WTC contractor sued for overcharging Port Authority

A $17 million civil suit has been filed against the main contractors who built the new World Trade Center PATH station for allegedly overcharging the Port Authority for the project.

The charges against Yonkers Contracting, Tully Construction and A.J. Pegno Construction, state that the joint-venture contractors overcharged the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and extorted millions in excess from the $566 million project. The contractors were originally given a contract worth $16 million to build the station, but with fees and bonuses, are being paid $37 million for the job. Although lawyers for the defendants say the charges came from finishing the project a month ahead of schedule, subcontractors have filed claims that they have yet to be paid millions for their work.

The suit, which cites “greed at the expense of the public,” alleges the contractors violated the Federal Emergency Management Agency rules, racketeering laws and state laws barring misuse of public funds. According to the charges, YTP overcharged the Port Authority for $2.1 million in rental construction equipment and told some of its subcontractors to inflate their prices.

When one of the subcontractors, Daidone, refused to extort money from the project and reported the solicitation to the authority, officials from YTP reportedly threatened to burn down the Diadone trailer and damage the electrical contractor financially. Diadone filed the suit, and is now seeking $17 million in extra, unpaid work it did to complete the project ahead of schedule.