State comptroller: Company can paint LI bridges with monitor

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, seen on March State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, seen on March 14, 2012, announced that Whitestone-based Limnes Corp.'s $4.7 million contract to paint 13 state bridges on Long Island was accepted on Monday, May 26, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

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A Whitestone-based company whose $4.7 million contract to paint 13 state bridges on Long Island was rejected by the state comptroller in March was approved for the job Monday after the state Department of Transportation put an internal monitor in place, officials said.

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced that Limnes Corp.'s contract is now accepted after his office was satisfied that the firm would be properly overseen. Questions arose when it was discovered that the company had close connections to two other firms that have been barred from doing business with the state because of prevailing wage violations.

The Whitestone firms in question are GBE Contracting Corp. and Matsos Contracting Corp. The state Department of Labor had banned them for a five-year period ending in 2015 for shortchanging 80 workers by more than $232,000.

"After our rejection of this contract in March, DOT has taken the right step by requiring the contractor to hire, at the company's expense, a monitor to ensure all state and federal wage laws are followed. This shows the process works and taxpayers are protected," DiNapoli said. "DOT officials have also given us assurance that they will carefully manage this contract and make sure the monitor provides timely oversight and reporting."

It was unclear which monitor was selected for the job and when the work would begin.

Jennifer Freeman, a spokeswoman for DiNapoli, said internal monitors for contracts are not common, but that they are a solution when state officials are hesitant about a company's track record. DiNapoli's office reviews and approves contracts for all state agencies.

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Officials at Limnes could not be reached for comment.

DiNapoli's office had approved a nearly $5.9 million deal with Limnes last year to paint and remove rust from Long Island bridges.

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