San Francisco settlement
in Tutor-Saliba suit
By Adam Martin, Bay City News Service
February 23, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco City Attorney Dennis
Herrera today announced a $19 million settlement with construction
company Tutor-Saliba, which the city had accused of overbilling
for work performed at the San Francisco International Airport.
San Francisco sued the Southern California-based firm in November
2002, claiming Tutor-Saliba and its partners defrauded the city
out of millions of dollars by overcharging for work done on the
airport's new international terminal. The suit also alleged that
the company falsely claimed to be using minority subcontractors
in order to comply with city affirmative action laws.
"I'm extremely gratified at the result,'' Herrera said of
the settlement in an interview today. "It represents a fair
and equitable result for the citizens of San Francisco and at
the same time protects the integrity of our contracting program.''
Herrera faced resistance while pursuing the federal suit, including
a Tutor-Saliba defamation suit against him personally and a legal
challenge of the city's suit by the company. Both of those filings
were thrown out of court.
Herrera said the city currently has no plans to grant Tutor-Saliba
contracts in the future, but that the suit does not close the
door to such a possibility.
"It was no secret to anybody that this was a hard-fought
piece of litigation and despite that, I'd like to tip my hat to
Tutor for their willingness to sit down and negotiate,'' Herrera
"It was just the appropriate thing to do given the issue
of legal fees and costs,'' Tutor-Saliba owner Ronald Tutor said
in an interview today.
"I want to put it behind us.''
Tutor said the conflict was not with the airport, but rather
with city attorney Dennis Herrera specifically. He said the company
does not intend to do any more work for the city of San Francisco.
Tutor refused to comment further on the suit, saying he stands
behind the joint statement issued by the city and contractor.
That statement indicates that the settlement "allows the
parties to refocus their resources on the important work ahead
for both in continuing to improve public infrastructure to meet
the complex transportation challenges that the San Francisco Bay
Area faces in the coming years."
Tutor-Saliba has contracted with other entities, such as Caltrans,
on numerous Bay Area projects including the San Francisco Bay
Bridge approach and a retrofit of the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.
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