Courthouse building manager linked to Trump comments


By Dustin Ensinger

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The company hired to oversee the construction of a new Delaware County courthouse has become an issue in the quixotic presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

Lend Lease, which has been hired to serve as the construction manager at-risk on the local courthouse project, is also in charge of a Trump-backed project to construct a $200 million luxury hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that several of the construction workers at the site are undocumented immigrants, a group the billionaire real estate developer disparaged last month in his campaign announcement when he suggested that immigrants from Mexico are bringing drugs to America and are “rapists.”

Lend Lease, in a statement issued to the Washington Post, said it “requires all contractors performing work at the project to follow all applicable federal, state and local laws,” language similar to that in the company’s contract with Delaware County.

“The construction manager shall comply with applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, codes, rules and regulations, and lawful orders of public authorities applicable to its performance under this contract, and with equal employment opportunity programs, and other programs as may be required by governmental and quasi-governmental authorities for inclusion in the contract documents,” the contract states.

The London-based company will be paid $1.4 million to oversee the county’s $25.7 million courthouse project.

Jon Melvin, the county’s facilities manager, said he expects the the company to hire local subcontractors for the project.

“Lend Lease is the construction manager at-risk and will be bidding out all the work. All bidders must be pre-qualified,” he said. “This is the same construction manager who built the Rutherford B. Hayes Building with the same project executive, project manager and project superintendent. We were pleased with the company’s management then and expect the same with this project. We also expect them to encourage bids from local contractors, which is a plus for Delaware County.”

The company has offices across the world, including Chicago where it oversaw the reconstruction of the famed Navy Pier and the new construction of the Trump International Hotel and Tower. In New York, the company has been responsible for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, along with the new construction of the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum.

Construction of a new 62,295 square-foot facility – likely to house Delaware County Common Pleas Court, the Delaware County Clerk of Courts Office, the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office, Adult Court Services and Adult Probation Authority – is also to include a 220-space parking deck in the rear of the building.

Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.

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