CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After defending a decision to award a $7.6 million West Virginia Lottery building renovation project to a contractor that didn’t submit the lowest bid, state officials now acknowledge they made serious errors.
A lawyer who’s representing the Lottery Commission and state Purchasing Division recently told the Supreme Court that state officials released documents with “flaws” that “created confusion” among construction companies that bid on the project.
The “irregularities” caused “problems in fairly awarding the contract,” Senior Deputy Attorney General Kelli Talbott notified the court.
The bid documents, for instance, only required contractors to have experience replacing doors, but the Lottery building renovations are far more extensive: The agency plans to remodel several floors of office space and renovate a parking garage at its headquarters building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Charleston.
Also, the Lottery asked contractors to list three references but failed to attach a required form on which to include them.
Talbott’s disclosure marks the first time state officials have acknowledged mistakes, which sparked lawsuits and delayed the renovations for more than four months…