Oct 5, 2010 1:54 PM by David Ortiviz

Arbitrators rule county grossly over-billed in clean-up

An arbitrator has ruled Pueblo County was over-billed nearly $5.4 million for the clean-up of an old warehouse. The building at 6th St. and Elizabeth St. in Pueblo burned in October 2007. The property owner, Omar Maaliki hired Qualiclean to clean up the site, but when Maaliki stopped paying the bills, Pueblo County took over payments.

Pueblo County wanted the land to build a new judicial complex. The county ended up paying Qualiclean $6.6 million. On Monday, American Arbitration Association ruled Qualiclean was only entitled to 1.2 million. "It satisfying that we won, however we will not rest until we recover that $5.4 million dollars," said Jeff Chostner, Pueblo County Commissioner.

Chostner says Qualiclean is bound by the arbitration, to refund the money to Pueblo County. Chostner also says the county is pursuing Maaliki to pay the $1.2 million in clean-up costs.


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