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Colorado Convention Center bidding misconduct leads to $9 million settlement

Trammel Crow Company and Mortenson Construction must pay $4.5 million each and issue a public apology to the city, according to the settlement.

The Outdoor Retailer Snow Show takes place at the Colorado Convention Center on January 29, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The show opens on January 30 and runs through Feb. 1, 2019. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Denver will receive a $9 million settlement to resolve claims against a construction company and a developer that violated the city’s public procurement rules during the early stages of planned renovation work at the Colorado Convention Center.

Trammel Crow Company and Mortenson Construction 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 agreed to a 1% increase in lodging taxes, as well as a bond sale aimed at funding what was expected to be a $233 million revamp of the facility.

The expansion includes the addition of an 80,000-square-foot meeting and ballroom space, as well as a 50,000-square-foot outdoor terrace on top 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.

Rising Sun