By Adam Pagnucco.
Delegate Kirill Reznik (D-39) has written to the Board of Public Works asking them to reject an engineering and management contract awarded by the Maryland Department of Transportation for its planned expansion of the Capital Beltway and I-270. According to the Washington Post, the winning consortium included a former employer of the state’s Secretary of Transportation and was awarded the contract despite finishing second in its written proposal. The Secretary did not vote directly on the contract, but he had dinner with a representative of his former employer and obtained an ethics clearance after the award was made. Post reporter Michael Laris described the bidding process as “expedited and unusual” and wrote:
The winning firms, known collectively as the “general engineering consultant,” would act as something of a shadow government for the Maryland Department of Transportation, which says its plan to hire firms to build, finance and maintain toll lanes is too big and complex to govern itself.
Referring to much of the above, Delegate Reznik said he was “incredibly alarmed” and asked the Board of Public Works to “restart the process in an open, fair, public, and transparent way, without the involvement of potential conflicts, and only after the public has had an opportunity to weigh in.” We reprint his letter below.