Newton Claims Sidewalk Work Cost Was Inflated

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Councilman Ernie Newton said he does not owe the city for his new sidewalk, the city owes him.

“There is a possibility this happened to not just me, but other people,” the East End politician said.

Newton’s new walkway cost $3,935.50 and, under a cost-sharing program, he agreed to pay half–$1,967.75–within 30 days of the Jan. 4 billing date.

Newton did not pay, so in April the city placed a lien on his home on Reed Street, along with the properties of 41 other delinquent property owners.

Full story here.

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31 comments

  1. If Ernie’s 3 other estimates are legit, and why wouldn’t they be, then he has a really good issue regarding how the city ALLOWS itself to be ripped off. No different then the WPCA issue with Liskov et al – taking advantage of the people THAT THEY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF.
    Of course none of the over inflated dollars in no way got funneled back to someone right?!!!
    More to come……..

    1. Rich, that question needs to be asked to those who are responsible or maybe to the FBI, is there so type of a rebate or kick back to someone?

    2. Rich,

      I think you’re comparing apples to oranges. The WPCA matter is agregious, however, all property owners are compelled to be connected to the sewer system. The sidewalk program is optional. The buyers should have obtained competing bids prior to signing the contract with the contractor.

      When the city did the Connecticut Avenue streetscape my grandmother asked for a quote to do the side street sidewalk; the contractor then quoted $7,000. We still have the old sidewalk and the contractor put down asphalt to “connect” the new Conn Ave sidewalk with the side street.

      1. Eric, I understand what you mean but my point is more focused on companies or people ripping off the taxpayers, not on Ernie himself.
        Does the contractor have to pay“prevailing wage” to perform? Is the homeowner given reasonable notice to get bids to have the sidewalk repaired on their own? If they do it on their own then does the city pay half as well? The asphalt is unaccceptable if they were doing streetscaping for the city. They left it that way because they couldn’t get more money from the homeowner and the city allowed it? If that happened everywhere then erosion would occur everywhere and that’s not acceptable.
        My point also was that associated with the rip off prices by a contractor is the associated “paybacks” which of course would be corruption.

    3. Rich,
      Newton’s “estimates” are after the fact. Who the hell knows the “particulars” of these after the fact estimates. Basically,it all stinks.

  2. Is there anything that happens in Bridgeport that is fair, right and just. This type of BS has been going on for years, decades and scores of years and when are the so called leaders going to stop those that are allowing this to happen to stop. When are the people of Bridgeport going to say this is wrong, immoral and unjust and we’re not having it anymore?
    When are the people going to stop careerist political prostitutes from ripping off the residents of the City that they profess to love?

    Bridgeport can’t have a fair election, allows attorneys on behalf of the WPCA to rip off its residents, boot cars and take its residents vehicles, to have a fool in charge of the Civil Service when he has no expertise to be in charge of the department, not hire women firefighters in over eleven years, hiring two police chiefs and then hire another police chief to oversee the newly hired police chief because he obviously have no idea what the hell he is doing, and a myriad of other bullshit to the detriment of Bridgeport and its residents.

    I’ve heard people say they won’t vote for Marilyn Moore, so I say to those people are you out of your damn minds and why would you want to live in a city that is run by gangster’s and political prostitutes when a better life for all is just a vote away.

  3. Ernie Newton is on the Contracts Committee that approved G-Pic as the sidewalk contractor.

    Ernie Newton is not entitled to a rebate because he has nor paid $1 of his delinquent sidewalk repair bill.

    Let me get this straight. Ernie Newton had three contractors come out to evaluate the cost of repairing/replacing his ALREADY replaced sidewalk,which was in perfect condition, when his three contractors submitted their bids. That’s not how it works. Only G-Pic evaluated the cost of repair/replacement when his sidewalk was in its original state. He is comparing apples to oranges.

  4. While only G-Pic evaluated the cost of repair/replacement of the sidewalks do you know if any other companies were allowed to bid on this job or was it done like its been done for decades, I’m going to pick the one I want to have it?

    Ernie isn’t asking for a rebate, all he’s asking for him and others is to pay a fair market price for the replacement and/or repair of their sidewalks. He doesn’t want to pay the inflated price of repair or replacement so that the extra money charged can go to the DTC or Mayor Ganim in the form of a campaign contribution. It appears no matter what Ernie does, good, bad or indifferent you are going to find fault and that’s personal. It should never be personal, it should always be about business.

    1. Mr. Day,

      Ernie Newton serves as Co- chair of the Contracts Committee which approved the selection/contract with G-Pic.

      The only reason Ernie Newton is now making noise about the contractor for the sidewalk repairs is because the CT Post exposed he was over 90 days delinquent in paying his agreed upon share for his sidewalk repair.

      He received and reviewed G-Pics invoice for his sidewalk repair/replacement BEFORE he signed his agreement which outlined the work to be done, the total cost, his cost, and the payment requirements.

      The time to get bids was BEFORE he signed his agreement. The only bidder who inspected his sidewalk in its original disrepair was G-Pic.

      This is equivalent to towing your car to a garage, having a mechanic inspect it, give you an estimate, you approve the estimate, the mechanic repairs the car.

      Three months later, your car is running great and fully repaired, but you ask three new mechanics to give you an estimated cost on how much their invoice would have been.

      I am sure these bidders either read the CT Post and new about the sidewalk situation with Ernie, or Ernie told each bidder what transpired and shared his version of what was wrong with his sidewalk PRIOR to the repair and how much G-Pic charged him

      Do you honestly expect any of the three bidders to submit bids in line or higher than G-Pic?

