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Arlington Contractor Costs City of Fort Worth Time And Money

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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - The City of Fort Worth is taking legal action against an Arlington contractor after his mistakes cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and nearly a year in delays.

But could these problems have been avoided?

Jerry Moody is the owner of Prime Construction. The Arlington company has worked on buildings all over North Texas, including the Chisolm Trail Community Center in south Fort Worth. In fact, the City of Fort Worth paid Moody more than $1.2 million for the work he did on that community center. Problem is – he never finished the project.

The place opened up March 2014, even though city documents had it slated to open nearly a year earlier in May 2013.

Despite the delay, neighbors such as Jerome Pierson were rushing to take advantage of the new place.

"When they opened the community center you couldn't even get in there, there were so many people using it," Pierson remembered.

But on top of the rock climbing station, state-of-the-art gym and basketball court, your tax dollars paid for Jerry Moody's mistakes and delays.

"The sore spot with me is the time that it took to construct. We had problems with the contractors," Fort Worth Councilman Jungus Jordan admitted. "We're taking legal actions against that contractor."

Moody didn't pay his subcontractors while the place was being built. Eventually, the City had to replace him, which meant more money and time to finish the project.

"I'm a very impatient guy," Councilman Jordan said. "And when things don't happen on time I get upset. So, I was very upset with the delay in the construction of the community center."

For weeks we've been trying to find Jerry Moody, calling and emailing his attorney and looking for him at home and at work.

The last known work address the I-Team found for Moody was in a strip center in north Fort Worth. Dick Hogan, one of the men in charge of Mega Contractors, told us he's worked a lot of jobs with Moody in the past, but isn't associated with any of the recent trouble he's gotten into.

"And you still work with him," I-Team Reporter Mireya Villarreal asked.
"He works for us," Hogan admitted.
"For you," Villarreal clarified. "As a contractor?"
"No, he's just a helper," Hogan answered.

What Hogan failed to tell us is that Moody is his relative. That's probably why he wouldn't say where Moody was, just that he was working a construction job.

That's right, Jerry Moody is still working in the industry, even though he's being sued by at least seven subcontractors in Tarrant County alone. Those subcontractors say Moody owes them over $201,000 for the work they did on the Chisolm Trail Community Center.

But the I-Team found Jerry Moody 80 miles south of Fort Worth doing the same thing. In Erath County the district attorney actually filed criminal charges against him last year.

Moody was indicted last year on four counts of making a false statement to obtain property or credit. The District Attorney's office says he promised to build a fire station in Stephenville, he took city funds to do it, but didn't pay several of his subcontractors.

Back in Fort Worth, the ordinance approving Prime Construction, Jerry Moody's company, to construct the Chisolm Trail Community Center was ok'd by city officials in March 2012. Despite being one of the highest bids, at $3.7 million, city employees believed the schedule moody proposed and his past relationship with the city outweighed price.

We tried several times to talk with city directors about the bidding process and their decision to go with Prime Construction, but no one would talk on camera except Councilman Jordan.

"If we get a bad contractor, we will take action against that bad contractor," Jordan added.

Jordan is still working to find answers as to why the city decided to go with Jerry Moody's business. But he's positive city directors are taking a closer look at how and who they hire for big projects like this.

Statement from Fort Worth media representative Kevin Neal:
The attached M&C describes the competitive sealed proposal (best-value) contractor selection process that was used for this project, and it also includes the scoring criteria that led to the selection of Prime Construction as the best-value contractor. If the contractor has been indicted, this will negatively impact the ability to get any future work with the City. As can be seen in the scoring matrix in the M&C, there are significant points assigned to past performance with the City, and the experience and reputation of the firm. A contractor who failed to complete a project on time and has numerous claims from unpaid subcontractors will receive little to no points in this category, and has virtually no chance of receiving any future projects using our best-value selection process, even if their proposed price is the lowest.

Construction Contract by CBS 11 News on Scribd

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