Claremore Daily Progress


January 10, 2013

New Year, Same Old Biz - Helm takes possession of equipment 3 weeks before PO okayed



Former County Clerk Peggy Armstrong questioned the purchase, and requested a legal opinion and refused payment of the item.
Armstrong requested a legal opinion on the purchase because it was originally bid and accepted in August 2011, approximately 14 months prior to delivery.
At the time, Assistant District Attorney David Iski stated in his opinion that the purchase “had a number of issues that concern me ” and that “more troubling is that 14 months have gone by from the original bid price.” 
In the opinion, Iski outlined that the bid price was firm until Oct. 8, 2011. 
He also explained that the date had been changed. It was not the original document and did not include acceptance by the county.
The bid was changed to reflect the bids extension to Dec. 31, 2012.
The bid should have been extended prior to the expiration and by mutual agreement by the county, according to Iski.
Additionally, the bid documents indicated that delivery was to be made within 45 to 90 days of bid and that the purchase order did not contain any documentation that shows compliance to that requirement.
“To proceed farther, on the facts that are currently known, the item should have been rebid,” Iski said.
Frontier Equipment sales associate, Clark Kerr issued a letter to Helm on Dec. 20. Just two days after a legal opinion was issued by the district attorney’s office.
In the letter, Kerr states that federal funds were delayed which postponed the purchase and that during that delay the manufacturer discontinued the Schwarze/ Freightliner chassis.
The company then found a replacement to fill the order at the cost of the manufacturer, according to Kerr.
The offer was presented and accepted by the county and the unit was ordered on April 19, 2012.
The purchase order was not issued and the item was not encumbered until months later after the item was delivered.

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