Dirty business - Page 6

Lawsuit illuminates corruption and crackdowns in City Hall and implicates top officials. A Guardian special report

A top city official testified that then-Purchaser Ed Lee improperly approved a city contract with a "fraudulent" company

"From day one, I knew that they were not qualified," Vincent-James' deposition transcript reads. She went on to say that the official city process for evaluating contractors was "totally bypassed." Nonetheless, "We had to admit them to the Computer Store."

"Who told you, you had to admit them to the Computer Store?" attorney Whitney Leigh asked.

"The director of purchasing," states Vincent-James' deposition transcript. "Ed Lee."

She went on to testify that Lee had been acting under the direction of Mayor Brown. According to her deposition, "[Lee] was directed by the Mayor's Office and told to do an evaluation process. They evaluated them. They were put in the store." She also testified, "Principals of GCSI hired an attorney who had been in the State Legislature with Mayor Brown and ... GCSI had felt that because we were asking intrusive questions during the oral interview, such as 'Why do you have that wire hanging out of your coat?' ... They felt that biased the committee toward ... not hiring them."

Neither Brown nor Mayor Lee's office responded to requests for comment.

GCSI is still a codefendant in the complaint, but the principals of the defunct company seem to be off the hook. A 2008 story from the Anchorage Daily News noted that Fowler had emerged as the head of a natural gas company in Alaska. The Bradys, meanwhile, are getting ready for another court date in March. "We keep going to court," Debra Brady said. "I'm kind of like, when is the end coming?"