Auditor seeks answers in DIA no-bid contract

The city auditor plans to ask Denver International Airport managers why they approved a catering contract for the son of former Mayor Wellington Webb without the auditor's approval, his spokesman said Thursday.

Auditor Dennis Gallagher discussed the no-bid contract, awarded to Anthony Webb, with his staff Thursday, spokesman Dennis Berckefeldt said.

Berckefeldt said he could not remember during the past four years a similar case when a city agency approved a contract without going through appropriate channels: Mayor John Hickenlooper signing off on the contract and the auditor countersigning the document.

In this case, Turner West, DIA's manager of aviation, and the city attorney's office approved it without the OK of the mayor and auditor, the spokesman said. Berckefeldt said the auditor's office sees at least 1,000 contracts come through its doors before they're reviewed and approved.

CBS 4 News reported this week that DIA managers awarded the contract to the former mayor's son to open a catering truck business in the 45-minute lot where motorists can wait to pick up arriving passengers without paying a parking fee. No "requests for proposal" were offered by the airport's management and no competitive bidding process was undertaken, as is customary with most DIA contracts, according to the news report.