BART directors have voted unanimously to award part of a $2 million energy efficiency contract to a longtime associate with the Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland who has a criminal record and endorsed a violent protest in January.
BART staff members recommended that the entire contract for lighting improvement projects at the 12th Street Oakland City Center and North Berkeley stations be awarded to LINC Lighting & Electrical Group of San Jose.
LINC submitted the lowest bid for the project and was the only one of the three bidders whose bid was lower than the amount that was estimated by a BART engineer.
But BART directors said at their meeting on Thursday that part of the contract also should be awarded to Solar Eclipse of Oakland, which is headed by Nedir Bey, 38.
Bey formerly was a member of Your Black Muslim Bakery, which went bankrupt two years ago. The organization’s leader, Yusuf Bey IV, is awaiting trial on three counts of murder for the deaths of journalist Chauncey Bailey and two other men in the summer of 2007.
Nedir Bey pleaded no contest to a felony false-imprisonment charge after a 1994 incident in which he and other bakery associates were charged with torturing and robbing a man with whom they had a real estate dispute.
Bey ran for an Oakland City Council seat in 2002 but finished fourth in the primary election, getting only 2.1 percent of the vote.
Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente said today that Bey still owes the city $1.1 million because he never repaid a 1996 “economic revitalization loan” that was supposed to train welfare recipients to be home health aides.
De La Fuente said he’s surprised that BART awarded part of its contract to Bey and said “maybe the city can now recover the money he owes to us.”
At a BART Board of Directors meeting on Jan. 8, the day after violent protests over the shooting death of Oscar Grant III at the hands of a BART police officer rocked downtown Oakland and 120 people were arrested, Bey accused the transit agency’s directors of being “servants of the devil” and said he thinks the protesters were justified.
“I’m not here for peace,” Bey said.
He said, “If they (the protesters) want to riot and tear things up, God bless them. I love what the people did last night.”
BART directors didn’t return phone calls and emails today seeking comment on why they awarded part of the contract to Bey and about his qualifications for the work.
Solar Eclipse isn’t listed in the phone book and a search on Google didn’t turn up a web site for the company.
De La Fuente said, “I’ve never known Bey to have any expertise on anything.”
BART spokesman Jim Allison said BART’s staff is now working on how the contract will be split between LINC and Solar Eclipse.
Allison said the work at the 12th Street Oakland City Center station will replace the entire lighting fixture and will improve the quality of the lighting at the station and make it more energy efficient.
He said work at the North Berkeley station will make greater use of natural light and will result in “a dramatic improvement in quality.”