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New bid-rigging allegations at SF Housing Authority

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Housing chief Henry Alvarez is accused of helping to steer agency contracts to certain favored bidders. Photo: Rose Dennis, San Francisco Housing AuthorityNew implications of bid-rigging at the San Francisco Housing Authority, where embattled director Henry Alvarez (pictured) hangs on with the tacit blessing of Mayor Ed Lee, who has mostly looked the other way while the agency has devolved into turmoil. Now the Chronicle is reporting on suspicious contract bids involving “recipients with close ties to City Hall.” An excerpt (after the jump):

In April, the Housing Authority requested bids to help run elections at public housing projects for their tenant boards. Nan McKay and Associates, a national public housing consulting firm based in San Diego, bid $130 an hour plus hotel and travel costs. Jamie Kinney Consulting, another national public housing consulting firm based in Temecula (Riverside County), bid $120 per hour plus hotel and travel costs.

Linda Richardson, a Bayview resident with myriad connections to City Hall, bid $185 an hour. Within days, the Housing Authority put out a new scope for the project - and Richardson's bid dropped precipitously to $80 an hour. One bid remained the same. A portion of the other dropped from $90 an hour to $79 an hour.

"Wow," Kerry Kaye, a regional account manager for Nan McKay, said after learning of the drop in Richardson's bid. "The change was so drastic."

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