-owned business, to submit a bid for the contract to provide concrete work for the KCI project. ESCO and G2 originally were told they were the lowest bid, the most qualified company and would be awarded the contract.
Later, the council announced it was concerned about having adequate female and minority businesses on the project and asked ESCO and Missouri-based Ideker to resubmit bids. Ideker was awarded the contract.
Lisa Garney, president G2 Construction Services, filed a federal complaint against Kansas City claiming discrimination.
"We lost a major contract. It's a hit," Garney said. "We invested a lot of money and we were the best team to do the job; even if you take the woman-owned business side out of this and the discrimination that we've endured along the way."
District 2 Councilwoman Teresa Loar told 41 Action News that the City Council should not be involved in the bidding process.
"I've had a number of years down here at City Hall, and I have never seen a council intervene in a sealed bid," Loar said. "This is the first time. I knew we were going to be in trouble when this started happening and sure enough here we are."
Loar said she is concerned that a federal investigation could delay construction if the federal government withholds funding.
The FAA is reviewing ESCO's request for a federal investigation into the councils actions that resulted in ESCO and G2 losing the contract bid.