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Monday, July 30, 2012 - 11:45am

NAACP Alleges Discrimination At GDOT

Updated: 2 years ago.
Highway contruction means billions of dollars. The NAACP says, qualified African-American companies are being passed up in that business. (photo Alex Pope)

Georgia NAACP leaders want federal Justice Department officials to investigate how the state Department of Transportation awards contracts.

The civil rights group's state president says, a recent audit shows low minority participation rates.

Edward DuBose says, he asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to look into GDOT because only about 2% of the agency's contracts go to African-American owned companies.

He says, 14% met the requirments of the jobs being offered.

"We're not talking about contractors who are not qualified," DuBose says. "By the report that was generated, we know that these individuals, at least 14.1%, were qualified according to their standard."

DuBose calls the disparity "willful" discrimination and a violation of the agency's own benchmarks.

We want to see goals set that would allow the utilization of African-American contractors according to how they are represented in the numbers that are qualified," DuBose says.

GDOT spokeswoman Jill Goldberg says, the NAACP hasn't contacted the agency.

"It is impossible for us to respond to any purported particular criticism," says Goldberg. "The allegation that the GA DOT willfully discriminates against any segment of the population is irresponsible."

The group's letter to the Obama administration comes as Georgians vote on a transportation tax -- timing DuBose calls coincidental.