Thursday, September 14, 2006

State Says Court Can't Award Prism Damages

An Ozaukee Court has no authority to award damages in a lawsuit brought by a developer who claims it was cheated out of the $55 million Kennilworth dormitory project at the UW-Milwaukee after the project, according to a filing by the state.

Assistant Attorney General Richard Braun, representing the state, argues that there are four cases that set a precedent that "public bidding statutes are only for the benefit and protection of the public," making the lawsuit by developer Prism moot.

A hearing is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 21 to rule on a motion of dismissal brought by the state. Judge Paul Malloy in Ozaukee County is overseeing the case.

Prism, a three-member partnership, was originally awarded the contract in August 2003, but the project was later re-bid by the state Building Commission after another bidder raised objections to the process. A third company, Weas, was awarded the contract in March 2005 following a second bidding procedure.

The company blames former DOA Secretary and now-Doyle campaign chair Marc Marotta for engineering the re-bid, and the move came under fire because Weas executives had given donations to Doyle's campaign fund. Prism is seeking $5 million in damages.

Prism's attorney Joseph Cincotta argues the state rendered an injunction "academic" because Weas had already been awarded the contract and had begun work before Prism's last appeals were denied on June 6, 2005. Thus, the company should be awarded damages to compensate it for its losses.

See the state's reply brief in support of dismissal:

See the surreply filing from Prism:


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