From the Greenville News:
The South Carolina Supreme Court on Monday sided with Greenville businessman Ed "Ned" Sloan in ruling that state transportation officials were wrong to negotiate with a contractor on a project rather than put the job out to bid.
The 4-1 decision handed Sloan another legal victory in his lawsuits against the state Department of Transportation and other government agencies and made clear what is and is not an "emergency" for state agencies procuring services.
Sloan filed his suit in 2005 over a 2004 Charleston-area road-widening project that had fallen behind, according to the justices.
Faced with the dilemma of firing the contractor and putting the remainder of the project out to bid, DOT officials thought they could save time by negotiating a new contract with a subcontractor on the project under the state's emergency procurement procedures. The new contract cost just under $8 million, according to the justices.
Sloan argued in his suit that the circumstances did not allow an emergency procurement.