Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Another Contractor Caught With Gun

Another American Sewer worker caught with a gun, company forfeits another contract.

By - Jan 30th, 2018 09:01 am
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Email to Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs.

Email to Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs.

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.

American Sewer Services employees. Left photo by Brian Oliver. Right photo by Sam Singleton-Freeman.

American Sewer Services employees. Left photo by Brian Oliver. Right photo by Sam Singleton-Freeman.

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More about the Contractor Gun Debate

5 thoughts on “Eyes on Milwaukee: Another Contractor Caught With Gun”

  1. Patrick says:

    Who cares. Some of these neighborhoods mimic war zones. How dare someone wants to feel safe for doing their job. It is completely acceptable for them to want to protect themselves and they should. Sorry if that offends anyone living in those neighborhoods. I suppose you can have the poor attitude of well they shouldn’t apply for work in the city if they aren’t comfortable in it. What a great way to limit your pool of contractors and drive up prices.

  2. Steve says:

    I agree with you Patrick.Thank goodness I live in a Southwest side neighborhood where the average closing price on a house is 190,000 and not a third of that!I am planning on moving out in the months to come!

  3. Troll says:

    What is next ? Contractor carrying pepper spray, swiss army knife, baseball bat. Contractors using Kevlar vest are racists as well. At least the company American Sewer is not called Gypsy Sewer or there would be hell to pay for that.

  4. blurondo says:

    “It is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation.” The New York Times, 12/5/15.

  5. Lynne says:

    “a DPW site inspection did find the gun. The inspection was routine … with the gun only being noticed in a photo of a lead lateral replacement.” . . . . . . . . . . As long as the workers don’t openly & proudly exercise their civil rights (self-protection, speech), they can keep their jobs. And if they don’t protect themselves, they’ll be happy to know that by prohibiting self-protection, their company has given up its immunity from liability. So please, remind your heirs to sue when you get hurt / killed by someone attacking you on the job site.

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