Lawsuit filed in Wayne County Jail fiasco

By Rod Meloni, Local 4 Business Editor, @RodMeloni
Published On: Oct 31 2013 06:52:06 PM EDT

Questions over who is responsible for the Wayne County Jail project have been raised in a newly filed lawsuit.

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. -

The Wayne County Jail project has turned into a hundred million dollar hole in the ground.

Now - the finger pointing is just starting to begin.  A new lawsuit filed by the County - accuses the companies who managed the project of doing nothing of the sort. Racking up huge cost over-runs that ultimately led construction to be stopped.

Related: Can Bob Ficano salvage his failed jail?

If you are a Wayne County Taxpayer you may want to read the lawsuit paperwork. It tells us things we did not know like this failed jail project was not only $100 million over budget – but a year behind schedule! Now the county is saying it wants all its money back for what you see here.

Wayne county and its building authority sunk $154 million dollars into the failed jail... And it wants all that money back.

Attorney Gary August is the man charged with going after it. It's the position of the authority and the county that money would not have been spent if they had known from the beginning that the GMP would exceed the amount they could spend to build the project.

Three names: Aecom Ghfari and Walbridge-dck were the architect, engineer and program mangers... The suit says: The authority negotiated a written procedure that was designed to prevent Aecom Ghafari, and/or Walbridge-dck from increasing the cost of the project without first getting written approval from the authority to do so, something the authority never gave to anyone at any point.

The suit claims the construction teams did not work together and says Walbridge-dck asserted to Aecom that it was entitled to nearly 500 potential change orders - totaling millions of dollars.

View/download: County, Building Authority's lawsuit

There were disastrous mistakes: Prisoner cells had been designed without doors, omission of horizontal smoke evacuation duct work, improper design of structural concrete, failure to properly design security devices and cameras.

The only company to respond to local four was AECOM.
The statement reads: We have not received the filing, and we cannot comment on pending matters, however, the reported claims are without merit.  We performed on the project per the terms of the contract and per the direction of the county.  We have continued to work with the county and are disappointed that it has chosen to pursue litigation.

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