By Kim Glovas
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s inspector general is banning one contractor from doing business with the city for three years, removing a second from its list of minority contractors, and levying a huge fine after an investigation which the inspector general’s office says found fraud in representations as minority-owned business.
City inspector general Amy Kurland says William Betz Jr. Inc. and UGI HVAC Inc. falsified documents to make it appear that another company, JHS, was a minority-owned firm.
Kurland says Betz is being banned for three years from doing business with the city and UGI has to pay a $100,000 fine.
“We consider this a really important case, because one of the main goals of this administration is to expand opportunities for minority businesses and provide jobs,” Kurland told KYW Newsradio today, “and this kind of conduct really violates that main goal. Our investigations are ongoing and we anticipate that there will be more cases in the future.”
In addition, UGI must also increase its minority participation in city contracts from 25 percent to 50 percent. UGI has also entered into an agreement that they will institute policies so that this doesn’t happen again.
JHS, which according to the inspector general was being paid to be presented as a minority-owned business, had been providing equipment for home weatherizations funded by state and federal money.