As this site predicted early last week, the University of Alabama System outsourced the management of its facilities to a private firm based in Birmingham but registered in Delaware — where it also pays taxes.
The firm is Hoar Construction, started decades ago and specializing originally in church building. Its contract with the System is for two years and will cost almost $3 million — several times the cost of the current in-house management team recently fired by Director of Facilities Thad Turnipseed.
The first search committee assigned to find a management firm came up with a list of seven names, later reduced to three finalists. Hoar Construction was not on the list of finalists.
But then a second, apparently secret committee was convened. Two of its members were Robert Witt, President of the University of Alabama, and his Texas sidekick, Vice President of Financial Affairs Kerry Kennedy. This “committee” voided the results of the first committee and chose Hoar Construction as the sole “finalist.”
An investigation by The Alabama Observer into possible conflicts of interest in the choice of Hoar is now underway. Meanwhile, we wonder what the taxpayers of Alabama think about a state agency — the University of Alabama — firing its own citizens (see story below) to hire an outside firm that does not even pay taxes in the state of Alabama?