Another Contractor Caught With Gun
Another American Sewer worker caught with a gun, company forfeits another contract.
Yet another employee of American Sewer Services has been caught with a gun on a city job site.
The stunning news comes after two high-profile incidents involving employees of the city contractor. Three employees were photographed openly carrying handguns on November 30th and a city resident spotted a cooler with Ku Klux Klan and Confederate Flag stickers at an American Sewer Services job site on December 8th.
Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs shared a photo of an email from firm owner Dennis Biondich, with Biondich reporting that the employee was immediately terminated and the company will forfeit another contract.
Biondich says the handgun was found during an inspection by the Department of Public Works.
Consequences came swiftly this time for Hartford-based American Sewer. In the email, Biondich states: “After meeting today with Commissioner [Ghassan] Korban, I have informed him that I am withdrawing our recent winning bid on the latest lead replacement project. In not accepting this award, we will be forfeiting another approx. $500,000 contract. When combined with other recent actions taken by the Commissioner, this brings the total ‘fine’ we’ve paid for these three incidents to nearly $1.5 million.”
A settlement with American Sewer was approved by the Common Council on January 17th that included American Sewer forfeiting two contracts worth a combined $891,586. American Sewer has received over $50 million in city contracts since 2013.
Biondich has yet to appear before the full Common Council, sending a low-level employee in his place in December. Multiple members of the council characterized the move as “disrespectful.” In a statement, Biondich cited health issues as the reason for his failure to appear and agreed to meet with council members one-on-one.
The Common Council opened a formal investigation into American Sewer which grants the investigation’s chair, Ald. Robert Bauman, subpoena power to compel Biondich’s appearance. When the investigation was opened on the 17th, Bauman said he would confer with his colleagues to decide if and when they could compel Biondich to appear.
Korban confirmed to Urban Milwaukee that a DPW site inspection did find the gun. The inspection was routine according to Korban, with the gun only being noticed in a photo of a lead lateral replacement.
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More about the Contractor Gun Debate
- City Hall: Contractor With Guns, White Supremacy Sticker Again At Issue - Jeramey Jannene - May 16th, 2019
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Releases Contractor Gun Photo - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 5th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Another Contractor Caught With Gun - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 30th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Settles with American Sewer - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 17th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Kills Contracts With American Sewer - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 4th, 2018
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Stamper Introduces Bill to Fire American Sewer Services - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 24th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Ban On Contractors With Guns Passed - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 19th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Embattled Company Leader Absent at Hearing - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 18th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Labor Groups Rally Against KKK Supporter - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 12th, 2017
- Sewer contractor to appear before the Steering & Rules Committee to address racist symbols at work-site - City of Milwaukee - Dec 11th, 2017
- Statement from American Sewer Services, Inc. - Press Release - Dec 11th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Worker With KKK Cooler Fired - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 11th, 2017
- Alderman Zielinski seeks review of DPW work that has been outsourced - Ald. Tony Zielinski - Dec 11th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: City Contractor’s Worker Displays KKK Sign - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 8th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Donovan Runs Afoul of City Gun Policy - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 7th, 2017
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Ban Contractors From Carrying Guns? - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 6th, 2017
- Alderman Bauman’s bullying of Assistant City Attorney is unacceptable - Ald. Bob Donovan - Dec 6th, 2017