Aug. 18, 2009

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Construction on judicial center projects in four Kentucky counties can commence immediately based on a settlement agreement finalized today by the Administrative Office of the Courts and Codell Construction Company of Winchester, Ky. Under the terms of the agreement, Codell has provided 100 percent Performance and Payment bonds for projects under way in Carlisle, Hancock, Mercer and Whitley counties.

Under the agreement, Codell will furnish 100 percent Performance and Payment bonds for eight additional projects when they reach Phase D construction. Those eight projects are in Allen, Breckinridge, Campbell, Franklin, Owen, Pike, Todd and Wolfe counties. Codell has already furnished Performance and Payment bonds for 7 percent of its fee for those projects.

“Codell Construction and the AOC had some legitimate business disputes with each other,” Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. said. “As a result of this settlement agreement, we can put those issues in the past and work together going forward.”

“Codell is pleased to have resolved this matter,” said Jim Codell, president of Codell Construction. “Codell looks forward to building judicial centers that Kentuckians can be proud of for years to come.”

The settlement ends a dispute that began in March 2009 when Chief Justice Minton released a legal opinion by construction law attorney William G. Geisen of Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP in Fort Mitchell, Ky. The opinion found the AOC had allowed certain construction managers to furnish Performance and Payment Bonds that were legally insufficient. Chief Justice Minton called for immediate action to ensure compliance with the AOC’s Administrative Procedures, which govern judicial center construction. He asked the county judge-executives to require the construction managers on their projects to immediately furnish a Performance and Payment Bond equivalent to 100 percent of the contract sum, with the owner as obligee.

“I asked for a legal review to ensure that all aspects of our court facilities construction program are in complete compliance with state statutes and our Administrative Procedures,” Chief Justice Minton said. “Today’s agreement demonstrates that we will bring the highest standard of ethics and careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars to these important projects.”

The document below provides specific details of the agreement:
Settlement Agreement 8-12-09.pdf

As the administrative and fiscal agent for the Judicial Branch of state government, the AOC provides oversight and administration of court facilities statewide in accordance with House Bill 734, which was passed by the 2000 General Assembly. The AOC also supports the activities of 3,800 court system employees, including the elected justices, judges and circuit court clerks.

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