In 2012, Siemens was hired to overhaul Jackson’s water system. According to Clarion Ledger, the contract was the largest in city history at $91 million. It called for the installation of new water meters, a billing system and infrastructure work.
However, at a press conference Tuesday, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said, “the contract has led to widespread billing issues and thousands of faulty water meters,” and "their performance has been woefully inadequate in every aspect of the contract."
Siemens released this statement Tuesday:
"Siemens’ work on the project has been validated by an independent, third-party review performed by West Monroe Partners, who was hired by the city of Jackson and performed its work under the city’s direction. Siemens has gone above and beyond its contractual obligations to help address the city's well-known challenges, which are complex. While Siemens has not yet reviewed the complaint, it is disappointed the city has taken this action and will respond through the appropriate legal channels.”
The city is looking to "recover":
- More than $150 million for funding;
- More than $75 million for lost revenue and damage to the city's "creditworthiness and reputation;"
- Millions for the estimated cost to repair and manage the water meter system; and
- The city also is seeking punitive damages.
According to Clarion Ledger, “the city names Chris McNeil, Siemens' liaison with the city, U.S. Consolidated Inc., M.A.C. & Associates LLC, Ivision IT Consultants LLC, and Garrett Enterprises Consolidated Inc. in the lawsuit.”
According to Lumumba, the contractors were unqualified and were selected to receive millions from the city contract due to political influence. He did not elaborate or take questions after the press conference, according to the Clarion Ledger.