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Doing Business With Oak Lawn ‘Worse Than Cicero,’ Says Low-Bidder

Roofing contractor gets taste of doing business with the Village of Oak Lawn after his bid is rejected in favor of higher bidding company with ties to to Oak Lawn trustee.

With its reputation for bare-fisted politics mounting, Oak Lawn has earned another distinction: the village is now worse to do business with than Cicero.

A Des Plaines roofing contractor says he never saw the punch coming when his recent low bid to replace the leaking roof at the public works facility was rejected in favor of a higher bidder with family ties to a village trustee.

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“Oak Lawn is very political, more so than others, and I’ve dealt with Cicero,” said Dominic Dunlap, owner of DCG Roofing Solutions.

Although technically never in the running because he did not include a start date in his bid package, the fourth highest bidding company, where Trustee Bob Streit’s brother works as an estimator, was awarded the contract. Mayor Dave Heilmann cast the tie-breaking vote.

“I’ve never had a public (government) situation where they kick out three bidders based on no schedule to get a fourth bidder based on a schedule,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap, who had 20 years’ experience in the roofing industry before striking out on his own to form his own company two years ago, said nothing smelled right about the whole bidding process.

For one thing, most clients, including municipalities, specify a start date and ask bidders if they would be ready on that day.

“Public entities will always put out a start date,” Dunalp said. “Things just seem secretive [in Oak Lawn].”

Originally told that DCG was the lowest bidder, Dunlap expected a phone call from public works telling him when to start. Dunlap did receive a phone call from the village but it was from Trustee Tom Phelan (Dist. 6), explaining that trustees would be voting on the contract to Adler Roofing at the next village board meeting.

“Now all of a sudden we find out after the fact about Bob Streit’s brother. That’s a major concern,” Dunlap said. “(Bob Streit) should have recused himself. He shouldn’t have been allowed to vote.”

At the Nov. 27 board meeting, the three dissenting trustees, including Phelan, Alex Olejniczak (Dist. 2) and Tom Duhig (Dist. 4), indicated they would be voting “no” on the Adler contract without any discussion.

Almost immediately after casting the tie-breaking vote, the mayor asked the village attorney whether the $166,085 contract required a super majority.

“I asked because I didn’t understand the ‘no’ votes,” Heilmann said. “If Phelan had concerns he never said anything to anyone on the board.”

The mayor said he didn’t know that Streit’s brother worked at Adler until after the fact.

“I appreciate how it looks,” Heilmann said. “This is something that came to us as a staff recommendation approved by the village attorney. I presume that when I get something from staff that is reviewed by the village attorney that we can rely on it.”

Bidders were also told verbally by public works staff that a schedule was to be included in the bid, Heilmann said.

“Before Thanksgiving our staff got a legal opinion from the village attorney and that legal opinion was that certain bids were not compliant, the mayor added. “This is what I have been told.”

Dunlap realizes the roof bid has become a major issue, and that Oak Lawn trustees have glommed on to it making it “political.”

“This thing should have been investigated before they made a vote,” Dunlap said. “I would think [the village board members] would have been smarter than this if it’s political as it is.”

Since losing out on the contract, Dunlap says he has never received so many calls after the fact as he has from Oak Lawn’s village board members.

“I talked to the mayor for an hour-and-a-half,” Dunlap said. “The gist of the conversation was to explain why he voted for it. [The mayor] said there was no collusion and nothing criminal. I find a lot going back on the law and not the ethics of it.”

Oak Lawn trustees will vote whether to rescind their offer to Adler at Tuesday's village board meeting, but Dunlap says his attorney is already involved.

