Contractors sue city over policy on minorities


A group of public works contractors is suing Baltimore over a law that requires companies seeking city contracts to include businesses owned by minorities and women in their projects -- a policy that the plaintiffs say is unconstitutional.

Associated Utility Contractors, an organization based in Ellicott City, is asking the U.S. District Court in Baltimore to declare the law unconstitutional and require the city to award contracts without "consideration of racial, ethnic or gender criteria in evaluating bids and proposals and awarding of public works contracts," according to court records.

The lawsuit charges that the city "lacks a strong basis in evidence for concluding that prime contractors in Baltimore public works contracts historically discriminated against [minority/women business enterprises]."

The 48-year-old contractors organization filed the suit last week.

Pub Date: 12/17/98

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