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Alex Cabrero reportingBrent Wilhite, Utah Dept. of Transportation: "We're trying to make the best of a situation that's not that great right now.
Despite being charged with fraud for bad work, a construction company will get to continue working on projects in Utah. UDOT says it would cost too much to get another contractor on some jobs.
That means J.D. McNeil Construction, will keep the jobs it's already started. J.D. McNeil Construction has two major jobs right now: One in Tooele County, the other in Utah County, both working on highway sound walls.
It's the same type of job the company did on I-215 in Salt Lake County. A job a federal grand jury says is full of fraud.
Brent Wilhite, Utah Dept. of Transportation: "We're trying to make the best out of what we think is a bad situation."
The Utah Department of Transportation just found out Thursday that the contractor who built soundwalls on I-215 was charged with knowingly building some bad walls, and hiding them among the good ones.
That same contractor, JD McNeil Construction, is also currently working on other projects with U-DOT, two major ones, three of them minor.
Brent Wilhite, Utah Dept. of Transportation: "There's a natural concern of why UDOT is still paying this individual if there's allegations he's doing shady projects. We understand that, however, we also have a public responsibility to take care of what we have."
What they have are projects which have already begun, and would cost millions to stop.
Brent Wilhite, Utah Dept. of Transportation: "It would cost more money, it would delay the project. It would prolong the project. We're trying to do the best we can right here."
So even though J.D. McNeil construction gets to continue on its projects for UDOT, they have to hire a 3rd party. The 3rd party will watch over them, report directly to UDOT, to make sure they're doing the job correctly.
Brent Wilhite, Utah Dept. of Transportation: "The company has agreed to hire a third party independent quality control inspector."
Joseph McNeil will be allowed to bid for UDOT projects in 9 months, but his reputation will take longer to fix.
Brent Wilhite, Utah Dept. of Transportation: "We expect he's going to follow through on the promises he made to us."
There's still the pending court case against JD McNeil construction: A federal case where he could face 5 years in prison.
We spoke to his secretary to give him a chance to tell his side of the story, but he chose not to call us back.