Stepping in on a project that is already over-budget, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Friday that he was appointing an independent project advisory committee to oversee construction of a new headquarters for the Police Department.
The project originally was estimated to cost $200 million, but only one firm submitted a bid, and it was much higher than engineers had expected.
The contract for constructing the 11-story building at 100 W. 1st St. was awarded to Tutor-Saliba Corp. for $231.3 million.
Tutor-Saliba has had a controversial history on government construction projects.
Just Monday, a state Superior Court jury awarded $446,600 to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority after finding that Tutor-Saliba Corp., Perini Corp. and Tutor-Saliba Perini AJB were in breach of contract for work at the Wilshire-Normandie Metro Station, according to Dave Sotero, an MTA spokesman.
The companies also were found to have charged the transit agency twice for handrails installed in the subway station.
Villaraigosa said he was appointing the project committee to ensure that the police building comes in on time and on its new budget.
He named Department of Water and Power Commissioner Nick Patsaouras and A. Redmond "Rusty" Doms, a former realty executive, to the panel.
"This is a vital project for the Los Angeles Police Department as well as the entire city of Los Angeles," Villaraigosa said. "Commissioner Patsaouras and Mr. Doms are recognized leaders in the business community, and they understand the importance of maximizing every tax dollar."
City Council President Eric Garcetti completed the panel by appointing Eliahu Silon, principal of Eli Silon and Associates.
The committee will provide independent oversight of the construction process and keep the mayor's office, City Council and the city administrative officer informed of construction changes or other significant issues that could contribute to costs or delays, the mayor said.