BALTIMORE - An 640-pound contractor has sued, contending the city should give him preferred status in bidding on municipal work because he is fat.

Donald Keister, 30, of Baltimore filed suit Monday in Circuit Court, demanding the Minority Business Enterprise office certify him as a minority contractor, making him eligible for preferred status in bidding for city contracts.

Keister owns a lead paint testing and removal business, including one in Westminster. He said he relies on city business, but often loses contracts because of his limited ability to inspect potential work sites and submit bids.

Baltimore reserves its minority certification for women and members of racial or ethnic minorities.

Keister contends federal anti-discrimination laws also allow the disabled and handicapped also qualify. He said the state and several counties classify him as a disabled minority contractor.

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