By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
The Associated Press
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday ended a lawsuit that led to significant changes at the agency responsible for billions of dollars of school construction projects.
The court dismissed appeals by Monarch Construction Co. involving the way the Ohio School Facilities Commission awarded building contracts.
The first appeal involved a lawsuit that Cincinnati-based Monarch filed alleging the construction manager for a school project in western Ohio wrongly chose another company as general contractor.
The second appeal involved a Monarch suit that accused the 10th Ohio District Court of Appeals of using information outside the official court record to rule against Monarch.
The state Supreme Court ruled without explanation in both cases.
Monarch attorney Roger Sabo declined to comment. A message was left with the commission.
A suit filed in 2002 by Monarch, apparent low bidder on the Tri-Village school project, triggered events that led to the commission executive director resigning and revamping the process for approving contracts.
Monarch said the construction manager for the project, Turner Construction of Cincinnati, wrongly chose another company as general contractor.
In May 2002, Judge Jennifer Brunner of Franklin County Common Pleas Court ruled that Randy Fischer, commission executive director, had no authority to approve school-construction contracts.
In July, Fischer resigned because of continuing questions about his role in awarding construction contracts.
In November, the court of appeals overturned Brunner's ruling and Monarch appealed to the state Supreme Court.
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