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Oak Lawn Gal December 11, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Andy I don't see that you ever made that allegation in this thread about Bob and the mayor. But my short answer is no. Why? Because if "bid rigging" had occurred here then both the Village Manager and attorney would have had to be involved. Are you making that accusation? Also the mayor would have had to persuade the 2 or 3 tossed bidders submit incomplete bids. Are you alleging that? Seriously? It's too bad Dr Bury didn't run as a true independent. But she has no government or governance experience. She can't generate an audience so she resorts to the Phelan tactics of using village mailing lists to reach voters. Oh and shouting out at Board meetings. Now answer my points. Is the Village Manager and his staff not responsible for for issuing and processing RFPs? Did Deetjen not submit the Adler as the lowest bidder without raising any issues?
Dist. 2 Curious December 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
And, Andy, to be correct, you should add that it's Deetjen who hangs with wannabe Beatty developer, Tony Ruh, and plays golf with the guy in Florida. So, it looks like ol' Larry is also trying to get some skin in the game. Shades of Deerfield Beach?
andy skoundrianos December 11, 2012 at 08:53 PM
If you remember Den/Bob ?? Dave kabashed that idea because he said a 6 story building wouldn't look good in that area of course he then approves of a 9 story monster building for his buddies at Advocate who throw a $300 Dollar a plate dinner in downtown Chicago to name him Man of the Year?? Oh yeah back when the first beatty development was discussed Bob wasn't on Dave's team back then, now Bob is and we have the famous joint venture with Advocate sceret meetings with the Mayor Bob and his buisiness partner Dennis Brennan. Hypocrisy abounds all over these blogs
andy skoundrianos December 11, 2012 at 08:58 PM
OL Gal Where there is smoke with Dave and Bob around there usually is fire. If you don't think there was no quid pro quo going on between Bob and Dave you are delusional. I asked Bob a few months ago why is he working with the Mayor now after all those years of being enemies. His quote " I need to get MY AGENDA Through " The people can make up their own minds on all these recent " shady " events
richard fitswell December 11, 2012 at 09:44 PM
If they really wanted to use the low bid they could have made it work. That was never the case, the job was to go to the highest bidder.
Joe W. December 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Bidders were also told verbally by public works staff that a schedule was to be included in the bid, Heilmann said. Am I the only one who read this? Why would that be verbal and not in writing. And if several of the lowest bids missed this part did it actually get said?
Oak Lawn Gal December 11, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Well Andy all that means is you have no hard evidence of any deal specific to the Mayor, Streit and Adler. Furthernore you haven't addressed my points about any bid fixing requiring the collusion of Deetjen (who controls the RFP process) and the village attorney. And of course all of the bidders who failed to meet the requirements of the RFP. What you have done is thrown out an allegation with no proof and it simply paints your candidate, Dr Bury, with the same brush. With your help the mayor should win in a landslide. Good job.
andy skoundrianos December 11, 2012 at 11:22 PM
OLG I have to call Ripley's You of all People are defending Bob Streit?? Boy you sure have changed your tune. I would vote for any of the above against Dave You sound like Dave himself with blaming attorney's Who has publicly stated( he dislikes ) and a Village manager who he has been trying to get rid of for 4 years!! I'm not surprised you keep saying Dave's talking points, I'll keep stating facts we will see who wins. Remember Bob won't be any help he only won his district by 5 votes against a person your buddy the Mayor recruited to run against Bob?? I remember all you anti-Bob posts don't you maybe you were right after all!!!
bigboyAndy December 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Andy you are a fool. Not an insult, just a fact.
OakLawnGuy December 12, 2012 at 01:51 AM
I'm not going to come out pro- or anti- anyone on this article. I have it on good authority that most vendors who haven't done business in the past with the Village, or don't know someone on the Board, hate dealing with Oak Lawn. Warring factions, "my guys" doing bidding and a difficult Village Manager make it so new bidders get frustrated and, after losing, don't bother bidding again. I'll say this, though....at least they bid this job out!
andy skoundrianos December 12, 2012 at 04:13 AM
OLG just left the meeting they rescinded these bids and are doing a re-bid Trustee Streit brought the vote up!!! Caught with his hand in the cookie jar I guess..
Andy's Buddy December 12, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Andy should be careful about throwing stones because his lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe people should take a look at it and see what's going on. The guy yelling the loudest often has the most to hide
andy skoundrianos December 12, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Boy that didn't take long eh Den/Bob?? Out of executive session already?? My brother isn't a roofer,I'm not buddies with the President of Advocate, I'm not trying to cut my buisiness partner in secret deals with the village. I don't live in a glass house by the way You should know that Den/Bob
Andy's Buddy December 12, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Andy You make a lot of accusations. None of which you have any evidence of but continue to blabber about. In this story alone, you've posted several times with innuendo and down and dirty phelanesque lies. I count seven posts from you and at least three are libelous. You can't accuse people of "quid pro quo" and "illegal acts". Do you understand or do you need a remedial lesson plan?
