Construction giant McHugh ordered to pay $12M over contract probe

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Chicago-based construction giant, James McHugh Construction company settled a suit with state and federal prosecutors today. The suit alleged work that should have been done by women or minority owned businesses–was actually done by McHugh.

The suit alleges McHugh cheated the process, falsified documents and lied to regulators.

One man on the inside back in 2007 says he couldn’t be a part of it any longer.

Today’s suit forces McHugh construction to pay $12 million to the government.

It may sound like a lot, but to a 100 year old company as big as McHugh, $12 million may hardly make a dent in their books.

Still Ryan Keiser wouldn’t be deterred. He’s the whistleblower who brought their wrongs to light.

Keiser refused to green light anymore paperwork showing his company did work that McHugh actually completed. Work on projects like the Brown Line renovation, the new North Ave bridge and the repair of several Loop viaducts to name a few.

Keiser was fired after four months when he questioned whether women or minority subcontractors were actually doing the work required by law.

Keiser and his attorney say clout in the construction industry is everything and this kind of misrepresentation goes on a lot with little to no valuable oversight.

McHugh fired two employees and the government has prosecuted a third. They also say they are working on compliance matters internally and say they have cooperated with investigators for over two years. The company is pleased with its resolution and looks forward to putting this matter behind them.

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