KANSAS CITY, Missouri (September 5, 2017) — The Burns & McDonnell KCI HOMETOWN Team is calling for the City to restart the selection process to pick a firm to design, build and finance a new single-terminal KCI airport. Counsel for the team, legally named Terminal Developer LLC, notified the City attorney with the request this morning, to ensure a fair and transparent process.
“I want to make our client's position clear. Terminal Developer wishes to see KCI Airport redeveloped,” says David Frantze, Stinson Leonard Street LLP. “Terminal Developer believes the flaws and irregularities of the current process have precluded a fair decision. Rather than proceed with a selection that is subject to challenge, Terminal Developer believes the current RFQ/P process should be terminated and a new, open process commenced.”
Frantze contacted the City attorney Monday evening demanding the City remove its outside legal counsel for the KCI project because of an inherent conflict of interest that created an appearance of impropriety in the selection process.
Frantze pointed out that Husch Blackwell served as legal counsel to Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate with a privately-financed project currently underway at the University of Kansas. Edgemoor is one of the four proposers vying for the KCI project. Charles Renner, who leads the City’s outside counsel in the selection process for KCI, also acted as lead attorney to Edgemoor on the University of Kansas project.
“We are very upset to have learned about the existence of a personal relationship between the City’s outside legal consultant and one of the proposers,” says Mike Brown, vice president, Burns & McDonnell. “This information came to our attention over the weekend and necessitated our advisement to the City.”
"Obviously this is terribly disappointing to us in lieu of our position as the preferred proposer by the airlines and the proximity of a pending November election,” says Brown. “However, we believe that the citizens of Kansas City deserve a selection process for such an important project for the City that is fair, transparent and conflict-free to all proposers.”
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