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RJO Persuades Transit Agency That Client Has No Organizational Conflict of Interest


RJO attorney Joseph McGowan succeeded in persuading the Los Angeles Metro to state, in advance of receiving proposals, that RJO’s client, B&C Transit, Inc., had no organizational conflict of interest (“OCI”). B&C Transit had prepared design drawings for a prior LA Metro project, which had been cancelled. B&C’s drawings were subsequently repackaged by LA Metro as part of a more comprehensive solicitation for the Blue Line Signal Rehabilitation Project. B&C Transit wanted to participate as the signaling design/builder for the Blue Line Signal Rehabilitation Project, but lead proposers for the project were unwilling to include B&C Transit on their team due to concerns that the presence of B&C’s design drawings in the Blue Line solicitation would lead to the disqualification of the team on OCI grounds. The LA Metro’s initial position was that the agency does not take a position on OCI’s prior to the submission of formal proposals. Such a policy would have effectively barred B&C Transit, because no lead proposer would risk including B&C Transit, due to the possibility of being disqualified on OCI grounds. RJO persuaded the LA Metro Ethics Department and Los Angeles County Counsel to deviate from the normal policy and issue a letter finding that participation by B&C was not an OCI. The letter was issued prior to the deadline for prequalification for the project, thereby allowing B&C Transit to submit a sub-proposal for the project.

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