Oregon Contractor Settles Cases with State

Staff | September 28, 2010

Salem— The state of Oregon and Ross Bros. & Co. Inc., of Brooks, OR, reached a settlement on two legal cases Jan. 9; one involving a construction claim by Ross against ODOT and the other a racketeering case against Ross Bros. brought by the Oregon attorney general under Oregon's civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (ORICO) in Malheur County in February 2008.

The Jan. 9 injunction stipulates that Steven M. Ross and four of his companies are permanently prohibited from engaging in public works contracting in Oregon. The judgment dismisses all existing civil claims and lawsuits between the parties, including the federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Ross individuals.

The judgment also dismisses all existing construction claims against the state for work performed before Jan. 9, 2009, an amount exceeding $7.6 million, except for the Shady Bridge project claim in Douglas County.

The Stipulated Judgment enjoins four Steve Ross businesses and Steven M. Ross, and among other things, prohibits them from doing public works contracting in Oregon and adds future requirements on three other Ross individuals, if they continue in public contracting in Oregon.

This litigation stemmed from a contract claim by Ross against the Oregon Department of Transportation pertaining to work on a bridge construction project in Ontario, OR.

Investigation of Ross' construction claim resulted in the Oregon attorney general filing a racketeering charge against Ross. The attorney general later added the Rogue River-Depot Street project in Jackson County to the racketeering suit. The cases were combined in this stipulated judgment.

The judgment allows the successors and family of Steven M. Ross to create a new corporation to engage in public works contracting, subject to the requirements and restrictions of the judgment. The new corporation can take on existing Ross contracts within 60 days of entering the judgment.

Ross Bros. has seven open contracts with ODOT, three of which have work completed.