Former vendor sues Huntsville City Schools

Former vendor sues Huntsville City Schools
(Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It was out with the old and in with the new for Huntsville City Schools. Now the old company is firing back.

For seven years, EPSCO Inc. has been employed by the school system to fill temporary personnel positions for several years. Last week, their contact was not renewed. It was awarded to a new company.

The company states the process did not follow Alabama Law and has filed a lawsuit.

Huntsville City School board of education chairwoman Elisa Ferrell believes the process was done properly. She said they found reason to believe the company was an "irresponsible bidder" and therefore, they weren't considered and the contract was award to the next lowest bidder.

This lawsuit refutes that.

In the 15-page document, EPSCO Ic. slams the board for calling them an "irresponsible bidder" and takes issue with them awarding a contract they've held to PESG.

"We determined that EPSCO was an unreliable bidder. We still feel that that is the case. We have substantial documentation on that, and we feel that we will prevail in any legal situation," said Ferrell.

EPSCO highlights what they thought was a great working relationship with the school system. They believe they were blindsided.

"Not being fully-staffed, not having people show up, not having people do their work, having a security guard that might throw a child into a wall. Those kinds of things would cause someone to be an irresponsible bidder," Ferrell said.

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Ferrell said EPSCO's invitation to bid was a general gesture given to many companies.

"It wasn't like we called them and said please bid on this. We let everyone know that the bid was available," she said.

EPSCO calls the allegations "unsupported" and brought on by the school system's financial officer.

The lawsuit states that because they were the lowest bidder, the contract should have been awarded to them.

Ferrell said the recent complaints filed this year forced them to look at other companies.

"If the judge says we have to go with EPSCO, then we will go with EPSCO. If he says we have to start all over again, then we will. We will do everything in our power to make sure we have a full staff come August," she said.

EPSCO is asking for a preliminary or permanent injunction which would stop the process altogether. They request that the contract be declared void.

The company states they will suffer irreparable injury and a financial loss that could never recover from.

EPSCO referred WAFF 48 News to its attorney for comment. The attorney has yet to respond.

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