The personal injury lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. and Whiting Law Group, announce the filing of a lawsuit against the State of Michigan, OfficeMax, Inc. and Michigan Legislative Consultants, Inc., a Michigan-based lobbying group for allegedly violating established bidding practices and conspiring to deprive their client, True North Global Office Solutions, LLC of being awarded a long-term contract to provide office supplies for the State of Michigan. The case against the State of Michigan is pending in front of Judge Lisamarie Aquilina in the Michigan Court of Claims (Case No. 12-61-MZ). The case against OfficeMax and Michigan Legislative Consultants, Inc. was recently filed in the United States Federal District Court for the Western District of Michigan (Case No. 1:12CV00958) with Judge Robert J. Jonker presiding over such claim.
OfficeMax Inc. is a foreign corporation with its headquarters in Naperville, Illinois. Michigan Legislative Consultants, Inc. is a Michigan corporation with its headquarters in Lansing, Michigan. True North Global Solutions, LLC is a Michigan corporation with its main office in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
The lawsuits filed against the State of Michigan, OfficeMax, and the Michigan Legislative Consultants, were brought by True North Global Office Solutions for the process and manner in which the State of Michigan used in requesting and awarding bids for a long-term contract to provide office supplies throughout the State of Michigan. According to Court documents, the Defendants are accused of changing the bidding process once it was underway and implementing new restrictions during the bidding process to eliminate and exclude local Michigan-based companies, like True North Global Office Solutions, from consideration, in the bidding process.
The lawsuits allege that during the bidding process, a key employee of the State of Michigan, Tony Deschenes, requested and received the bids from various office suppliers, including True Global North Office Solutions. However, during the bidding process, Mr. Duschenes left his employment with the State of Michigan and became a lobbying consultant with Defendant Michigan Legislative Consultants. OfficeMax was a client of the Michigan Legislative Consultants. Mr. Deschenes then lobbied on behalf of OfficeMax to obtain the office supply contract from the State of Michigan.
In addition, the lawsuits allege that the State of Michigan implemented additional restrictions on the type of companies could bid on the lucrative office supply contracts, and in doing so, excluded local Michigan businesses in favor of larger, global office supply chains. These new restrictions became effective despite Governor Rick Snyder’s push to increase Michigan business and promote jobs in Michigan. The Court documents allege that as a result of this change in the bidding process and the new limitations that were included, only national chains like OfficeMax and Office Depot became qualified to submit bids. Due to these new restrictions which favored national chains over local businesses, True Global North Office Supplies was disqualified from the bidding process and was not awarded the lucrative contract despite being the successful bidder.
“The fact that a Michigan government employee handling the bidding process for a lucrative state contract leaves his public office to join the lobbying firm that represents the eventual bid winner speaks volumes on the way the whole thing was handled. Then, the bidding process was changed right in the middle to essentially disqualify a Michigan business from winning the contract. It’s not too hard to read between the lines, “said attorney Randall M. Blau of Buckfire & Buckfire P.C.
Two separate lawsuits have been filed. The first lawsuit accuses the State of Michigan of improprieties and irregularities in the bidding process. The second lawsuit accuses OfficeMax, Tony Duschenes, and the Michigan Legislative Consultants, of interfering with True Global North Office Supplies’ contract with the State of Michigan and conspiring to prevent them from being awarded the office supply contract. No trial dates have been set by the courts.
About Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C.:
Buckfire & Buckfire P.C. is a Michigan personal injury law firm located in Southfield specializing in personal injury cases, including injuries in Michigan car accident, toxic torts, medical malpractice, and nursing home neglect cases. Attorney Randall M. Blau is an experienced trial attorney at the firm that handles business disputes and commercial litigation matters. For more information about these lawsuits, call (800) 606-1717 to speak with Mr. Blau or to learn more about the law firm visit http://www.buckfirelaw.com/.
About The Whiting Law Firm PLLC:
The Whiting Law Firm PLLC is a litigation firm located in Southfield, Michigan. Attorney Paul J. Whiting III is handling the case for the firm. To speak with Mr. Whiting, call his office at (248) 355-5900.