Judge rejects lawsuit challenging school bus contract

Posted: Friday, September 06, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage Superior Court judge has rejected a lawsuit challenging the award of the Anchorage School District's bus contract.

Judge Peter Michalski's ruling Wednesday denied all arguments from Laidlaw, the company that provided the district with about two-thirds of its buses for nearly 20 years. Last year the school board awarded a five-year contract to First Student.

''Laidlaw references a veritable laundry list of reasons why it is better than First Student,'' Michalski wrote in his decision. ''In its view, it was not reasonable for the (Anchorage School District) to choose First Student over it.''

Michalski said First Student fairly won the contract and stuck to bidding procedures. He also said the court would not second-guess the school board's decision.

Tom Hyatt, Alaska district manager for Laidlaw, said his company was not surprised by Michalski's ruling and plans to appeal.

Laidlaw runs buses for 12 other Alaska school districts.

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