Conflict Prompts University to Cut Contract

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- The University of Illinois has voided a $4.6 million contract with an architecture firm that raised concerns over potential conflicts of interest.

The contract with BLDD Architects was part of the renovation of the Natural History Building on the Urbana-Champaign campus. It came under scrutiny after it emerged the company is partly owned by the husband of a school administrator whose job includes construction-project oversight.

Bruce Maxey owns 8.9 percent of BLDD. His wife, Jill Maxey, is the university's associate director of planning and a former BLDD employee.

Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher G. Kennedy said in a statement Thursday the public should have confidence that public funds are being spent without even the appearance of conflict

The Procurement Policy Board voted Tuesday to recommend university trustees void the contract.

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