DENVER (AP) — Mortensen Construction will pay half of a $9 million settlement to the city of Denver to resolve claims that it and a developer violated the city’s public procurement rules during the early stages of planned renovation work at the Colorado Convention Center.
Mortenson Construction and Trammel Crow Company must pay $4.5 million each and issue a public apology to the city, according to the settlement. Mortenson also will not be allowed to bid on city contracts for three years, KUSA-TV reported Wednesday.
“This case involved a serious breach of Denver’s well-established procurement rules by companies that should have known better,” Mayor Michael Hancock said.
In 2018, the Denver City Attorney’s Office found that over the course of bidding on the project, city documents were improperly released, improper discussions of the project took place and project plans that were approved were altered.
In December of that year, Hancock said the concerns prompted the city to terminate its contract with Trammell Crow, which was was providing program management services for the expansion project.
The city council first approved more than $21 million in contracts for the convention-center expansion in early 2018 after Denver hotel owners had agreed to a 1% increase in lodging taxes, as well as a bond sale to pay for what was expected to be a $233 million revamp of the center.
The expansion called for the addition of an 80,000-square-foot meeting and ballroom space, as well as a 50,000-square-foot outdoor terrace atop of the existing building.
In July, the City and County of Denver recommended that Greeley-based Hensel Phelps Construction move forward with the project’s design and construction.