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7/3/2013 | Construction Blog

A subcontractor debarred by the City of Philadelphia has lost its legal fight to dispute the debarment for violations of minority participation rules. The City previously debarred JHK, Inc., because it had allegedly misrepresented its minority work volume. JHK formally disputed the debarment and its claim was heard by a special Debarment Panel under the auspices of the City Finance Department. That panel ruled that JHK failed to present sufficient evidence to dispute the facts giving rise to its debarment. As a result, JHK’s debarment stands and it is banned from contract work with the City for two years.

The Tennessee based general contractor which had hired JHK, Corizon, was also the subject of an action by the City for violation of minority participation requirements. It settled with the City and paid a record $1.85 million penalty, promising to reform its minority participation procedures. Corizon was not debarred by the City, however.

The JHK debarment is believed to be the first contractual debarment by the City of Philadelphia based on violation of minority participation rules. As previously reported, the City of Philadelphia is taking an increasingly aggressive position on minority contracting rules and auditing contractors and subcontractors to ensure that their minority participation is as represented in their bids for City work.