Only On 10: State investigating contract awarded at Port of Virginia

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side has learned there is a state investigation into a contract that was awarded at the Port of Virginia.

It centers on the relationship between a former Virginia International Terminals (VIT) employee and the awarding of a major contract at the Port. It began with an anonymous phone call that there was an ongoing investigation into a contract involving the purchase of cranes.

WAVY News confirmed this information with a well-placed source with direct knowledge of port operations. This is a person in the know.

The source confirms that Attorney General Mark Herring is indeed investigating possible improprieties in what is described as  “an undisclosed” relationship a Port employee had with the company that would win the contract.

10 On Your Side was told this person was on a committee considering the best bid for a massive contract involving automated stacking cranes to be sent to Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals. The Virginia Port Authority ratified the deal on November 15.

WAVY’s Andy Fox reached out to the Port for comment. Spokesman Joseph Harris responded: “We are aware of an ongoing investigation of a former employee of VIT and will have no further comment.”

Harris’ email doesn’t explain why the employee no longer works at the port.

10 On Your Side also called Herring’s office for comment. Spokesperson Michael Kelly said in an email, “I’m afraid this isn’t something I can comment on.  As a general matter, we don’t comment on or confirm the existence of pending investigations.”

WAVY contacted the company that won the contract, who said they are aware of the investigation but they’re neither aware of any involvement they have nor of the allegations.

We are also told the FBI is investigating, but the FBI refused to confirm or deny any investigation on their part.

The source confirms the individual’s participation on the procurement committee would not have altered the outcome of the company that got the contract, and the former employee was only one voice on the committee.