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Article updated: 5/31/2013 8:59 PM

Troubled contractor withdraws District 214 bid

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A local contractor with a long line of legal issues has withdrawn its bid for work with Northwest Suburban High School District 214 after the company's troubles came to light in a Daily Herald report earlier this week, officials said.

District spokeswoman Venetia Miles said that district officials asked North Suburban Asphalt to withdraw its bid for more than $90,000 worth of sealcoating, crack-filling and striping work at the district parking lots.

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The company complied, taking back its proposal on Thursday, she said.

Because the company withdrew its bid, there was no cost to either side to get out of the contract, she said.

Miles said District 214 will pursue a contract with the next-lowest bidder -- Mokena-based Denlar Inc. for $104, 075 -- after officials finish vetting the company.

On May 23, North Suburban Asphalt, of Niles, was awarded a $93,214 contract with District 214 to do parking lots. Documents received by the Daily Herald the next week showed that North Suburban and its owner have been accused by other government agencies of not performing the work they were contracted for, not paying employees the legal wages required for publicly funded projects, falsifying documents and contracts and being unresponsive to municipalities that have contracted them for services.

North Suburban Asphalt owner Alan Harris is facing felony charges of theft of government property and mail fraud. The business is also finishing a two-year suspension that prevented it from getting any Illinois Department of Transportation contracts during that time.

Earlier this month, the College of Lake County put a sealcoating contract with North Suburban on hold because of the indictment, according to published reports. The sealcoating was to be at the college's Southlake Campus in Vernon Hills.

North Suburban Asphalt Maintenance declined to comment on the legal issues at the company, and Harris did not respond to requests for comment.

Miles said the issue with this contractor may lead to more intense vetting procedures in the future for District 214.

"We're evaluating our procedures and more than likely we will be making some changes and revisions to that process," Miles said.

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