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Pike Co. pays $125,000 for violating diversity requirements on schools project

Company disputes allegations while agreeing to settlement

The Pike Co. has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle claims by the New York State Attorney General’s Office that the contractor falsely certified that it was in compliance with diversity goals during Rochester School Facilities Modernization Program (RSFMP) work in 2012.

But even in paying $100,000 to the state and $25,000 to the unnamed relator in the lawsuit, The Pike Co. disputes any wrongdoing.

“Pike decided to enter into the settlement agreement solely to avoid costs and distractions associated with protracted litigation,” the company said in a prepared statement.

Findings by the Office of the Attorney General show The Pike Co. bypassed the use of a Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) in contracts with the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board.

Those deals required that contractors subcontract at least 15 percent of the work to minority businesses and at least 5 percent to women-owned entities.

The attorney general said The Pike Co. circumvented the requirements by directly negotiating with a materials supplier, Rochester Colonial, for $754,786 worth of product. The investigation found Pike then instructed a minority-owned subcontractor, Scott Construction, to further subcontract that same $754,786 in work to Rochester Colonial.

The Pike Co. said that it “does not agree with the Attorney General’s findings regarding construction that was performed and completed over a decade ago. These are two contracts out of more than 100-plus subcontracts and $220 million worth of construction completed many years ago.”

The company also said it believes its actions “fall squarely in the confines of what was required in the RSMP diversity plan. The company highly values diversity and EBE compliance and has spearheaded multiple EBE programs in addition to training and compliance efforts, which was a regular course of action for The Pike Company before this dispute.”

More than $1.3 million has been paid by area contractors for misdeeds in subcontracting work on the RSFMP. Two years ago the AG’s office negotiated a $200,000 settlement with Bell Mechanical Contractor Inc.

In 2018, Kaplan Schmidt Electric Inc. settled for $100,000, Landry Mechanical Contractors Inc. for $117,000 and Nairy Mechanical LLC for $12,000.

In 2016, five contractors settled for a combined $825,000: Concord Electric Co. ($300,000), Manning Squires Hennig ($200,000), Hewitt Young Electric ($160,000), Michael A. Ferrauilo Plumbing & Heating Inc. ($90,000), and Mark Cerrone Inc. ($25,000).

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