The bid had previously been awarded to New England Sportswear, but the city has rescinded the award after the arrest Tuesday of the company's owner, John Holmes. The bid will likely go to the only other bidder, New England Uniform. The City Council will vote on the bid award at its meeting next week.
Holmes, an auxiliary police officer in Rye, was charged with two felonies after officials said he submitted a false letter of warranty to the City of Rye in an effort to secure the police uniform bid for New England Sportswear.
New England Sportswear and New England Uniform were the only two companies to bid for the police uniform contract in early March. After submitting their bids, both bidders accused the other of not being an authorized dealer for their respective manufacturing companies. The city asked both bidders to submit letters indicating that their manufacturing companies would warranty their products.
Both companies resubmitted their bids March 4. New England Sportswear included a letter of warranty from Blauer Manufacturing, a Massachusetts-based company, and New England Uniform included a letter of warranty from Conqueror. The City Council awarded the bid to New England Sportswear at its March 20 meeting. The Council was aware that Holmes was an auxiliary officer, but because he was an unpaid volunteer it decided there was no conflict of interest or violation of Rye City Code.
The city received an email from Steven Blauer, vice president of Blauer Manufacturing, on March 25 saying that New England Sportswear's letter of warranty was forged. New England Uniform also submitted a letter objecting to the bid award.
Rye Police Commissioner William Connors met with members of the Detective Division and the district attorney's office to launch an investigation. A warrant was issued for Holmes' arrest, and he turned himself in Tuesday.
The city has determined that New England Uniform has valid letters of warranty from both Conqueror and Blauer and is expected to award the bid next week.
Holmes has been suspended from duty as a member of the Auxiliary Police Unit. He is due back in court May 7. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison.
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