15 Sep 2014
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Newtown Sued Over School Bus Contract

Suit reportedly alleges Newtown school officials played favorites in awarding contract to All-Star Transportation.

Newtown Sued Over School Bus Contract

The owner of a school bus transportation company that had submitted a low bid to the School District in the hopes of winning a contract is reportedly suing the Town, the school district, the school board, and the owner of the newly-contracted service provider, All-Star Transportation, alleging that school officials played favorites in

As per a report in the Newtown Bee, Tom Adams, owner of MTM Transportation, one of seven companies to bid on the contract, alleges in the lawsuit that All-Star "" to the town because company owner John Dufour "did not want to compete against local drivers for work." But the company nevertheless submitted bids to the school district because Newtown district Business Manager Ronald Bienkowski and Superintendent Janet Robinson "had previously worked with All-Star in another school district and had a working relationship with them," the report states, citing the lawsuit.

In an — — 53% of 276 visitors predicted , while 38 percent said the owner-operator arrangement would continue. All-Star — which takes over as the town's school bus service provider July 1 — was the second to lowest bidder out of a total of seven companies that submitted bids.

In a separate matter, the 33 owner-operators currently serving the town have filed an action with the state Department of Labor , entitled to contract renewal negotiations, or independent contractors, according to the Newtown Bee report. If it is ruled they are a collective bargaining unit, it could render the town's contract with All-Star null and void and re-open the negotiations.

[Note: The original version of this article erroneously stated that the lawsuit was brought by the current owner-operators, not Tom Adams, and since been updated. Patch apologizes for the error.]

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