It turns out the Judicial Council isn’t just suing one contractor for performing courthouse work without a license. Jacobs Facilities Inc. has unwillingly joined Aleut Global Solutions as a defendant in the Council’s multimillion-dollar litigation.
In a complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court, the Council claims that Jacobs Facilities let its contractor’s license lapse for an unspecified period of time after it was hired in 2006 to perform maintenance work at Southern California court buildings. State records show that Jacobs Facilities’ license expired in November 2008. AOC officials say that Jacobs Facilities’ parent company restructured and recently shifted the courthouse contract to a new, properly licensed entity, Jacobs Project Management Co.
The lawsuit doesn’t seek specific damages, though any payout could be significant. The Judicial Council has paid Jacobs Facilities $18.3 million for work into this year, according to the Administrative Office of the Courts.
The AOC is mum, and the whistleblower cries foul, after the jump.
The Judicial Council sued Jacobs Facilities on Dec. 7, the same day it filed suit against Aleut Global Solutions. AGS has not had a valid contractor’s license at any point during its three-year contract to maintain court buildings in Northern California, according to the AOC and the State Contractors License Board.
AOC officials never mentioned the Jacobs Facilities lawsuit at the time Legal Pad asked about the AGS filing, and they certainly haven’t trumpeted their efforts to recover any money since then. Nor have they offered an explanation for why nobody verified that AGS and Jacobs had the proper licenses.
The AOC employee who alerted the public to the unlicensed work, IT analyst Michael Paul, now says that supervisors have removed his computer engineering duties and shifted his work to building management, putting him in contact with people he “blew the whistle on.” Paul said the supervisors insisted the move was not a demotion, although he calls it retaliatory.
AOC spokesman Philip Carrizosa said he could not comment on Paul’s claims because they involve personnel matters. (Update: An hour or so after this post went live, Paul Allen in the AOC communications office sent us a detailed email whose central thesis was that Michael Paul wasn't demoted or retaliated against. We'll leave it at that, lest the post devolve into a verbal slugfest.)
— Cheryl Miller
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