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Oregon Permanently Bars Ross Bros. From Work in State

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The state of Oregon on Jan. 13 barred Ross Bros. & Co., Brooks, Ore., from work on state projects as part of a settlement of two cases. Both cases stem from an Oregon Dept. of Transportation project in 2001 to build a bridge over railroad tracks in Ontario, Ore. Ross Bros. was the low bidder at $4.1 million. It subsequently submitted 53 cost-overrun claims, totaling $3.1 million. The state refused to pay, and Ross filed a suit in January 2008 to collect. About $1 million of Ross’ claim is related to a state finding that the contractor used the wrong materials when building a retaining wall. Following a state investigation, the state attorney general filed racketeering charges against Ross Bros., claiming the firm tried to defraud the state by submitting false documents, submitting false claims and obstructing governmental administration. The injunction stipulates that Ross owner Steven M. Ross and four of his companies are permanently prohibited from public-works contracting in Oregon. Family members may form their own firms. The judgment also dismisses all existing civil claims. Ross Bros. officials could not be reached for comment.

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