FBI investigating Oak Lawn roofing contract with firm connected to Trustee Robert Streit
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org December 13, 2012 4:38PM
The Oak Lawn Public Works facility Thursday, December 13, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 15, 2013 11:32AM
The FBI is investigating a deal in which a company with political, familial and business connections to an Oak Lawn trustee got a six-figure contract to replace the roof on the public works building, even though two companies submitted lower bids on the work.
The FBI issued a grand jury subpoena to village manager Larry Deetjen on Wednesday, asking him to produce all documents related to the bid process and selection of Joliet-based Adler Roofing and Sheet Metal to repair the Oak Lawn public works building.
The subpoena requests proposals, bid specifications, bid packets, vendor bids, meeting minutes and all correspondence related to the project. The requested materials are due back to the grand jury by 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago.
The SouthtownStar previously reported that the village board on Nov. 3 voted 4-3 to pay Adler Roofing $166,085 to replace the roof on the building at 98th Street and Central Avenue. Public works director Steve Barrett recommended the board hire Adler Roofing because it was one of only two bidders to specify when it would start on the project.
Trustees Thomas Duhig (4th), Thomas Phelan (6th) and Alex Olejniczak (2nd) voted against the deal. Mayor Dave Heilmann and his allies on the board — trustees Cynthia Trautsch (1st), Robert Streit (3rd) and Carol Quinlan (5th) — voted for the contract.
Streit’s brother, Mike, works at Adler Roofing as an estimator; Streit’s political committee received more than $2,900 from the company going back to 2009; and Adler Roofing previously bought $20,000 in material and equipment from Streit’s company, Seal-Tite Roofing and Construction.
Two companies offered to do the work for less. DCG Roofing Solutions submitted a bid for $161,176 and CSR Roofing estimated a cost of $162,995.
During a village board meeting Tuesday, trustees canceled the contract with Adler Roofing and voted to have an engineer prepare an independent evaluation of the roof. The board will seek new bids on the project when the evaluation is done.
Deetjen put the cancelation of the contract on the agenda after he learned the village’s attorneys never reviewed the bid documents for the project.
He also said Streit gave the public works department an unapproved document that was inserted into the bid specification package. The document contained language that Adler Roofing and another company interpreted as requiring their bids to include a start date.
Deetjen also said the public works department did not rely on an engineer to inspect the roof and help prepare bid specifications. Instead, he said Adler Roofing was called and asked to take a look at the roof.
Phelan on Tuesday called Adler Roofing’s proposal “a steered bid” and said the work should have been awarded to the low bidder.
Streit accused Phelan of manufacturing the issue to smear his name, saying the contract was “the perfect excuse for some people to defame the mayor, myself and the roofing company.”
“Adler Roofing is a private company that has been attacked because it employs my brother,” he said. “It’s disgusting and disgraceful. This village has gotten so political now, we can’t even put a roof on.”
On Thursday, Deetjen confirmed the FBI subpoena but refused to comment on the situation.
“We intend to fully comply with their request for information and the deadline they’ve asked for,” Deetjen said.
Heilmann on Thursday evening said the village’s attorneys advised him not to speak to anyone about the investigation, but the subpoena “shouldn’t surprise anybody since we were under investigation.”
FBI spokeswoman Joan Hyde declined to comment Thursday.
Adler Roofing president Mike Adler, Streit and Phelan did not return calls seeking comment.
Contributing: Bob Rakow