City of London denies forestry department contract fixing allegations

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City of London lawyers deny claims that officials have secured forestry contracts in favor of Davey Tree Expert for years, according to recently filed court documents in a $ 31 million civil action.

Allegations in the lawsuit, filed in a Toronto court on Jan. 26 by CLC Tree Services, a London, Ont. Company, have yet to be tested in front of a judge.

CLC Tree Services alleges Davey has had a virtual monopoly on all city forestry contracts for years thanks to preferential treatment from the city’s forestry department.

CLC Tree Services court records allege that the preferential treatment is based on a close personal friendship between Andrew Beaton, a former Davey employee who is currently the town’s forestry director, and Timothy Holley, the man who took over Beaton’s job when he left to work for town hall.

CLC Tree Services is a logging company based in London, Ont., Which accused the city and Davey Tree Expert of settling the city’s forestry contracts in Davey’s favor. City officials deny the accusation. (Colin Butler / CBC News)

The claimant claims that Davey Tree Expert has received all forestry work and consulting contracts from the city since 2003, “with one exception”.

CLC seeks $ 15 million in general damages, $ 16 million in punitive damages and a court order against the city, preventing it from awarding or extending contracts for forestry work without first initiating a public call for tenders.

In a defense recently filed in a Toronto court by the City of London’s prosecutor’s office, attorneys for the town hall argue that the defendants acted reasonably and in good faith and that there is no reason for that the city or Davey pay damages.

Records filed by city attorneys claim that the real reason CLC Tree Services failed to win city contracts is that they often fail to submit proposals and, in the rare cases where the company did so, argues the city, CLC lacked the necessary staff, training, equipment and skills. the work.

Regarding the alleged Beaton and Holley conspiracy, the city says the allegation of preferential treatment for Davey in the town hall contracts is purely speculative and without a factual basis.

Lawyers for the City also argue that for the plaintiff to have a valid case under the Competition Act, CLC Tree Services would have to compete with Davey Tree Expert. “[The defendants] deny that they are competitors with Davey Tree Expert. “

In its defense, the city attorney’s office requests that the prosecution be dismissed with costs.


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