I reported last week that Standard Parking was suing everybody in sight at Rochester Airport. Read about it here:
I spoke to Jack Ricchiuto , Standard VP in charge of Airport Operations yesterday and got an update.
Seems that Standard and their partners, Richard and Leslie Goldstein, owners of MAPCO parking, had been running the airport as a joint venture for years. Standard had joined MAPCO so it would have a local presence, but for all intents and purposes ran the facility itself. It was time to renew the contract and Standard was expecting a run of the mill renewal when the airport said they wanted to go out to bid. So Standard started down the RFP path. At about the same time MAPCO told Standard it didn’t want to be involved in the bidding process. So Standard continued down the path alone.
Jack felt he had a pretty good chance, since he had years of knowledge about costs and running the operation. He also felt he had a good relationship with their airport.
He then discovered that he was actually bidding against his former partners (and numerous other companies.) He didn’t know this until after the bids were in. MAPCO was awarded the bid.
Jack feels that had he known that his former partner was bidding, he would have used a different strategy in his bidding. "They could have proceeded down a more professional path," he said. "A company’s bidding strategy differs with a lot of knowledge, including who is bidding against you. I felt we had a better chance than our normal competitors since we knew a lot about staffing, snow removal issues, and the like."
I asked if he thought it strange that the vote (by the local board) to accept the MAPCO bid was right down party lines. It would seem that with a technical proposal like this, there would have been some disagreement or cross party voting. "Yep, strange."
Standard is concerned that the RFP process was tainted and also finds it strange that they can’t find out what the bids were until the contract is awarded. However, the lowest bid is rumored to be Ampco.
The federal lawsuit alleges that the Goldsteins told Standard Parking
that they were no longer interested in continuing the business and that
there was "not enough money in it" to make it worth their time.
The lawsuit goes on to say, "Unaware of the Goldsteins’ true
intentions — their plot with the airport to rig the outcome of the
purported competition — Standard Parking shared competitive
confidential information with them concerning the preparation of its
The suit alleges that the Goldsteins gained an unfair advantage
and that Damelio, who was on the four-member selection committee for a
new contract, knew or should have known that the procurement process
had been manipulated.
More than $8 million in damages are sought in the lawsuit in
federal court, with the state court action seeking an injunction
against the airport implementing the contract.
Time will tell — perhaps these litigants will meet, like Stan Cramer, on those courthouse steps.