Las Vegas Sun

November 30, 2015

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Construction company sues city over Mob Museum bid

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An unsuccessful bidder for the Las Vegas Mob Museum project asked a court Tuesday to intervene and award it the job.

Flagship Construction Co. sued the city of Las Vegas in Clark County District Court, saying it twice was the lowest responsible bidder for the job -- but that the work was eventually wrongly awarded to competitor APCO Construction for $11.5 million.

A city spokeswoman said the city would have no comment on the pending litigation.

Flagship said in its lawsuit it was the lowest bidder in the initial round of bidding in September, but that the city then changed the bidding rules midstream and ordered a second round of bidding.

The decision to throw out the first set of bids and start over with a new set of specifications came after APCO challenged Flagship's qualifications for work on historical projects as well as the qualifications of two Flagship subcontractors, the lawsuit said.

Flagship insisted it was qualified for work on historical structures, citing its work on the La Concha lobby renovation for the Neon Museum.

"Flagship was placed at a significant disadvantage in the second bid, as APCO and all other bidders knew their low number," said the lawsuit.

In the second round of bidding, APCO submitted the low bid.

But Flagship said APCO's bid was not responsive because it failed to demonstrate adequate experience in historical renovations, included a subcontractor it knew could not perform the work and didn't disclose it's in litigation over breach of contract claims against it.

Flagship also claimed the City Council, which awarded the job to APCO July 1, was wrong when it failed to take into account:

-- A lawsuit the city is involved with against APCO over construction of a city park.

-- Problems Flagship claims APCO had in building the Aliante Library for North Las Vegas.

-- The breach of contract claims. Flagship cited a breach of contract lawsuit between APCO and a company called Gemstone. Flagship didn't specify what case it was referring to -- there are several pending cases involving APCO and various Gemstone companies.

Flagship seeks an order requiring the city to re-evaluate APCO's bid in conformity with state contracting laws, and an order from the court awarding it the job.

The Mob Museum, officially called the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, is to be developed at the old U.S. Post Office and Courthouse Building on Stewart Avenue.

Tuesday's lawsuit was filed by attorneys Mark Ferrario, William Wray and Leslie Godfrey of the firm Greenberg Traurig LLP.

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