Wrongs alleged in BWI contract Current operator says award to new company involves violations

December 18, 1996|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,SUN STAFF

State officials are being accused of impropriety and violating procurement law in seeking to award a multimillion-dollar parking contract at BWI Airport to a company partly controlled by developer Kingdon Gould Jr.

The state's aviation agency has recommended that the Gould company, Maryland Parking Limited Partnership, receive the five-year contract to operate the parking lots and garage at Baltimore-Washington International as the low bidder.

But the current operator, APCOA Inc., says the process was tainted.

All sides will be allowed to air their views today at a meeting of the state Board of Public Works in Annapolis.

The board is tentatively scheduled to vote on the contract, worth more than $11 million to the winner.

Parking is expected to generate $165 million in revenues during the next five years, more than 90 percent of which will return to BWI's operator, the Maryland Aviation Administration.

Several parking lot companies are battling for the remaining percentage.

The Aviation Administration wants to award the contract to Maryland Parking because it proposed taking the smallest share of the revenues.

The partnership's leaders include Gould and some of his relatives, who have been contributors to the governor's election efforts.

Cleveland-based APCOA is alleging several irregularities in the way the state handled bids for the contract.

In a letter to the Board of Public Works, APCOA claims the Aviation Administration kept the bids it received secret and "apparently permitted" Maryland Parking to amend its proposal to meet requirements related to minority contracting.

"It doesn't smell right," said Thomas P. Perkins III, a lawyer for APCOA, though he acknowledges that the other companies were permitted to amend their bids as well.

APCOA also said that Maryland Parking did not file necessary paperwork establishing the partnership until Aug. 1, a week after the bids were opened, and therefore did not technically exist when it made its proposal.

However, Gould said there is nothing amiss in the Maryland Parking bid.

"We would not have been selected if we had not satisfied the requirements" of the contract, he said. APCOA also claims that because of the irregularities, officials violated Maryland procurement law.

Aviation Administration officials contend that such objections are irrelevant because the contract is exempt from the procurement law -- a position the agency says is supported by the Maryland Attorney General.

Carol Riley, a spokeswoman for the Aviation Administration, declined to answer questions about the contract because of the pending legal challenge.

Maryland Parking is composed of two partners, Parking Management Inc. and Tyroc Construction Corp.

The financial backers and officers of Parking Management include Gould and his relatives.

Gould is a Washington-based businessman and owner of Konterra, a 2,000-acre development site in northern Prince George's County.

Washington real estate developer Dominic F. Antonelli Jr. also is an officer of the firm.

Gould, his family and businesses in which he or his son is an officer, principal, partner or agent have contributed more than $13,000 to Gov. Parris N. Glendening's campaign fund.

The chief executive officer of Tyroc is Retired Maj. Gen. Roger R. Blunt, a Oxon Hill contractor and Orioles investor.

Pub Date: 12/18/96

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