(KPLR)-A FOX Files follow up to an investigation involving the new Stan Musial Veteran’s Memorial Bridge that involves a minority contractor who threatened to shut down the project if more minorities were not hired. That contractor then got millions, but is now under fire from regulators.
Bill Mason’s company, Mason`s Landscaping and Construction, was suspended June 10th, 2014, from working on Illinois contracts. This suspension comes after a state investigator questioned whether millions of dollars, intended for minorities, were ending up with white owned firms.
We’ve been following the money trail since 2012, after Mason’s Landscaping and Construction landed a multimillion dollar contract. This February we learned from public records requests that state regulators were inquiring about who was really doing the work. Bill Mason, SR. vehemently defended his company.
“I would be embarrassed to front. I don’t need to front for anybody and you don’t know me, I’m a proud man. I don`t front for anybody.”
According to IDOT records, Mason`s contracts were worth more than $4.7 million and based on documents uncovered by the FOX Files, IDOT wrote letters in the fall of 2013 stating “... it appears that work committed to Mason’s is being performed by a non-disadvantaged subcontractor.”
On Tuesday, IDOT suspended Mason’s Landscaping and Construction saying “Mason’s did not perform, and never intended to perform, a 'commercially useful function' on the project as required, but merely acted as a minor participant through which funds were passed in order to obtain the appearance of ...(minority) participation."
Bill Mason did not return phone calls Tuesday. We’ll continue to monitor developments.