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Lien filed against two buildings.

Byline: Tim Christie The Register-Guard

Correction (published Aug. 14): A headline on Page D1 Tuesday contained an error. A Eugene contractor has filed a lien of nearly $1 million against one of two medical office buildings on the campus of Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

SPRINGFIELD - A Eugene contractor has filed a lien of nearly $1 million against one of two medical office buildings on the campus of Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend.

Chris Rogers, owner of Rogers Consulting and Construction Inc., said his company is owed $992,850 by the general contractor in charge of the Northwest Specialty Clinics building at the RiverBend complex. Rogers' company was the concrete subcontractor on the project.

The project's general contractor is The Haskell Co., a 43-year-old Jacksonville, Fla., company with 1,250 employees and annual sales of $750 million, according to its Web site. Bill Wakefield, Haskell's project director, declined to comment on the Rogers lien other than to say it was "a normal construction matter that will be resolved in its normal course."

Rogers said Haskell last paid him in January for half of the work done in November.

"I'm always behind the eight-ball" as a result of not getting paid, he said. "I'm slowly going broke. ... Cash flow is just killing me." The 125,000-square-foot, five-story building, connected by a skybridge to the main hospital, is owned by a consortium of 40 doctors from seven different practices, which is leasing the ground from PeaceHealth, which owns RiverBend.

Rogers filed the lien at the end of May against PeaceHealth, because PeaceHealth owned the land. A lien is a claim against a property or asset that can be filed by a contractor if the terms of the contract are not met.

Three weeks later, Haskell posted a lien transfer bond in the amount of $1.5 million, effectively removing the lien from the PeaceHealth property. Oregon law requires such bonds to be posted in an amount equal to 150 percent of the original lien, said Terry Hammons, Rogers' Eugene attorney.

The bond releases the lien from the property and provides an alternate asset that can be foreclosed upon, Hammons said. Rogers will file a foreclosure claim against the bond, which means that it will be scheduled for trial in eight to 10 months, Hammons said. But most cases of this type are settled, he added.

Rogers said the project was riddled with problems from the start. Rogers said that early on in his involvement with Haskell, "alarm bells started going off."

The subcontractor that hired Rogers to do the concrete work was fired from the job soon after he started work. Rogers said.

Then, a Haskell executive named William Kilgannon contacted him and asked him to stay on the job, Rogers said. He signed a new contract with the Haskell Co.

Rogers said there were continuing issues with the work site, labor, materials and weather that caused him to fall behind. At one point, Kilgannon hired a California concrete contractor to help out on the job.

Then, last January, Kilgannon was indicted on charges of extortion and conspiracy to extort in connection with a federal investigation into three of New York's most powerful organized crime families and alleged kickbacks involving a NASCAR racetrack on Staten Island. Haskell officials said Kilgannon was not working for their company on the racetrack project.

Rogers said his son and his wife urged him to walk away from the project last summer when payments to him were slow in coming, but pride and stubbornness kept him on the job.
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Title Annotation:City/Region; A concrete subcontractor seeks payment for work on medical office structures at PeaceHealth's RiverBend site
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 12, 2008
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