Contractor sues Joplin schools for $2.2 million

Friday, May 25, 2012 | 12:33 p.m. CDT; updated 2:42 p.m. CDT, Friday, May 25, 2012

JOPLIN — A contractor who was hired to demolish three tornado-damaged schools in Joplin is accusing the school district of racial discrimination in a lawsuit seeking $2.2 million in damages.

Urban Metropolitan Development of Atlanta had originally sought more than $500,000 in damages. But in an amended petition, the company says it is seeking $2.2 million damages. It also alleges the district discriminated against Urban Metro, a minority-owned business.

The Joplin Globe reported Friday that the company's petition did not list specific instances of discrimination. Its attorney said the company would argue its case in court, not through the newspaper.

School superintendent C.J. Huff denied the allegations and said Urban Metro's contract was ended several weeks ago strictly because of performance issues.

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