      Have you ever thought they see this as an opportunity to bid on the sidewalk repair contract knowing that Ernie Newton is Co-chair of the Contracts Committee and would have influence over the awarded contract?

      You are too smart not to see the issues with Ernie Newton’s assertions

  5. I agree with Maria here,the three other bids are just a speculation of the work needed to be done to ready the sidewalk for new concrete.How would the three other bidders know what it took to prep the area first?
    Now as far as G-pic and it’s prices being higher than most others,it’s Bpt after all,someone has their hand out(Joe,John Ricci,Tiago??),and someone is getting theirs for “steering” the contrat G-Pic’s way,count on it.This is a Ganim administration,no one does city work without having to “say thank you”…

  6. CityCouncil Person Ernest Newton seems to be very quiet about this. The fact is that,as EVERY HOMEOWNER knows,first you get bids,estimates,recommendations and then you chose who you want to do the work. Ernest Newton is doing everything ass-backwards. Does he feel the victim of injustice by a city-chosen contractor and that Newton,as a city council person was a part of, or is Newton just trying to get a freebie. Damned if you do or damned of you don’t. Newton,if you did not realize the mess going with G.Pic than shame on you. If you did know the mess with G.Pic(and the other contractor with the Public works garage..Vazques or whatever… shame on you again for knowing or not knowing. For chrissakes,you sit on the City Council. Do you really believe that ANYONE is going to believe your plea of ignorance?????

    1. Frank
      First of all G-Pic was picked by public facilities not the city council. Next this company had the contract no one knew the FBI was going to look into G-pic and the other company. The FBI was looking into contracts for sidewalks and the bidding process. We had a committee meeting and members of that committee commented on that Bridgeport residents were complaining about being overcharged. I see you have no clue about what you are talking about.

        1. Mr.Citycouncilperson Newton.
          Thank you for the response. There is a very basic principle of capitalist transactions. “”CAVEAT EMPTOR”. Let the buyer be aware. This has been a legal underpinning for centuries of Western Civilization Law. Unless FRAUD is being accused. You are in a very unique situation. You approved the contract with
          Pic but now you are claiming to be a victim. So ,we all have to wonder. What else has the current group of City Council people have done or agreed to without knowing the full implications????

      1. Ernie, you are Co-chair of the Contracts Committee. You voted to approve G-Pic’s contract in committee and st the full council meeting.

        You could have voted AGAINST the contract. You chose not to.

        1. Maria
          The FBI hadn’t put G-pic on its radar when we approved New Sidewalks to be done. Once the Fed”s came in and and started pulling G-pic records for work be done on sidewalks the committee put a hold on G-Pic work

      2. Hey Ernie,

        The Bridgeport City Council is not a reformatory for middle aged criminals.You were convicted of bribe receiving and misuse of campaign funds. We all know you’re a crook. The account was more than 90 days in arrears. What are you gonna do, sue the city? Try to use your stipend to pay the bill?

  7. Maria, you say, “I am sure these bidders either read the CT Post and new about the sidewalk situation with Ernie, or Ernie told each bidder what transpired. You are entering something into evidence that have yet to be established. There is nothing that would lead you to believe that those three company’s knew about the city debacle with sidewalks other than your disdain, dislike and your hatred for Ernie.

    Let me tell you what I do know, if Ernie doing this for whatever reason and the 41 other people that are delinquent in paying or the other 49 that have paid inflated bills can now have their bill adjusted or get a rebate then my Brother you did good. If this ultimately benefits Ernie it will sure as hell benefit those other 90 people who I’m sure don’t give a rat’s ass who or how they saved money or why they received a rebate and protecting the residents of this City from unfair practice’s is the job of the council people.
    It’s like I said before, “It appears no matter what Ernie does, good, bad or indifferent you are going to find fault and that’s personal.”

  8. Ernie,
    You said that Public Facilities chose the vendor. Did the Contracts Committee review the recommendation of the Board of Public Purchases?
    Was this arrangement reviewed by the Board of Public Purchases?
    Is there currently a Board of Public Purchases in place as required by ordinance?
    Do any of the 20 city council members know what the Board of Public Purchases is?
    All in favor? Aye!!!!!!! Motion to adjourn? Aye!

  9. So Derek being in arrears on a bill is now punishable by prison time? I can assure you that Ernie Newton isn’t the only person in that position and that is evidenced by the fact that 41 others were in arrears on this as well. There were consequence in the contract that those people signed that addressed that problem. From what I hear about you being a little behind in your financial responsibilities isn’t something that’s foreign to you either. It happens to all of us man.

    The biggest problem with continuing your life after being involved in the criminal justice system isn’t changing the behavior that got you into that position it’s the people like you that holds it over their heads for the rest of their lives, like change isn’t in them.

  10. From time to time I might see certain things a little different than Ernie Newton but Ernie has paid his debt to society just like Joe Ganim and Martha Stewart executive businesswoman, writer and television personality.

    1. Joe Ganim NEVER paid his debt to the people of the city of Bridgeport. He served seven years in Club Fed playing squash and racquetball. If anything his re-election has cheapened public office . Now Ernie “Moses of my people” Newton, another convicted felon, has been re-elected, to City Council. If that ain’t enough Tony Barr, who served 20 years in prison for being an enforcer for a local drug gang and firing a machine gun at an undercover cop, is seeking the mayoralty. . Ganim and Newton violated the public’s trust by accepting bribes; Barr is just a thug. Not one of them is fit to hold public office

        1. Big deal. We have to have one set of rules for EVERYONE. You cannot overlook one man’s short comings because he is black or brown while vilifying Donald Trump.

          Affirmative action doesn’t apply to public office.

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