St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Ryan Construction may resume work in Tampa again

Published September 19, 2003

TAMPA - In June, Mayor Pam Iorio made one point to federal housing officials clear:

The city would no longer do business with Ryan Construction, the company that built a luxury house for former city housing chief Steve LaBrake.

But now, city officials are negotiating a settlement with the company that could let it bid for more city work.

City officials have not decided yet on the terms of any settlement with Ryan Construction, City Attorney Fred Karl said. "I am going to examine the whole situation," he said.

Lawyers are talking with the company about several options, Karl said. None include paying the company any money.

The city suspended Ryan Construction in June from bidding on city work after Iorio learned that the company had built a city-subsidized house on the wrong lot. Company officials have said they shouldn't blamed for the mistake. They appealed the decision to suspend them.

Ryan Construction had earned thousands for year repairing homes through city housing programs. It has enjoyed a close relationship with city officials who have overseen the awarding of contracts.

The company built a luxury house for former housing chief LaBrake, and sent workers in 1991 to renovate the Davis Islands house of Kim Norquist, a city official who awards jobs to contractors.

An administrative hearing will be held on the issue on Sept. 29.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.