UMaine Investigates Report That Contract Bidder Was Coached

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ORONO, Maine (AP) - The University of Maine says it will examine allegations that a school official provided inside information to help a bidder land a lucrative energy contract.

A Portland Press Herald report says a business consultant was recorded on a conference call discussing information said to have come from a university official. The consultant said the school's vice president for innovation and economic development, Jake Ward, had provided insight on how bids would be evaluated.

Ward was not on the call and denied providing any inside information.

The consultant was representing a company working with ConEdison Solutions, which won the right to negotiate a contract potentially worth $100 million.

School officials say they believe the bidding process was fair, but the board of trustees' audit committee will look into the report.