INDOT chief’s changes altered contract decision: Insider alleges Nicol favored Kernan contributor

Former Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner J. Bryan Nicol changed official recommendations of INDOT’s design division, according to an INDOT source, a move that sent millions of dollars of work to major contributors to former Gov. Joe Kernan’s campaign. Two days after last fall’s election, INDOT consultant services manager Jeffrey Clanton said he was ordered by then-commissioner Nicol to make a number of changes to a July 29, 2004, selection list. On seven of the 24 different projects on the…

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Companies abuse certification to nab contracts: Critics wonder if they truly are ‘disadvantaged’

Indiana companies are playing the system to get millions of dollars in federal highway funds by posing as and receiving state certification as economically disadvantaged, minority or women-owned businesses. Under federal law, a prime contractor bidding on a federally funded project has to subcontract a certain percentage to businesses that are certified by the state as disadvantaged. The idea is to ensure that these companies have an equal opportunity to become successful. Files at the State Department of Administration show…

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INDOT spends millions with little oversight: Critics charge state’s failure leads to poor work

More than half of the $8 billion spent by the Indiana Department of Transportation on construction over the last decade went to only 10 construction companies. The same is true of the hundreds of millions spent on consulting. Ten design and engineering firms got 56 percent of all of the money contracted by INDOT-more than $155 million over the last 12 years. The large sums of money concentrated in a relatively small number of recipients has raised alarms for some…

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