Iowa judge upholds prison contract to Chicago firm

An administrative law judge says a Chicago construction firm can build Iowa's new maximum-security prison near Fort Madison. The Des Moines Register says the judge has upheld a decision by state officials to award a $116.9 million contract to Walsh Construction. A construction trade group, Master Builders of Iowa, and a Des Moines construction company, the Weitz Co., contended the Chicago company submitted incorrect bidding forms and the contract should be rescinded. State officials maintained the contract was properly awarded. Scott Norvell of Master Builders of Iowa says no decision has been made on whether to appeal. Mike Tousley of the Weitz Co. says they are considering the options. The new prison is scheduled to open in July 2013.