The Wayne County Building Authority met Wednesday for the first time since February.
Recent meetings -- and a couple before that -- were cancelled by Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano's administration. On Wednesday, county project manager Bob Newton told the Building Authority for the first time that he knew the jail construction project was $50 million over budget back in December.
"There were potential changes that had not been vetted and a requirement here on this contract was that there is no authority to take this project beyond $220 million," said Newton.
Neither Newton nor the Ficano administration felt it was important to bring that information to the Building Authority. It was the authority's job to oversee the jail construction project.
Building Authority member Jim Saros says the budget overrun blindsided the board and never once had a change order brought up for a vote, even though that's the only way they are supposed to happen.
So, the board is hiring consultants to try to figure out what went wrong.
"My guess is that they didn't want it to be out there until they could try to fix it," said Saros.
Absent from Wednesday's hearing were AECOM, Ghafari and Walbridge Aldinger, the companies hired to build the jail.
At one point there were a couple of design engineers working on the jail from out of town. They were traveling on Mondays and Fridays and only working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.