Jury: District biased in giving work to minority-owned firm

PHILADELPHIA – A mostly white federal jury says the School District of Philadelphia discriminated against a company owned by two white men when it pushed a $7.5 million no-bid contract toward a minority-owned firm that had never sought it.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports ( ) the jury entered a $2.3 million judgment on Monday against the district and its late Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.

Security & Data Technologies Inc. says Ackerman gave the surveillance camera installation contract to IBS Communications in 2010 even though SDT had already started preliminary work.

IBS wasn’t eligible for no-bid contracts, but SDT was.

A former district official says Ackerman, who was black, said she didn’t want “all these white boys” to get contracts.

An attorney for the district and Ackerman’s estate says they will consider appealing.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,