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Nassau might withhold extra $1.23M in road work fees

Nassau Comptroller George Maragos may not pay $1.23 million for street paving done over and above that called for in a contract between the county's Department of Public Works and a Mineola paving firm, even though the work is completed, he said Monday.

Republican Maragos, who just last weekend criticized 170 contracts - including the road paving addition - as a rush to completion in December by the previous Democratic administration, followed up Monday by saying he is considering withholding payment.

"The additional $1,234,200 was authorized on December 23, 2009, for roads not named in the original [January 2008] contract and for payment of work already performed," he said.

Maragos added that the policy requires prior approval for change orders that exceed 10 percent of the original contract - in this case, $3,585,000 - and not deemed emergency services.

Maragos said county policy requires a new contract - or there is no obligation to pay.

"I am going to check and make sure the work is completed, and I'm going to discuss the idea of not paying with our counsel," he said.

County Executive Edward Mangano said, "We are investigating the comptroller's questions about the contract."

In a Feb. 11 letter to Ray Ribeiro at the Department of Public Works, Deputy Comptroller John Mastromarino told him that the $1.23 million change order "violated various county requirements."

He said that the change order received Dec. 11, by former Comptroller Howard Weitzman, said the additional money was needed because "additional deterioration" was found.

That did "not reconcile" with the fact that five or six additional streets noted were not enumerated in the original bid, Mastromarino said.

He closed the letter with: "Until these items are clarified we will not process the claim for payment."

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