Comptroller once thought JLL commission deal ‘suspicious’

Phil Williams has collected emails from state officials involved in a multi-million dollar contract for managing state buildings, focusing on the commission Jones Lang LaSalle receives. An excerpt from the WTVF-TV report:
Three months later, state Comptroller Justin Wilson’s staff discovered JLL was negotiating new lease agreements and telling landlords they would be expected to pay an extra 4 percent commission to the firm if they wanted to lease the state a building.
“A commission to JLL at first blush seems very wrong,” Wilson emailed his staff. “I am suspicious to say the least.”
He was suspicious because, when JLL put in a bid for the state’s business, they were asked how much extra they would charge to work on leases.
Their contract said: $0.00.
Notes from contract reviewers in the comptroller’s office show that an attorney working for General Services Commissioner Steve Cates “agreed that there was no statute, rule or policy that authorized the commission, nor did the contract authorize it. It was her understanding that, since the Lessor and not the State was paying JLL the commission, it was OK.”

But Wilson subsequently wound up approving the arrangement as a member of the State Building Commission. The TV station says his office won’t discuss the matter now because the Department of General Services is going through a scheduled audit and the contract is part of that review.

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