Tulsa city council - minority business contracts

Tuesday, October 4th 2005, 10:15 am
By: News On 6

An engineering firm accused the city of Tulsa of discrimination - and Tuesday the city fired back with a response that found the firm had too few qualified engineers and even had possible ties to terrorism.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the company has already done some work for the city of Tulsa, but complained they were being discriminated against, because white owned firms got more work.

The city spent two and half months researching the company and its claims. The research was presented to the city council Tuesday morning. The records show the city gave the firm work, even preference as a minority owned business. However - the city of Tulsa recently discovered the firm doesn't have the qualifications it requires of engineering firms.

The city even discovered from searching the Internet and watching television that one of the firm's principals was indicted in Dallas for helping to fund terrorism. Paul Zachary with the City of Tulsa Public Works Department: "And he was projected as a senior project engineer for work on our 2005 bond issue projects in a submittal they made to us so we did check up on their statements on the guys being professional engineers and how they're registered and it just didn't pan out.”

The company is called High Plains Technical Services. They have offices in Tulsa and in Oklahoma City, and the company has done some water line expansion work for Tulsa - and is still on the job from the latest contract awarded this past summer. By all accounts - the company does good work, and the man under indictment worked as a civil engineer for the city of Dallas.

Now that he's been to Tulsa, the police and FBI have been notified, because of the research into their claims of discrimination.