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Hawbaker vs. PennDOT Update

Now the latest on the Legal Battle between PennDOT and the State College based “Glenn O. Hawbaker Incorporated” — which is one of the state’s largest Construction Contractors. The State Supreme Court continues to hear arguments from both sides.

The basic question remains as the dispute plays out in the State Supreme Court: Can PennDOT prevent Hawbaker from bidding on state projects for three years? Specifically, projects overseen by PennDOT. Last year, Hawbaker pleaded No Contest to theft charges filed by the State Attorney General’s Office, which said the Company diverted millions of dollars away from some employees’ retirement funds, in what the AG’s Office termed “A massive, unprecedented fraud”. The Company has paid more than $20 Million in restitution to close to 1,200 people.

When PennDOT sought the three year bidding suspension, a Commonwealth Court decision earlier this year ruled against the Agency, questioning whether PennDOT has the authority to impose a suspension. PennDOT then appealed to the State Supreme Court to overturn the lower court ruling, and in the past two weeks, both sides have submitted more legal arguments.

In their latest filing, PennDOT claims Hawbaker’s Legal Counsel is overlooking the facts in the case. They go on to argue that they have jurisdiction in deciding the issue of bidding access, and denies that Hawbaker’s no contest plea could be a separate Constitutional factor in the issue being considered. Hawbaker in the meantime is still able to bid on State Construction jobs.

No word on when the Supreme Court may issue a decision.

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