By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia School District is deciding whether to appeal a multi-million dollar judgement that said the late Superintendent Arlene Ackerman had steered a no-bid security contract away from a white-owned firm.

A federal jury has awarded the School District to pay Security and Data Technologies company of Newtown, Bucks County $2.3 million.  The jury found the company’s civil rights were violated when Superintendent Arlene Ackerman steered a security camera contract away from SDT, to a minority-owned firm in 2010.

Attorney Michael Homas represented SDT.

“This decision reinforces that equal opportunity is the law.  Equal protection is the law.  The government cannot treat private parties differently based on the race of the people involved or the race of the owners.”

The company sued for lost profits.

“We are very disappointed in the outcome,” said District spokesman Fernando Gallard.

Gallard says the district is deciding whether to appeal.

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