Contractor banned from Philly job bids for flouting diversity rules

Pat Loeb
September 18, 2019 - 1:11 pm
Center City Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia officials have barred a New Jersey contractor from bidding on any work with the city for three years, for violating minority participation rules. The action comes after a joint investigation by the city controller and the inspector general.

Inspector General Amy Kurland says Peter Pirozzi promised to use three minority- or women-owned businesses when he got $2.2 million worth of contracts to replace windows and outdoor panels at two city facilities in 2017.

"The requirement to use your best effort to use subcontractors that are minority or women owned, that's a huge thing that goes into requests for proposals," Kurland said.

But Kurland says a year-and-a-half investigation found the firms were fake. One was purportedly owned by Pirozzi's wife.

"His wife was a full-time nurse, was also going to school part time. Didn't really have anything to do with the business," she said.

Another was supposedly owned by her son-in-law, who Kurland says was equally uninvolved. A third was a straight pass through — Pirozzi listed it, but it did no work on the contracts. 

The three-year ban on bids is the maximum, under city contract rules. The city also got $145,000 in the settlement. Kurland says the case shows how serious the city is about diversity in contracting.

"The victims are all of the legitimate women- and minority-owned companies that really should have an opportunity to compete for city work," she said.

Pirrozi could not be reached for comment. Four different numbers listed for his business were all disconnected.

This is not his first dispute with local government. In 2017, officials said he botched a window replacement job on Toms River Town Hall. In 2013, the borough of Eddystone in Delaware County sued, saying he failed to complete a new firehouse on the promised schedule.