Guilford County hired Samet Corp. in 2022 for a project that entailed tearing down the old Guilford County jail in Greensboro, constructing a new Sheriff’s Department headquarters on the site and a new parking lot on the same block.
That was a three-phase project estimated to come in at $23.9 million.
Last month, after Phase 1 was substantially complete, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to terminate the contract with Samet without providing any details as to why the board made that decision.
There was speculation that Samet, which had been hired as the Construction Manager At Risk for the major project, might sue – and maybe Samet will.
However, as of Tuesday, March 14, the high-profile construction company isn’t saying anything.
Suzanne Turner, the vice president, of marketing and client services, when asked about Samet’s plans, said simply, “I don’t have any new updates to provide at the moment.”
Greensboro Attorney Justin Outling, who’s representing Samet and who came to two Guilford County Board of Commissioners meetings at which the commissioners considered the matter in closed session, said very little as well.
“I have nothing to share at this time,” Outling said.
When the Greensboro News & Record asked Turner immediately after the commissioners voted where the company stood on legal action against the county, Turner reportedly said, “We are exploring our options, but everything is on the table.”
From the county’s side of the matter, on Tuesday March 14, Guilford County Commissioner James Upchurch said he’d heard absolutely zero about the dispute since the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to terminate the contract with Samet last month.
“I haven’t heard a single thing since the vote,” Upchurch said. “I’m not worried about them suing us because we would probably win.”
Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston points out that the county’s unanimous vote to end the contract is strong evidence that Guilford County was in the right because, Alston said, if the county wasn’t on solid ground, there would have been some dissent on the board.
Another high-ranking Guilford County official concurred, telling the Rhino Times that there are things Samet doesn’t want to come out that would become public in a lawsuit.