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Baltimore fines contractor for not hiring enough black-owned firms

BALTIMORE (AP) — The city of Baltimore is fining a construction contractor $40,000 for failing to turn enough work over to black-owned companies.

The Baltimore Sun reports it’s the first time the city has punished a contractor for not meeting minority-contracting goals requiring companies to provide a certain amount of work to firms owned by racial minorities and women.

The Virginia-based sewer company AM-Liner won an $11 million city contract in 2014, but a black business owner accused an AM-Liner employee of using a racial slur during a meeting that year. He pulled his utilities company out of the deal, and AM-Liner reportedly failed to hire another black-owned company in its place.

An AM-Liner attorney disputed the accusations and said Baltimore delayed bringing the incident to their attention, preventing an investigation.

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