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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Feinberg vindicates Capital Health

Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg sided with one of Trenton's major healthcare companies Monday, and ruled the City of Trenton would have to rebid its employee health services or award the bid to a different company, after it awarded the contract to a Hamilton-based firm through a flawed process.

This decision also revealed some of the shady practices the City of Trenton engages in when awarding contracts, with bias and malice.

Capital Health Systems sued the city after it awarded a contract to Robert Wood Johnson of Hamilton despite the fact that RWJ's bid came in at over $100,000 more than that of CHS.

CHS cited a litany of RWJ contract problems, including an incomplete proposal and the fact that city officials actually went over the other portions of the other bidders' proposals with RWJ officials.

"The fact that Robert Wood Johnson was able to view the lump sum budgets of the other two bid ders gave it a distinct advantage in crafting its own proposal," said Feinberg in a written opinion.

While Feinberg did not touch on the possibility of Mayor Douglas H. Palmer's anger with CHS - over the planned move of one hospital campus to Hopewell - it does seem that city officials went out of their way to hand the contract to a firm other than CHS.

They selected the higher bid, citing unspecified complaints and ambiguous service features as the reason for the selection. This, combined with the fact they let a bidding firm review other bidders' proposals prior to selection, paints a picture of severe bias towards CHS.

Trenton residents shouldn't want a city government that awards bids and taxpayer moneys based on a childish grudge.

They should want a government that awards contracts based on the law, to the firm best-suited to do the job, especially if they are one of Trenton's largest employers and most important industries.

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