andy skoundrianos December 12, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Just doing what Bob and Dave do at every meeting and Blog Den/Bob
Oak Lawn Gal December 12, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Andy you never addressed my points. How could Dave engage in bid fixing with Streit or anyone else when the Village Manager controls the RFP process and presented Adler as the winning bidder? And remember the various companies who didn't comply with the RFP instructions and got their bids kicked? Did they work this all out in advance for a Dave-Streit quid pro quo? LOL! And I guess you missed the post where I said there should be a question in all RFPs asking if the companies have any connection to people in village government but barring that I thought Streit should have abstained.
andy skoundrianos December 12, 2012 at 05:02 PM
The bottom line is Mr. Streit should have told the board and the residents his brother worked for Adler period.. Sadly no one in Politics does anything for anyone without asking what's in it for me?? Bob switches sides on the board all of a sudden his buisiness partner gets involved with a village project unknown to Trustees Only the Mayor knows?? Roofing bid goes to brother's company?? Trustee Streit, does a 180 and now doesn't support impact fees for Advocate just like the Mayor?? Blame everyone else if you will,think all these moves were coincidence , suspend belief, I go for the common sense argument of " If it walks like a duck......"
Quiet Neighbor December 12, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Which is it Andy? He should have told them or they already knew? You flipped on that position. Mr. Phelan obviously knew before the vote because he tipped off DCG to get angry and get legally pumped up. So if Mr. Phelan knew and said nothing at the meeting they voted at there is plenty of blame to go around. 3 people voted no but had nothing to say. It is entirely possible Andy that the 4 yeas could care less who does the roof, assume the recommended roofer is vetted, and they know it needs to be fixed. The 3 no's cared more about the who and less about the work needing to be done. Like OLGal stated, there were many people starting with the Manager and lower that could have rectified the situation long before the vote and didn't. Your crew of people who find every way possible to blame and cry for transparency! should be crying out asking why wasn't this all settled by staff long before the board was asked to act. The waste of time could have been eliminated. The angry comments to well-spun articles wouldn't have happened. Why aren't the people who are all for change saying "why did that vote even happen to begin with?". More fun to blame the people they hate is my guess. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. You use that method a lot. Flawed logic is just that, flawed. Note also that it is possible to make statements and end them in periods instead of question marks. With so many ?? ?? ?? like your old backer QC?? it makes me wonder, like you said if it walks like a duck.....
andy skoundrianos December 13, 2012 at 03:16 AM
Den/Bob you guys got caught you own it stop blaming everyone else. Any politician knows about conflict of interests should have recused himself right away period end of story. None of this would have happened ,the excuses of Heilmann,Streit et al We are mad and blaming everyone who caught us doing something " shady " how dare the press print stories or people comment on it. Next time cry-babies don't do anything that would cause the press and people to ask questions. You guys have been in politics a long time you should have known better
Blah Blah December 13, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Andy, get a job.
Blah Blah December 13, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Lorraine, like the baiting of ray hanania. Cicero. Harharhar.
Tom Palos December 13, 2012 at 04:31 AM
I would assume that Bob Streit lost his VIP status at the St Catherines Sports Night (sitting with the Phelan elite!). Or maybe he will have to just pay this year? By the way, what is the story with the parking lot and Phelan?
Brennanisahack December 13, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Get a life Brennan No jobs or Money for you in Oak Lawn go back to Hinsdale You Hack
SnakeCharmer December 13, 2012 at 04:12 PM
You guys are way too funny, you guys are absolutely ridiculous. Here let me help explain how all you bloggers sound, especially Andy who cant even stay on one side. "Are you some kind of idiot keeping a Cobra as a pet, don't you know how dangerous it is. Oh no, your the moron, your pet Viper is much more dangerous then my Cobra. Hey, Stupid everyone knows the Viper is the only snake you can trust. Once again your wrong, the Cobra is completely trustworthy." In unison "My snake would never bite ME".
RG December 13, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Good Point Joe W. How could the lawyer recommend a verbal requirement? All requirements have to WRITTEN in the request for bid. Looks like the Lawyer made a mistake, which is why the Board now has rescinded. And again the Village Manager should NOT have forwarded the bids to the Board Meeting and THEN state his concerns during the vote. Streit should have recused himself from voting. And Phelan should NOT be calling bidders during the bidding process.
Andy Coughman December 13, 2012 at 06:00 PM
My faith in Dave is fading. Expect dolts like Andy were part of bob's army of thugs and unemployed, but Dave being drawn in by Bob is dissappointing. Not voting for Sandy. She's biggest sellout out of all of them. Hoping somebody else steps up to run.
andy skoundrianos December 13, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Den/Bob worried about something?? I would be I hear some people have been trying to reach you!!!
The man who knows alot December 22, 2012 at 12:26 AM
Phelan!!,
anthony December 22, 2012 at 03:30 AM
I never seen a town with so many guys on salary in such a hurry to make trouble for themselves...... OK ITS A BET...
anthony December 22, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Hometown also

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