Augusta business owner says disparity still exists


News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Time is winding down for city officials to use data from a 2009 $500,000 disparity study. We're told the data shows pay disparities for minorities and women on contracts in Augusta Richmond County.

Now a local business owner wants to talk to commissioners about what he's experienced.

"She basically came out saying Turner has no requirements to meet minority participation or women participation goals," said AK Hassan.

He owns AK Human Resources and Supplies Incorporated. Hassan says a Turner Construction employee told him when he tried to bid on subcontracting work for the municipal building.

"It didn't make me feel good, actually. All we wanted to do was bid the job. We were not looking for minority preferences," Hassan said.

"We want to them make sure Turner especially is in line with laws. They are doing business on behalf of the city," Hassan said.

Augusta Commissioners Bill Lockett and Marion Williams have been trying for months to use the information collected before it expires.

"The disparity study showed that Augusta-Richmond County is not doing what it should do. It's not complying with the law because there is mass discrimination in employment here," Lockett said.

A judge could use the data to lift an a court order enjoining or barring the city from using any race or gender programs. It's something Williams wants to happen sooner than later.

"It's stopping us from going forward with what we need to do. We're the second largest city and no one wants to have the name of being someone who discriminates," Williams said.


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