It is not often the FBI is brought in to investigate a construction dispute regarding design, delay, and cost overruns. However, this is exactly what has happened on the taxpayer-funded baseball stadium project in Hartford, Conn. for the Colorado Rockies’ Double-A team, the Hartford Yard Goats.
In June 2016, the Hartford Stadium Authority terminated its contract with the developer of the minor league baseball stadium. It has been alleged that the project was delayed, there were cost overruns, and subcontractors on the project were owed significant sums. Hartford stated that it lost confidence in the developer’s ability or capacity to complete the project. The developer alleged that significant changes to the design and construction drawings that failed to comply with the City’s building code were causes of the increased cost and longer construction schedule.
Normally, the parties would make various claims, including claims against payment and performance bonds, eventually the project would be completed, and the parties’ dispute would be resolved. This project is anything but normal. The City, citing concerns regarding the distribution of funds paid to the developer and failures to pay subcontractors, contacted the FBI. The FBI have been interviewing people around the project but allegedly have not yet spoken with the original developer.
Criminal investigations are warranted to stop misuse of public funds. We hope there has not been a misuse of public funds in Hartford and we hope that this FBI investigation is an anomaly.
If you have any questions regarding construction contracting, construction claims, or have any concerns regarding your construction project please contact Vincent Nelan or any member of our Construction group.