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Company sues Huntsville City Schools over staffing contract

EPSCO Inc. claims the district violated Alabama's competitive bidding laws when it chose another company for district staffing needs.

Posted: May 24, 2018 3:07 PM
Updated: May 24, 2018 6:46 PM

A longtime contractor for Huntsville City Schools is suing after the district chose to give another company a staffing contract.

The lawsuit EPSCO Inc. filed Monday in Madison County District Court claims the school board violated state competitive bid laws when it awarded a staffing contract to Professional Education Services Group on May 17.

The company's previous contract in 2015 was for maintenance, instructional and administrative staff, including campus security, instructional assistants and accounting clerks. The bid was renewed in 2016 and 2017, according to the lawsuit.

Read the lawsuit here.

EPSCO claims it was the low bidder on the contract, but Huntsville City Schools deemed them a irresponsible bidder and gave the contract to PESG.

EPSCO, which had contracted with the district since 2011, states a board member claimed there was a "substantial amount of documented information" about unsatisfactory performance over the last three years , but the district hasn't provided any documentation to support the claims. 

Huntsville City Schools Board of Education President Elisa Ferrell said they do have documentation to support their side in court.

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

The company accused Huntsville City Schools of trying to drive down the proposals from other bidders by inviting EPSCO to bid and then claiming the company was an irresponsible bidder.

RELATED: Huntsville parents frustrated by aide pay cut

EPSCO is asking the court to grant an injunction against the district to keep the contract from being awarded to PESG. The company also wants the PESG contract voided, and a new round of bidding for the project.

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