Tell us if this sounds familiar. A business lands a contract with a government entity. Both parties lock in on the terms and figures, and the whole deal gets rubber-stamped by the legislators. But . . . somehow . . . mysteriously . . . somewhere along the line . . . the numbers involved start heading skyward and the business walks away with a higher billing, and the government entity tosses its hands in the air and coughs up a resounding “Oops.”
Pretty much a tale as old as government contracts, no? And that's exactly what has unraveled at Cleveland Public Power. A recent city auditor's investigation shows that a business contracted with CPP was allowed to over-bill the city to close to a million dollars. City council never approved the increased billings, and CPP failed to monitor the company's activities.
According to the Plain Dealer, Terry the Plumber — a business run by Terrence J. Kordiac — originally inked a two-year contract with CPP to replace the piping in the agency's buildings and other repairs. The price-tag on the work was $160,000. Because the contract was for more than $50,000, Cleveland City Council signed off on the work.
But according to the auditor, the billings would eventually top out at around $1 million without council approval.