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Mortenson to pay $650,000, work to build COVID-19 overflow hospital in bid-rigging settlement

Mortenson was one of the companies bidding to be the contractor for the Colorado Convention Center expansion project.

DENVER — Construction company Mortenson has agreed to pay $650,000 and will donate construction services for a project in the state related to needs that have arisen from the COVID-19 public health emergency. Mortenson was under investigation for its part in an alleged bid-rigging scheme related to Denver's plans to upgrade and expand the Colorado Convention Center.

The Office of the Attorney General investigated for more than a year whether Mortenson had violated the Colorado Antitrust Act when it competed to become the general contractor of the multi-million dollar expansion project.

According to Attorney General Phil Weiser, the investigation uncovered strong evidence that employees from Mortenson and Trammell Crow, the city's program manager, exchanged confidential information about the project and procurement process that was not shared with other potential bidders. 

Weiser said the communication between Trammell Crow and Mortenson unfairly benefited Mortenson and violated the Colorado Antitrust Act. 

"Today’s announcement shows we will hold accountable those companies and individuals that undermine the competitive bidding process when they bid for public construction projects and put millions of taxpayer dollars at risk," Weiser said. "The silver lining is Coloradans will benefit from additional resources to respond to needs we have from the COVID-19 pandemic in our state.”   

Under the agreement, Mortenson will pay all of its own costs of service and constructions costs, including building materials and costs of any subcontractor and design services for the yet unannounced project. The cost of the project will be no less than $650,000. The two parts of the settlement total $1.3 million.

The settlement also requires that Mortenson establish a comprehensive compliance program and disclose the existence of the agreement when it bids on any public constriction projects in Colorado over the next two years. 

The AG office's investigation into Trammell Crow and its representative for the expansion project is ongoing. 

RELATED: Denver officials believe emails detail funny business in convention center expansion project

RELATED: Mayor asks DA to investigate ‘misconduct’ in Colorado Convention Center expansion contracts

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