New York inspector general blasts contract

March 29, 2002 |

A university construction contract was awarded inappropriately to an architect related by marriage to the wife of Gov. George Pataki, the inspector general said Thursday.

After the report was issued, the State University Construction Fund said it would fire the general manager and an assistant general manager, who the report accused of fabricating a memo related to the hiring of architectural firm Hudson Design.

Pataki, his wife, Libby, and the governor's top aides were not accused of any wrongdoing in the report by Inspector General Roslynn Mauskopf.

Hudson Design was awarded a $ 102,000 contract in 1999 for a development plan at the state university campus in Old Westbury on New York's Long Island. The report said the contract was awarded without competition and only because of Hudson architect James Copeland's friendships with two officials at the school.

Copeland's brother is married to Libby Pataki's sister.

Copeland said Thursday he followed all regulations that covered his work. The two university officials named in the report no longer work at Old Westbury.

The report called for the fund to overhaul how it awards construction contracts and develop ethics guidelines.

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