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AIR DATE: June 25, 2013

GUEST

Glenn Cook, Columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- The city of Henderson recently awarded a park improvement contract worth close to a half a million dollars to a contractor with ties to jailed polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs.

That’s not the only publicly-funded project in Nevada that JNJ Engineering has won.  They’ve worked on sewage treatment and water reclamation plants, among other smaller projects, totally more than $40 million over the last several years.

According to columnist Glenn Cook, most of the work was completed on time and without incident, except for a project at the Clark County Wetlands Park. On that project, the company’s employees were accused by the county of sleeping on the job, working under false names, and causing damage to wildlife.  

But because they’ve passed a city vetting process, and because they are regularly the lowest bidder on projects, not only is Henderson obliged to hire JNJ, if they refused awarding the contract on moral reasons “I think they’d get their pants sued off,” says Cook.

There are suspicions as to why JNJ is able to offer services at such a low rate.

“They’re essentially forcing young men from their sect to work with very little or no pay,” says Cook. “They have to prove themselves in order to be able to win a wife in their communities.”

Cook says so far no state contractor board or state attorney general has ever seriously investigated the charges.

“Are the tax dollars that this company collects supporting a community that carries out sexual abuse of minors? That’s the far more serious issue, and that’s going to take a state attorney general to get to the bottom of that,” says Cook.

 

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