Some More Concrete Information About Ash Grove's Lawsuits Against North Texas Cities
Back, for a moment, to that item about concrete-maker Ash Grove suing the city of Plano for refusing to buy its cement, made with the dirty, antiquated wet-kiln method. I do need to clarify a few things: Yes, Plano was originally sued by Ash Grove -- along with Dallas and Fort Worth and Arlington and the Dallas County Schools and Tarrant County -- back in November 2008, as Ash Grove claimed the defendants' decisions to purchase "environmentally preferable" cement was a violation of the company's Constitutional rights. But according to attorneys familiar with the suit, Plano was dismissed from the litigation early on; hence, its new, separate suit.
The original litigation is still alive and well, but there's been no action since March 31, when a scheduled hearing between Ash Grove and Fort Worth's attorneys was canceled after the Fort Worth city council revised its Green Cement Resolution. But there's been no other movement in the case for months: All the parties are waiting for U.S. District Court Judge Reed C. O'Connor to rule on the defendants' motions to dismiss. (After the jump, you'll find one of them -- from the Dallas County Schools.)
Yesterday, Ash Grove's representatives sent to Unfair Park a statement concerning both pieces of litigation:
Texas competitive bidding laws require that local municipalities only evaluate the quality and price of the product or service to be purchased and prohibit local governments from giving preference to one bid over another for air quality purposes unless the preference is based upon a recognized exception to the competition requirements.
Ash Grove contends that Plano's cement procurement resolution restricts competition for municipal contracts in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
The Dallas law firm Wick Phillips LLP is representing Ash Grove Cement Company in this matter.
"With little to no consideration of state and federal public contracting rules, Plano adopted a cement purchasing resolution that is not only unconstitutional, but also highly prejudicial to Ash Grove. Apparently Plano adopted this resolution simply because the cities of Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington had previously adopted similar resolutions," said Wick Phillips partner, Todd Phillips. "However, Plano's resolution violates the same state and federal laws that these other cities' resolutions violate, and as a result, Ash Grove has no choice but to take Plano to court to protect its interests."
Hope that clears up everything.