Annapolis - The Board of Public Works declined Wednesday to award a $4.8 million rest stop maintenance contract to the apparent low bidder, after learning H.D. Myles Inc. fibbed in an affidavit.

Beverley K. Swaim-Staley, Maryland's transportation secretary, said, "a rebid is the intent," but declined to say whether it is a certainty.

In February, the board initially granted H.D. Myles Inc. of Queen Anne's County a contract to maintain a pair of Howard County rest stops.

However, the Abacus Corporation of Prince George's County, which had placed the second-lowest bid for the contract, filed a complaint because H.D. Myles was incorporated when it submitted background documents to the state.

Among those documents was a required affidavit singed Feb. 1 that stated the contractor was a registered corporation, which state records show did not occur until 51 days later.

On Wednesday, the three-member board rejected the advice of its own general counsel, who said H.D. Myles eligible to receive the contract because it is now incorporated.

State Comptroller Peter Franchot, who sits on the Board of Public Works with state Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Gov. Martin O'Malley, said it did not matter to him that H.D. Myles is now technically eligible for the deal.

"The troubling issue here is the person applying lied on the affidavit," he said.

Michael Lesniowski of Church Hill confirmed he signed the affidavit that accompanied H.D. Myles's bid, which asserted the business is a corporation and he is its president.

Lesniowski said he filed affidavits making the same inaccurate assertion in previous business ventures under the guidance of the State Highway Administration

He declined to comment further.

O'Malley and Kopp stopped short of calling Lesniowski a liar, although O'Malley did question why he didn't note on the affidavit that the company was not yet a corporation.

O'Malley suggested the forms should be changed so groups in the process of becoming incorporated can indicate that, thereby avoiding similar issues in the future.

If the contract is a rebid, H.D. Myles could again try to submit the low bid. But Robert Gay from the state highway administration's office of consultant services said the contractor's participation would require the project to be altered, because bidders already know what to expect from competitors.

"It's going to have to happen soon," Gay said of the possible rebid. "We nFor a video offianny theeed the services out there."

To view a video of Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting, visit www.governor.maryland.gov/stream.asp

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