The Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority spent more than two hours Thursday discussing how best to handle the appeal from a Miami construction firm whose $17.9 million low bid was one of five rejected Oct. 31 despite meeting all pre-qualifications.
GLF construction of Miami has appealed the bid rejection and implied in a Nov. 16 letter of protest it could file a lawsuit to contest the decision. in response, GIBA hired counsel to represent its interest in any possible litigation arising from the rejection.
Attorney Susan Churuti of the law firm Bryant Miller Olive of Tampa, the largest bond counsel firm in Florida, said GIBA had done nothing illegal in its bid decision.
"Having looked at the bid document, i feel you are on very firm ground," Churuti said. 'You have not crated property rights so Florida law is on your side. You're in a relatively good position."
GLF will have to prove GIBA acted arbitrarily, illegally, dishonestly or fraudulently to prevail in court case, Churuti said.
She advised a public hearing be set for GLF to air its concerns face-to-face to GIBA. The special meeting was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 15 at the Power House on Boca Grande.
A more complete report on the meeting will be posted later on bocagrandetalk.com and published in the Dec. 13 Gasparilla Gazette.