City will fight not to give U.S. back $1 million

March 24, 1995|By From Staff Reports

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday that he would take the federal government to court rather than return $1 million in a controversial contract awarded to the Nation of Islam Security Agency to patrol the city's public housing high-rises.

"We firmly believe that what we're getting is a political reaction from Washington, that HUD is being pressured by the Republican Congress and that, in fact, we followed the procedures properly," Mr. Schmoke said yesterday at his weekly news briefing.

"If we can't resolve it with HUD administratively, we're going to go to court first before we get to the point of returning the money," the mayor added. "We still believe very firmly that having NOI in these buildings makes sense for Baltimore."

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said the city's Housing Authority had violated federal rules in awarding a $4.6 million security contract to NOI, the highest bidder.

It said the authority could refund $1 million, give the contract to the lowest bidder among four finalists or scrap the contract and reopen bidding.

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