It's been several weeks since any real work has been done on the Planned Parenthood site Uptown. FOX 8 has learned that two of the contractors involved in the project were cited by the state and fined for violations.
It's been a controversial project from the start. Planned Parenthood is building an 8,000 square foot facility on S. Claiborne Avenue near Napoleon. According to state documents, Planned Parenthood hired a company called BMI, LLC to construct the facility.
"BMI, LLC is not a licensed entity with this board," said Compliance Officer Brent Templet, with the State Licensing Board for Contractors.
That's because BMI, LLC doesn't exist in Louisiana. BMI Construction does, but the owner, Brian Intravia, says he's never had anything to do with Planned Parenthood.
"When you're in construction, your name is out there and in the public, and you never want to be attached to a project that is so polarizing," said Intravia.
The real contractor is Barre McNeely Investments, LLC, and while the company's initials are BMI, Templet says initials alone can't be used on official documents.
"The way our law is written, they have to do business in the way their name is listed on their license," said Templet.
Barre McNeely was cited for using an unlicensed name and also for hiring a subcontractor, Quality Diamond Products, LLC, who wasn't licensed for work in Louisiana. The company entered a no-contest plea at a compliance hearing last month and was fined $2,000 plus another $500 in administrative costs. It was also placed on supervised probation for a year.
The subcontractors, Quality Diamond Products, entered a no-contest plea to not having a license, and received a fine of $4,000 plus $500 in administrative costs.
All the while, the site on South Claiborne sat empty.
"It's delaying the community from getting the services they need," said New Orleans City Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans doesn't feel the same. In fact, Archbishop Gregory Aymond threatened to blacklist any company that chose to do business with Planned Parenthood.
"I think he's clearly making sure that the people of this city understand and know who Planned Parenthood is," said Benjamin Clapper, director of the Louisiana Right to Life Federation.
FOX 8 reached out to Barre McNeely to see if the company intentionally used it's initials on documents instead of it's full name, but we were directed to Planned Parenthood for comment. In a statement, Planned Parenthood admitted that it has encountered some delays in construction but looks forward to the health center opening next year.
Quality Diamond Products was ordered to stop working on the site until the company applies for and receives a license from the state. We're told that process is underway. Once that happens, the company will also be eligible to pay a reduced fine.
Planned Parenthood wouldn't tell us when construction might start up again.