Electrician got $2.4million job from contractor after school project vote

A Southington electrical contractor who has worked with a Bristol construction company for ‘over 30 years’ has voted to make the company the general contractor for a $67million school construction project in Bristol — and later received a $2.5 million contract from that same company to work on another project in Tolland, documents show.

Stephan Masotti, of Masotti Electric, was a member of the Memorial Boulevard Intradistrict Arts Magnet School Building Committee since November 2017. The committee voted to make D’Amato Construction the general contractor for the $67 million project in December 2018.

A federal grand jury is investigating the awarding of school contracts in Bristol and Tolland to D’Amato Construction and the role the Office of School Construction Grants & Review (OSCG&R), headed at the time by Konstantinos Diamantis, played in the process. .

[The Kosta Diamantis timeline]

Just months after voting to give the Bristol project to D’Amato Construction, Masotti Electric secured $2.4 million D’Amato’s contract to work on the Birch Grove Elementary School project in Tolland, where D’Amato was the general contractor.

Tony D’Amato said on Tuesday that “there was no correlation between Masotti serving on the Bristol school board and his company getting the electricity contract at Tolland.”

“He’s a guy from Bristol, and his company has worked for us for over 30 years,” D’Amato said. “There is absolutely no correlation between the two projects. We use his company all the time.

Masotti had no comment on the work at Birch Grove Elementary School when contacted on Tuesday.

He referred all matters to the Bristol School Committee to the chairman, Michael Dietter. Masotti declined to say whether he had ever told committee members that he was a regular D’Amato contractor.

Dietter released a statement Tuesday through district press officer Brian Burke.

“Members of the building committee are selected and appointed through a process outlined in Bristol’s city charter. Mr. Masotti was recommended as a member of the city’s professional community to Mayor Cockayne on October 17, 2017,” Dietter wrote.

“In subsequent City Council action in November 2017, Mr. Masotti was added to the Memorial Boulevard Intradistrict Arts Magnet School construction committee. Mr. Masotti is not a sub-contractor of the Memorial Boulevard Intradistrict Arts Magnet School Project.

As a subcontractor for the Birch Grove project in Tolland, Masotti was reportedly hired directly by D’Amato, the general contractor for the $46 million school project.

Masotti Electric was paid about $2.39 million by D’Amato as Birch Grove’s electrical contractor, according to people familiar with the project.

Last week, the grand jury issued subpoenas to Tolland and Bristol, requesting all documents relating to the two school projects as well as any correspondence with Konstantinos Diamantis, who oversaw the state program, or any other employees of OSCG&R.

A unanimous vote in Bristol

In a meeting on December 20, 2018, the Memorial Boulevard School Intradistrict Arts Magnet School committee unanimously selected the D’Amato construction team and Downes Construction, who partnered to bid on the Bristol. The team won the bid over three other contractors after presentations by each finalist and a 25-minute discussion in executive session, according to meeting minutes.

The other finalists were O&G Industries, the Gilbane Building Company and Consigli Construction, minutes show.

The committee voted unanimously to award the contract to D’Amato/Downes even though they only scored the third of the last four on the preliminary ranking parameters that the committee had established.

The vote was unanimous with no abstentions, indicating that Masotti voted for the D’Amato/Downes team, according to the minutes.

The committee also voted to approve a series of change orders submitted by the D’Amato/Downes team, and all were approved unanimously with no abstentions, indicating that Masotti also voted for them, according to the lawsuit. minutes of the meeting.

The last meeting of the committee took place on January 27, 2022. Masotti is still a member of the board.

The Tolland School

Even though the Birch Grove Primary School project started after the Bristol School project, construction in Tolland started earlier and the school was completed earlier.

Tolland was declared an emergency contract by former Department of State Administrative Services Commissioner Melody Currey because the old school had crumbling foundations and was deemed unsafe.

The declaration of emergency allowed the municipal authorities to hire a general contractor and a construction management company without issuing a tender. City and school officials said Diamantis pressured them to give D’Amato the job.

It’s unclear when Masotti started working at Birch Grove Elementary School, but change-of-order records show the company submitted its first in August 2020 for $51,274.

In total, Masotti Electric submitted 22 change orders to D’Amato Construction and construction manager Construction Advocacy Professionals (CAPs) over a one-year period beginning in August 2020, according to an order spreadsheet. of modification prepared by D’Amato for the Birch Grove School Building Committee.

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