Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Trash Talk: Lawsuit? What Lawsuit?

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba repeatedly stated he could not issue a new garbage contract RFP because of litigation involving Richard's Disposal.  The Mayor finally agreed to issue one last week but gravely, yea, even solemnly warned the city could pay twice for garbage collection if Richard's Disposal won the lawsuit.  

The Lumumba administration recommended the Jackson City Council approve a contract with Richard's Disposal earlier this year.  Garbage would be collected twice per week but residents would be forced to buy a 96-gallon garbage cart even though the cartless contract was cheaper.  The Council rejected the contract. Richard's Disposal did what so many jilted contractors do and sued the city of Jackson in Hinds County Circuit Court in April.  


The New Orleans company asked the court to reverse the City Council's rejection of the company's proposal for garbage collection services.  The complaint states: 

2. The City Council's decision must be overturned because (1) the decision to not approve the contract between the City and RDI is not supported by substantial evidence in that Richard's submitted the most qualified proposal based on the factors in the October 2021 RFP; (2) The Council's decision was arbitrary and capricious as it violates clear statutory requirements; (3) the Council's decision was beyond its scope or powers in that it violates clear statutory requirements; and (4) the Council's decision violated clear statutory requirements for public procurement of garbage and solid waste services.

The complaint argues the Council voted for the "twice-per-week" garbage collection option at the lowest price.  Mayor Lumumba selected Richard's Disposal for the new contract.  However, the Council rejected the contract.  The Mayor issued an emergency no-bid one-year contract to the company that was later ruled to be invalid.

 Richard's Disposal asked Judge Wooten to award a six-year garbage collection contract to the company, damages for losses, and attorney's fees. 

The city has taken little action since it answered the complaint on April 20.  The docket (posted below) shows the two sides have only squabbled over - get this - the designation of the record.  Yup.  The city has filed nothing since the April 20 answer.  The plaintiffs have filed memos, motions, and notices for six months over the record.  The city has not even filed a motion to dismiss.  A hearing over a motion to compel the municipal clerk to assemble a complete record is scheduled for December 19.

Attorneys John Walker and Gloria Green represent Richard's Disposal.  Deputy City Attorney Drew Martin represents the city.  

Kingfish note: What are the chances this is a bad faith lawsuit?   The City Council might try to take matters into its own hands as it considers this resolution this week.


Anonymous said...

"The fix is in" Richard's can't lose with the stuff they use. Right? Right.

Anonymous said...

Why should the city file a motion to dismiss when they are already winning?

The longer this legal delay goes on, the more the city can win with Richard's!

Anonymous said...

The city can't even pay their bills once. What makes him think they could pay it twice?

Anonymous said...

won't the city have to pay a vender first, to be able to pay them twice?

just saying!!

Anonymous said...

@12:43 - veeery funny.

Anonymous said...

How much is Sister Rukia making in kickbacks and referrals???

Anonymous said...

These entitled Lumumba kids are criminals.

Anonymous said...

Why do Richards trucks have Ohio license plates?

Anonymous said...

Better for a new City Manager to send Lumumba to Cuba for a permanent marxist mayoral tutelage and the City Manager write an RFP, or better, a specified performance bid document to qualified contractors to solicit bids. Jackson, whose financial reputation Lil Choke has chucked into one of his sewer lagoons, can put money in escrow to relieve risk jitters of contractors, plus send prospective contractors a Lumumba Cuba Libre postcard from paradise, so they'll know he's gone.

Anonymous said...

If you’re already paying contractors an extra $850,000 because you’re so incompetent that you can’t get their invoices paid timely, what’s so bad about paying twice for garbage collection?

Anonymous said...

At a minimum, the complaint should be dismissed. One cannot file an original action and pursue and appeal of the same matter at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Neither side has any intention of pursuing this matter quickly. The Mayor, under the guise that a new RFP can't be issued until this lawsuit has been resolved, will drag this lawsuit out as long as possible so that when the original 1 year so-called emergency contract with Richards expires, Jackson will once again have no garbage collector and the Mayor can once again strongarm the Council into issuing another 1 year contract, and so on and so on. It'll go on forever so that the Mayor gets his chosen contractor for the next few years, effectively allowing Richards to get the multi year contract that they wanted but that the Council rejected. Likewise, Richards won't push the matter forward either for the same reasons, so that they get a multi year deal after all.

The Mayor says the City can't issue a new RFP until this suit is resolved. So it's obviously in the City's best interest to get the suit resolved quickly. But yet the City is taking its sweet time trying to do so. It's blatantly obvious what they're doing here.

Anonymous said...

8:31 is right. He’s gonna have his way either way it goes. Jackson bend over

Anonymous said...

Other cities issue garbage contracts in a single meeting. Why is it so hard for Jackson to change this light bulb, and how many does it take? Geez. It's like a clown car, and they just keep coming out of it.

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