JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you live in Jacksonville you’ll recognize their work. Turner Construction is the powerhouse behind the Veterans Arena and the brand new $350 million courthouse, two local buildings that have had a litany of problems.
We decided to dig deeper into the company’s background after an anonymous viewer tipped us off to several articles dating back to 2005 revealing lawsuits against them and allegations of shoddy work across the country.
According to a report by the Sun Sentinel, in 2006 the Palm Beach County School District sued Turner Construction for taking too long to complete three schools. As part of a settlement agreement, Turner was reportedly banned from working on any schools in the district for three years. Another Sun Sentinel article shows Broward County also barred Turner after the company failed to reveal that lawsuit.
But when Jacksonville City Councilman John Crescimbeni tried to ask David Reaves, a Turner Vice President who has been with the company for 32 years, about these allegations here’s what happened:
"In 2006 or 2007 did Palm Beach County ban you from doing any construction work,” asked Crescimbeni.
Reaves responded with, “I do not know the answer to that, Mr. Crescimbeni.”
It was a non-answer followed by more non-answers.
"So Palm Beach County can ban Turner Construction from doing any work and you wouldn't know about it,” Crescimbeni asked.
“I didn't know about it,” replied Reaves.
"Well I guess I'll quit asking questions because it doesn't sound like I'm going to get any answers today,” Crescimbeni said in frustration.
So, we figured we’d try.
We called Turner Construction and sent an email asking if construction was late on multiple projects in South Florida. We also asked if both Palm Beach and Broward Counties banned Turner Construction approximately five years ago.
We’re still waiting for a reply.
On Monday, general counsel for the city said they have assembled a team to review the contract with Turner. So far, Turner has not had to pay any fines for the courthouse delays. But contractually, the company could face a $4,000 a day penalty for each day it was late.