Another day, another clumsy contractor. Alan Hevesi‘s auditors issued a report today that Grace Industries, one of the city’s largest heavy construction companies, which has worked on the World Trade Center recovery project, the Queensborough Bridge and plenty of other municipal projects, overbilled the state Department of Transportation for $3 million on the West Side Highway reconstruction. The audit found that it was a two-way street when it came to irregularities on the project. In addition to the company’s inappropriate actions, charging the state triple the appropriate amount for their workers’ unemployment insurance and double the rate for equipment costs, the DOT’s engineer-in-chief was cited for preparing false certification and payment requests for timber sheeting and rodent control.
Last April, Hevesi’s office completed a draft audit of the company’s overbilling and sent it to the state DOT for response. Two months earlier, on February 13, 2004, the timing of which may raise some eyebrows, the company’s president, Richard A. Grace, contributed $1,000 to Hevesi’s campaign.