Mount Vernon City Councilman Andre Wallace and his company, Creative Direction Construction & Design, have been sued for $4.6 million for allegedly mishandling two subcontracts.
Yonkers Contracting Co. accused them of breach of contract, in a lawsuit filed May 5 in Westchester Supreme Court.
Wallace responded in a telephone interview that he plans to counter-sue.
“Why don’t they just make it $10 million? It’s ridiculous,” he said. “They kicked me off the job because I charged them for change orders they refused to pay.”
Westchester County hired Yonkers Contracting in 2010 to expand the New Rochelle Wastewater Treatment Plant for $121.8 million. A second contract was awarded in 2012 for $94.2 million.
Yonkers Contracting hired Creative Direction to do masonry, carpentry and other work for $4.4 million.
Wallace diverted payments that were meant for Creative’s subcontractors, laborers and suppliers, the lawsuit says, and Creative failed to maintain records, such as certified field payroll reports.
Yonkers Contracting claims it finished Creative’s work and paid Creative’s union benefits and suppliers. The company says Creative refused to reimburse it for costs incurred in finishing the jobs.
The complaint does not specify what portions of the two subcontracts were not performed by Creative.
Wallace said his company was kicked out when it had finished 93 percent of the work on the first subcontract and 50 percent on the second subcontract.
“They try every way they can to get around the MWBE requirements,” he said, referring to the county’s minority and women business enterprise program. “Once a minority contractor gets to a point, they find a reason to take you off the job.”
Yonkers Contracting also sued Westchester Fire Insurance Co. for $1.7 million for allegedly refusing to reimburse the company under a performance bond.