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U.S. District Court: Judge denies Zavoral lawsuit motion

GRAND FORKS — An East Grand Forks construction company being sued by the federal government had its motion to dismiss that lawsuit denied Thursday by a U.S. District Court judge.

R.J. Zavoral and Sons is accused of violating a contract with the government by taking over a job that was supposed to be run by Ed’s Construction, a small, minority-owned company from Cass Lake, Minn.

Zavoral had partnered with Ed’s to be eligible to bid on the Heartsville Coulee Diversion contract, reserved for minority-owned businesses under Section 8(a) of the U.S. Small Business Administration program.

The contract, part of East Grand Forks’ flood control system, was worth $19.1 million.

But the government claims Zavoral commandeered the job, not allowing Ed’s to do the prescribed work or gain the financial benefit from the contract.

Zavoral’s motion to dismiss said the government’s complaint lacked specifics and didn’t identify what parts of the contract were violated.

Both those notions were rejected by Chief Judge Michael J. Davis, who heard arguments from both sides on the motion to dismiss June 22.

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