Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hired Truck figure lands $39 million city contract

March 3, 2010

Former Hired Truck kingpin Michael Tadin has snared a three-year, $39.4 million contract to operate and maintain one of three waste transfer stations that Mayor Daley once attempted to lease.
Tadin-owned M.A.T. Leasing was chosen to operate the largest of the three facilities at 750 N. Kilbourn -- where city crews once sorted through garbage for recyclables in blue bags -- after assembling a sub-contracting team that includes two firms that cashed in on the scandal-plagued Hired Truck program.
South Chicago Trucking Corp., a women's business enterprise, and B.B.D. Trucking, a minority-owned company, will each receive a $2 million share of the Tadin contract.
With 43 trucks paid by three city departments, B.B.D. was the largest black-owned company to ride the Hired Truck gravy train. One of its drivers pleaded guilty in 2005 to stealing city asphalt and delivering it to a private job site while driving a B.B.D.-owned Hired Truck.
"I wasn't aware of that. I don't know what that driver did. But, the owner of the company I've known for 25 years," Tadin said Tuesday, noting that he under-bid his closest competitor by $2 million.
The new contract appears to fly in the face of Tadin's 2004 pledge to wash his hands of city business.
But, he said, "We never precluded ourselves from public work. We were talking about Hired Truck."
The contract to operate the transfer station at 3757 W. 34th Street was awarded to Heartland Recycling on the strength of owner Thomas Volini's $15.6 million bid, records show.
The third center, at 1633 W. Medill, will apparently remain in the hands of Allied Waste Transportation.
Tadin is the perennial city trucking magnate whose $1.25 million loan to a security company co-owned by Ald. Patrick Huels (11th) forced the 1997 resignation of Daley's former City Council floor leader. Tadin's trucking company had received a $1.1 million city subsidy with Huels' help.
Tadin was the undisputed king of Hired Trucks, emerging from the pack, even after City Hall accused the company of over-billing and agreed to spread the wealth to other firms. No over-billing was ever documented.
The program was disbanded in 2005 after the Chicago Sun-Times disclosed how politically-connected companies were paid to do little or no work.
MAT Leasing was awarded the three-year contract because it was the low bidder for the work covering that part of the city, said Shannon Andrews of the Department of Procurement Services.