Report: FBI Investigating Construction Of Dunkin' Donuts Park
With the ballpark’s finish line in sight, Dunkin’ Donuts Park and the Hartford Yard Goats might have just found themselves in even more trouble.
According to a report by the Hartford Courant, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into the construction of the still-unfinished stadium.
The park was scheduled to be completed in time for the 2016 season, but construction delays and cost overruns forced the Yard Goats on the road for the entire year. Thus far, the Courant estimates that the stadium has cost Hartford $71 million in public funds, a large overage from the initial estimate of $56 million.
The park’s original contractors, Centerplan Construction and DoNo Hartford, were fired in the middle of last summer and Arch Insurance was called in to assess what was left to be completed. The new contractors, Whiting-Turner Contracting, were hired and restarted work on the ballpark in October.
The focus of the FBI’s investigation hasn’t been announced, and attempts to reach Yard Goats officials were unsuccessful. A spokesman for the Connecticut District Attorney’s Office had no comment.
Eastern League president Joe McEacharn, reached at the Eastern League’s office in Maine, said he’s been kept apprised of the construction troubles at the park but was unaware of the FBI’s involvement.
“I hadn’t heard about it,” he said. “I can only say that the whole situation in which a contractor was removed from the job site and obviously the economic challenges that go with it and all, we’ve been aware of that. We’re aware that there’s litigation going on and whatnot, but I have not been made of any federal investigation at this point.”
Centerplan is currently the target of a lawsuit by Green Comfort Solutions, Inc., claiming it was not paid for more than $103,000 in work it did on DDP before Centerplan was removed.
Despite the drama, Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon recently said that Dunkin’ Donuts Park is still on track for completion in time for this season’s home opener, which will be on April 13.
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"All that remains is punch-type work," Solomon said. "All of the equipment is in. I think they're going through and getting sign-offs from the city, from the health inspectors, all of those kind of things. Just the finishing touches on the park."