Saturday, June 16, 2001

Kauai County

Defaulting firm
may win another
Kauai contract

The company has already
collected $6 million for jobs
it never finished

By Anthony Sommer

LIHUE >> Even though she has collected almost $6 million in the past six months on two construction projects for Kauai County that never were completed, Doreen Sanchez-Rego was recommended this week for yet another county project.

Troy Tanigawa, county solid waste manager, said yesterday he has recommended Kauai Trees and Palms Corp. be awarded a $230,000 contract to dispose of almost 30,000 cubic feet of green waste at county base yards at Kapaa and Kekaha.

"After looking into it, we concluded that as long as she meets all the legal requirements for the contract, we have to award her the contract because she was the low bidder," said Tanigawa.

One other company bid $319,000.

Documents submitted to the Kauai County Purchasing Office with the bid list Sanchez-Rego as the president of Kauai Trees and Palms. The company's telephone number is the same as that of Rego Construction Co., which Sanchez-Rego also owns.

In January, Rego Construction defaulted on a contract to install a $1.5 million water pipeline in Hanamaulu. The project was 90 percent completed, and Rego Construction had been paid about $1.3 million, when work abruptly halted due to a dispute between Rego and a subcontractor, according to county records.

None of the $1.3 million was returned to the county. Reliance Indemnity Corp., which issued the performance bond on the project, hired Okada Trucking Co. of Oahu to complete the project. So far, it has not been finished.

A month later, county inspectors discovered both the surface paving and the base material on a new county bypass around the town of Koloa was too thin. Rego Construction was the contractor and had been paid $4.6 million, out of a $4.8 million contract, none of which has been refunded to the county.

Reliance Indemnity again had issued the performance bond and again hired Okada Trucking to finish the project. No completion date has been set.

Sanchez-Rego did not return calls seeking comment.

Kauai County

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