At one point, from 2002 until 2010, worked for the Detroit recreational department as a construction project manager. Main job was to oversee major system replacements, new constructions. At the recreation department, her boss was Vincent Anwunah.
Was part of evaluation committee that evaluated bid proposals for the Heilmann project which started off as a renovation project which turned into new construction. The recreational center was to be used by the residents of the city of Detroit.
Wilks says Vincent Anwunah, Tyrone Clifton and Robert Hill were also on the evaluation committee with her. Anwunah was general manager of landscape design for the city recreational department. Clifton was with the Detroit Building Authority (DBA). Ayanna Benson was the head of the DBA.
Doeh asking if Ayanna Benson had a relationship to the mayor. Witness says she knows that she was connection to the mayor. Benson is the mayor's cousin though Doeh couldn't get the witness to say this.
Wilks says they got 7 or 8 bid proposals for the Heilmann Center project. 5 were selected for the interview process. Wilks says her objective was to make the best selection for the center and the city of Detroit. The contract was for $7 million.
Witness taking about contractor Spencer Dailey that had completed another recreational center previously with the city. They had been highly evaluated on that job. Despite several problems with the project, Spencer Dailey still kept costs in line and delivered on the project. Spencer Dailey also submitted bid for the Heilmann project.
10:30AM Judge says this would be a good time to take a 20 minute break.
10:50AM Everybody getting back to the courtroom. On time. Forgot to mention earlier, Ferguson's lawyer Susan Van Dusen is still absent from court. No word yet when she will be back.
Eric Doeh getting ready to continue with LaJuan Wilks. Really liking the prosecutor's dark suit, blue shirt and cherry red tie combo. It pops amid a sea of beige and grey suits.
The judge telling jury that a defense exhibit has been received.
Witness looking at review sheets for bid proposals for the Heilmann project including those for Skanska, JOA and Spencer Dailey.
Looking at JOA's Request for Proposal document. the joint venture team was JOA and Xcel. Xcel was represented by Woodhouse and Calvin Hall.
The witness had made comments in pen on the RFP: "State processes but didn't go into detail of what processes would be. Not clearly laid out." Wilks had not rated JOA as highly as the others. Spencer Dailey was rated more highly.
Out of the 5 presenters, Wilks was leaning towards Spencer Dailey. Witness says the package they submitted was complete and had a designer on their team who had experience with rec centers as well as previous project. witness says JOA had done work for them before but not such a large scale project.
Spencer Dailey was a Detroit-based business. Wilks not sure if they are minority owned.
Talking about Tyrone Clifton of DBA who was part of the evaluation committee as well.
Wilks says that JOA/Xcel seemed unprepared in their presentation. Each team had a certain amount of presentation- they spent some of their time just sitting while all the other groups used up every bit of their time.
Doeh asking how Woodhouse of Xcel compared to others. Wilks says she didn't look at them as individuals but as a group.
Wilks says that the JOA/Xcel demeanor was "kind of casual". They seemed rather relaxed for the size of project. This team came in looking for questions not really a presentation. Wilks didn't feel they had a clear presentation- "it was lacking, minimal." They came in and introduced their team and said what their responsibilities were.
After the presentations, the committee rated the 5 companies based on reviews from package and points from interviews. JOA/Xcel ranked 4th and yet somehow still got the job. Spencer Dailey was 79 and JOA was 42, second to last. Skanska was 85 points ranked at #1 position.
Wilks says the ranking reflects her thinking on who the best teams were.
Witness says JOA/Xcell got Heilmann contract and she was surprised. At the end of the committee review, they were between Skanska and Spencer Dailey and the evaluation group ultimately decided to go with Skanska. JO/Xcel were not in the running, not one of the teams discussed.
Kwame leaning in closely to whisper in Thomas's ear as his lawyer takes notes.
After JOA got contract, Wilks job was to be liason between contract and DBA to make sure job received is what rec department needs. The expectations placed on her were to be on the site much more than on typical city contracts. She went out on site at least 4 or 5 days a week on a 5 day a week operation.
11:15AM Doeh asks how often witness saw Woodhouse and Hall on the site.