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Metro sued by minority contractors

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – A group representing minority contractors teamed up with the NAACP to file suit against the St. Louis transit agency Metro on Tuesday.

The organization MOKAN claims that Metro discriminated against minority contractors during the 2003 cross-county Metrolink expansion.

Freeman Bosley Jr. is an attorney for the plaintiff. He says Metro signed a memorandum of understanding in 2003 to increase minority participation a agreement which Metro has broken.

"Metro made numerous commitments to the contracting community, all of which it has failed" says Bosely. "So when we're talking about numbers we're talking dollars that stem from the 2003 breach constituting 55 million dollars plus interest."

Yaphett El-Amin is the Executive Director of MOKAN. She claims that Metro's failure to comply dates back to the cross-county Metrolink expansion.

"Metro made commitments to increase its contracting procurement to 20 percent minority contractors and 10 percent female contractors" says El-Amin. A benchmark which the group claims Metro is nowhere near reaching.

A spokesman for Metro would not comment on the substance of the lawsuit, but claims that Metro has multiple programs to engage minority contractors.