April 20, 2014

Elyria
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Judge: School contract lawsuit to proceed

LORAIN — The lawsuit over construction of Lorain High School will continue.
County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Betleski, in a ruling released today in Elyria, said the North Central Ohio Building and Construction Council had a valid case against Lorain Schools, the Ohio School Facilities Commission and the Ohio Facilities Construction Committee. The council sued in March after the school district rescinded a Project Labor Agreement for the $73 million project.
The agreement, approved in January 2011, called for “good faith efforts” to ensure 50 percent of all project workers are from Lorain or Lorain County. The agreement also called for workers to be unionized and receive prevailing wages.
The school district said it was forced to rescind the agreement after Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order forbidding them. But because the executive order was signed after the agreement was approved Betleski ruled that the state was essentially moving the goalposts after the game kicked off by invalidating it.
“No party, even the state, can approve a contract, and then subsequently negate its promise by declaring the contract unlawful,” Betleski wrote.

See Friday’s Chronicle-Telegram for the full story.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com