Originally created 01/03/01

Coverage of WSRC case was wrong



I am the president and owner of Project Control Services Inc. As a longtime subscriber to The Chronicle and lifelong resident of Augusta, I was greatly disappointed by the paper's coverage of the trial involving my company. Your article only considered half the facts and reached the wrong conclusion that Westinghouse Savannah River Co. was exonerated by the jury verdict.

Your article failed to mention that WSRC had asserted a substantial counterclaim against my company, secretly alleging to government agencies that my company overbilled WSRC by more than $700,000 and asserted that my company's books contained irregularities. These allegations were voluntarily withdrawn by WSRC in the middle of the trial and WSRC admitted in open court that Project Control did not owe them any money.

In fact, the jury found in the special interrogatories that my company is owed several hundred thousand dollars for which we still have not been paid. An audit was properly completed of our books and records by an independent audit agency ... WSRC refused to complete its own audit, which caused further delays in payment to my firm and loss of potential contracts.

The jury verdict did not exonerate WSRC. Instead, the verdict showed that WSRC had refused to pay for services provided by my firm years ago. WSRC delayed payment and caused a great deal of harm to my firm.

To worsen the injustice, the U.S. government paid for WSRC's legal fees. I do not regard this as an "exoneration." Instead, the jury's verdict confirmed my argument that my company was owed money, that WSRC refused to pay, and that we did not overbill WSRC.

The law does not necessarily provide a right for every wrong. WSRC escaped additional liability only because Project Control was unable to prove malice.

Audrey D. Peel, Augusta