Elk Grove city council members decided Wednesday not to appeal a judge's ruling that they that did not submit the lowest bid for the work.
Council members voted 3-2 to obey Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny's order to cancel the contract with Elk Grove Ford. They will consider at their April 11 meeting a staff recommendation to award the contract to Downtown Ford, the Sacramento-based dealership that outbid Elk Grove Ford by $30,000.
Downtown Ford in December after being passed over for the job of servicing the city's vehicle fleet.
At the time, council members said they wanted to support a local business, and Interim City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs told them it was legal to do so.
But Elk Grove Mayor Jim Cooper now says he made a mistake by not voting to follow the city's normal bidding process.
"It was a feel-good thing but in hindsight, it wasn't the right thing to do," he told Elk Grove Patch.
Councilmembers Patrick Hume and Gary Davis, who had both argued in favor of supporting local businesses when the contract was first debated last year, voted against the motion. The council members made their decision in closed session and Hobbs reported it to the public afterwards.
While the judge's ruling is still tentative, Hobbs said he didn't expect to see any changes in the court's final decision.
Hobbs and council members also seemed to be treading cautiously when another city contract came up at Wednesday's meeting: the $5 million deal to build the city's new hazardous waste collection center.
With a competitor challenging some of the numbers in the winning bid from Lodi-based Diede Construction Company, council members on advice from Hobbs voted to reject all bids and start the process over.
"This is simply too large a project to take the risk of additional litigation on a bid," Hobbs said.