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DiNapoli rejects contract with Hicksville painting company

ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has rejected a $27-million contract with a Hicksville painting company that a state agency had approved for federal economic stimulus money.

DiNapoli is also revoking some of the state Department of Transportation's contracting privileges and imposing new requirements. DiNapoli says the department, which handles many of the federal stimulus-funded projects, left questions unanswered about L&L Painting Co. Inc.'s role in a federal investigation and other concerns.

DiNapoli says the agency is cutting corners to spend stimulus money before it expires and that's putting the use of the temporary funding at risk. Under law, the comptroller must review state contracts.

There was no immediate comment from the transportation department.

Thursday afternoon, company owners Ross and Michael Levine issued a statement saying they had answered all questions posed to the company by the state DOT.

"We submitted a bid to New York state Department of Transportation. Since the submission of that bid, we have answered all questions posed to us by the Department of Transportation and will continue to do so.

"We believe it to be inappropriate for us to comment otherwise on a letter from the New York state comptroller to the New York state Department of Transportation," the statement said.

The company did not say when it submitted its bid.

- With Gary Dymski

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