BART Board Votes Against Awarding Contract to Nedir Bay

Bay City News
Thursday November 19, 2009 - 05:11:00 PM

The BART board of directors voted today not to give any part of a $2 million lighting improvement project for two stations to a longtime associate of the troubled Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland. 

The BART board voted on Oct. 23 to have Nedir Bey and his firm, Solar Eclipse, of Oakland, do lighting improvement work at the North Berkeley station and have LINC Lighting & Electrical Group, of San Jose, do improvement work at the 12th Street/Oakland City Center station. 

But Bey failed to meet a Nov. 12 deadline to provide the license, bond and insurance documentation that was needed to prove that he is qualified to do the work. 

BART's staff recommended that LINC be awarded the contract for the North Berkeley station, but there was a heated two-hour public hearing today before the board finally voted 7-1, with one abstention, to give the work to LINC. 

Director Carol Ward Allen voted against giving LINC the North Berkeley station work and Director Lynette Sweet abstained. 

Bey told the board that "there was not a good faith effort to make this work" because he was only given seven days to get a bond for the project. 

But BART procurement manager Dick Wieczorek said all the contractors who bid on the work were told in September that they would have to get a bond and also provide license and insurance documentation. 

After the board voted, Bey declined to say whether he will challenge the board's vote, saying only, "I'm trying to take care of my family, man." 

Bey, 38, formerly was a member of the Oakland-based Your Black Muslim Bakery, which closed two years ago after going bankrupt. 

In 1994, Bey pleaded no contest to a felony false imprisonment charge for an incident in which he and other bakery associates were charged with torturing and robbing a man with whom they had a real estate dispute. 

Bey also never repaid a $1.1 million loan from the city of Oakland, according to Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente. 

Sweet said, "I didn't know his history" before she and other directors voted unanimously on Oct. 23 to give him part of the contract. 

She said, "It seemed like he was a businessman who was trying to get something done."