JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Action News has learned the city has hired outside counsel to look over the work at the Duval County courthouse and decide whether a lawsuit needs to be filed.
The city has contracted out with the Bachara Construction Law Group. In a letter obtained by Action News it said, "The letter is to confirm the City of Jacksonville's ("City") engagement of Bachara Construction Law Group in connection with the representation of the City on various litigation and contractual issues relating to potential claims and disputes arising out of the design, construction and turnover of the Duval County Unified Courthouse Facility, as more specifically directed by the City and consultation with the Office of General Counsel."
The lead attorney, Chip Bachara, will be paid $315 an hour and it can't exceed $60,000 over a two to three month period. "Everyone knows the last few years, we've had issues. We've said the contractor may be part of that and we're willing to work with Turner," said Mayor Brown's Spokesman David DeCamp.
City Council President Bill Bishop is taking a look at some of the inspection reports obtained by Action News about the new $350 million Duval County courthouse. As an architect for 30 years himself, he know what he's talking about. "We simply didn't get what we paid for and we didn't get all we were supposed to get," said Bishop.
Action News first told you about the issues with construction of the courthouse last month. One of the big concerns is crumbling concrete. "I have seen pictures of the concrete with big holes in them where it wasn't installed right," said Bishop.
An independent, special inspector looked at all the problems last month. We've also obtained a new letter from a different engineer written the next day, who says some areas of the concrete holes not a concern. Bishop says he just wants to make sure the taxpayers get what they paid for.
Our calls to Turner Construction were not returned. The city council is also doing an audit on the courthouse project.