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Town dump truck bidding disputed

February 17, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A Hancock-area resident has asked town officials to take lie detector tests after a bid he submitted to the town to buy a used dump truck was lost.

Members of the Town Council said they weren't interested in taking the tests but apologized for the lost bid.

Acting on permission from Town Manager Larry Logan, Robert Diehl in December submitted the bid for $5,100 a day after the deadline for bids, Diehl and town officials said.

Logan was not at Town Hall to accept the bid, so Diehl gave it to Hancock Police Chief Donald Gossage, who was in the building, Diehl said.

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Diehl said Logan told him to give the bid to Gossage if Logan was not in the building and that Gossage would deliver it to him.

The bid was lost and never ended up in Logan's hands, Logan said.

Diehl said the price he offered to pay for the dump truck was a few thousand dollars more than what it was sold for. He asked for the lie detector tests to try to determine what happened to his bid and who might have lost it.

Logan said Monday night that Cohill Construction Inc. submitted the winning bid of approximatley $2,500. Logan said he did not have the exact amount of the bid at his home.

At last week's Town Council meeting, Mayor Daniel A. Murphy and some council members voiced displeasure that Logan allowed Diehl to submit a late bid.

Town officials said losing the bid was unintentional and that lie detector tests were not necessary.

"He made a bad decision, and he knows I'm not happy with that decision," Murphy told Diehl at the meeting. "I think we have to admit that we made errors."

Murphy said Logan probably would never make that mistake again.

"The most embarrassing part is the actual item becomes lost, and we do not know where it is," Murphy said.

Councilman Greg Yost said he would not have agreed to extending the deadline.

"It's a sad state that it happened ...," Yost said. "And it should ... never happen again."

Yost said lie detector tests are unreliable.

"I'm not requiring anybody to take a lie detector test," he said. "It won't prove anything."

"There's no point in beating a dead horse," Councilman Randy Pittman said. "He (Logan) doesn't have (the bid). He doesn't know where ... it went."

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