Three environmental companies barred from doing work with city of Detroit over abatement work

The Detroit Office of Inspector General says it found criminal wrongdoing, improper business practices, compliance issues, and conflicts of interest

click to enlarge A demolition in Detroit. - Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling
A demolition in Detroit.

Three companies that performed demolition site abatements in Detroit have been barred from doing work for the city for 20 years.

The Detroit Office of Inspector General says it found criminal wrongdoing, improper business practices, compliance issues, and conflicts of interest.

The office debarred BBEK Environmental LLC and its owner Kevin Woods, HC Consultants and its owner James Harvey, and Green Way Environmental and its owner William Scully.

The three companies were suspended from doing work in the city in August 2019 while the city investigated.

The companies did asbestos abatement work as subcontractors for demolition companies that worked for the Detroit Land Bank Authority and the city of Detroit.

They are accused of violating the Asbestos Abatement Contractors Licensing Act, which requires abatement companies to hire a neutral party to conduct air monitoring.

Turns out, the companies had financial ties and improper relationships, and therefore should not have been working together, the office found.

Woods was charged with multiple felony counts last year. He pleaded guilty to one felony count count of false pretenses between $1,000 and $20,000 and was sentenced to two years of probation in June.

He was accused of "misrepresenting project costs to avoid paying more money to the state, bribing a contractor to secure work for his company and violating state laws that require post-abatement air monitoring to be done by an independent entity," the Michigan Attorney General’s Office said in April.

Inspector General Ellen Ha said companies that do business with the city must be trustworthy.

“Conducting business with the City of Detroit can be lucrative for the contractors, but the contractors must understand that the agreed upon engagement is for the benefit of the public,” Ha said in a statement. “They must understand that we trusted them to abide by the law and to the terms of the contract. As such, we will hold them accountable if they violate that trust. This is how we ensure honesty and integrity in our government.”

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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