Samet Construction has been doing business in this part of North Carolina for many decades. It had won a contract recently for the demolition of the old Guilford County Jail in Greensboro and the construction of a new Sheriff’s Department headquarters. Some of the work already had been done.
It was announced this week that contract was being canceled by the county. Samet alleges that the county pushed new minority set-aside requirements on them after the projects had already begun and been planned. It admits one of its employees reacted in a negative manner but says that the employee was fired. The county hints there is another big issue but will not state what it is publicly.
The Rhino reports that Samet stated the following:
Samet has a long-standing and deep commitment to Guilford County and to equity, inclusion, and diversity on its construction work for the County. On the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office Building project, Samet achieved over 40 percent minority and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) participation of the total trade cost, which exceeds the 10 percent state baseline for MWBE. Of that, 15.9 percent was Black-owned enterprise participation, which exceeded participation by any other minority group.
Now, Samet is reportedly considering litigation against the county.
This is interesting on at least a couple of levels.
First, Guilford County has become completely corrupted with identity politics, very rapidly, to the same extent as the city of Greensboro. The obsession with minority contracting is a local idol being worshipped by some of the worst forces in our local politics.
Second, the Samet family is a well-known, accomplished local Jewish family.
American Jews have been among the biggest supporters of African-Americans; and have certainly helped instigate much of the racial identity politics with which we are now afflicted. In this particular case, it might have backfired on them.
Guilford County needs to disclose what they found to be so unacceptable and abhorrent that justified the termination of the contract. After all, the public has a right to know. Given what is known about the crowd currently running Guilford County, my inclination is to believe Samet’s side of the story– especially since the county has left an information vacuum.
2 thoughts on “Drama Over the Canceled Guilford Jail Demolition Contract”
Samet is justified in considering a lawsuit against Guilford County for the following reasons.
In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Richmond, Virginia’s minority business enterprise program was unconstitutional because the city set a goal of 30 percent of construction contracts to minority-owned companies, based on the fact that the population of Richmond was approximately 50 percent black.
In an opinion written by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the Court recognized that racial set-asides also have the unintended consequence of stamping minorities with a badge of inferiority. In other words, laws that reserve contractor dollars based on race imply that minority subcontractors cannot compete without the government’s help.
Thanks, Fred. This is a mess, from all standpoints. The county changed the rules in the middle of the game.
But this is the type of thing to which we have become accustomed in these parts…
Comments are closed.