by: Richard Belcher Updated:ATLANTA —
A Channel 2 Action News investigation has uncovered new questions about how much money a politically-connected contractor billed the city of Atlanta.
Channel 2's Richard Belcher broke the story that the company charged extraordinarily high prices for materials used during last year's ice storm.
Belcher has been trying to find out why C.T.C. Construction, owned by Greg Wynn, charged the city a huge premium for a commonly used material.
The city contends C.T.C.'s prices were acceptable because it was an emergency. But that doesn't square with the new information Belcher found at city hall because the additional cost to taxpayers is well over $250,000.
The city purchased large amounts of No. 89 Rock, which was spread in huge quantities after the storm.
The state Department of Transportation normally pays about $17 per ton for No. 89.
But Wynn charged the city of Atlanta $95 per ton. That's 459 percent more for the same product.
"Well, that's not a fair comparison. The state did not have an emergency contract to 89 stone. We had to do this under emergency circumstances," Dexter White with the Atlanta Department of Public Works told Belcher.
But the city's own records reveal that a local company sold the city huge quantities of the same product for less than the DOT price at the height of the ice storm.
The city told Belcher that Wynn charged more because he had to truck in the stone.
According to estimates from two trucking companies, hauling the rock on a 50-mile round-trip would add only about $10 per ton.
With the state DOT price of $17 per ton and add $10 per ton for trucking, you have a total price of about $27 per ton.
Wynn's price of $95 is 252 percent higher.
Earlier stories done by Channel 2 Action News have shown Wynn, his wife and one of his companies made nearly $6,850 in campaign contributions to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
But the mayor's spokeswoman said Reed had no role in Wynn's selection as a city contractor. Sonji Jacobs told Belcher, "To suggest otherwise is offensive."
After looking at city documents, Belcher was unable to find Wynn's invoices for No. 89 Rock or even a reference to his source.
How much did Wynn's apparent overcharging cost Atlanta taxpayers? By Channel 2's estimate about $305,000.
Wynn's attorney did not respond to a message left on his voicemail.