For weeks, Guilford County and Samet Corp. have been fighting a behind the scenes war over the project in downtown Greensboro that includes the demolition of the old Guilford County jail and the construction of a new Sheriff’s Department’s headquarters.
On Friday, March 3, the two took that war public.
After Samet sent out a press release charging that there was an effort by Guilford County government to inappropriately increase the participation of minority firms in the project, Guilford County sent a statement to the Rhino Times claiming that the termination of the contract was instead based on something that happened that was “wholly inconsistent” with the county’s values.
The county went on to state that Samet’s continuing efforts to defend what happened is confirmation to Guilford County officials that the Board of Commissioners made the right decision in canceling the contract.
Close to midnight on Thursday, March 2, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to terminate the contract with Samet regarding Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the project estimated to cost a total of roughly $24 million.
Officials from Samet were in the meeting room and were noticeably upset by the decision, and, on the morning of March 3, Samet sent out its account of the falling out between the company and the county.
Samet’s characterization of the dispute is that it came about, in part, because the county “acted improperly by instructing, after the subcontractor-bid process was completed in compliance with all laws and County policies, that Samet identify and hire additional Black-owned subcontractors outside of the bid process.”
Samet also stated that an employee who objected to the demand made a remark that – by all accounts – was harsh and indefensible, and Samet fired the employee.
That firing, however, clearly didn’t end the dispute between the county and Samet.
Guilford County officials are still not offering any details regarding the decision to terminate the contract, however, late in the day on Friday, Julie Smith, the communications and public information director for the county, sent the Rhino Times a statement that contests Samet’s account.
“Guilford County’s termination of the contract with Samet Corporation was not based on the level of MWBE participation in Phase 1 or future phases of the project.,” that statement reads. “Rather, the working relationship was disrupted by an incident that was wholly inconsistent with Guilford County’s commitment to its core values. Samet’s effort to try to justify the recent conduct on this project reinforces why the unanimous action taken last night by the Board of Commissioners was necessary.”
Several commissioners told the Rhino Times that the county attorney has advised them not to comment on the matter.
Samet didn’t try to justify anything other than the swift action of firing the individual involved should have been remedy enough. The man was simply fired for telling the truth. That he viewed the whole process to be a racist practice and a bunch of bull____. While not the most politically correct statement, it was seemingly accurate. As Samet already stated, they had about 40% MWBE participation, well above what was in the contract. I hope Samet sues the county for breach of contract and wins. What an absurd overreach of power our county officials have shown us all.
Samet (re)learned a lesson: no matter how much you kow-tow to the LEFT, it is never enough.
I am fed up with all this C-R-A-P, too. All this divisiveness is calculated to divide us, and it is working.
Just make me King of Guilford County.
This is a taxpayer funded contract and the county has ensured the taxpayers will foot a higher bill and possibly a lost lawsuit. No legitimate reason to cancel this contract needs to be hidden from taxpayers. Guilford County under Skippy has become another left wing dump wasting ever increasing tax dollars in the poorest and most violent 1% while running contracts like the mob. The time has come to make plans to live beyond the county line. I’m tired of funding never ending anti-white racism from the corrupt woke.
The public has a right to know Samet’s action that was “wholly inconsistent” with the county’s values. Residents of Guilford County have reason not to believe commissioners, including Skip Alston. What are the “county’s values?” I dare say that not all of county residents share the same values as Skip Alston and other commissioners. For example, values should not include forcing a company to hire subcontractors based on the color of their skin or based on the sex of the subcontractor. No, Skip Alston, not all Guilford County residents share your values, especially when those values promote discrimination. It is past time to end the shameful practice of MWBE. So, again, Skip, what are the values of Guilford County?
Not all Guilford County residents’ curriculum vitae sport “activist” as a career choice.
Oh my skip what a wicked web we weave when we first lie to deceive You’re such a sad excuse as the supposedly leader of ALL the people of Guilford County not just the black ones
Lawsuit to follow…..then comes the fat taxpayer-funded settlement, followed by all records being sealed so that the real truth of this “Skip Says vs Samet says” will never be known.
Going by what I read it seems again in Guilford county that the underlying cause of this situation has a basis in race. I’m thinking this could be something that winds it’s way through the courts. But in the meantime I’m sure the new bid process for phases 2 and 3 of this project will yield a substantial savings over the previous contracts right ?
I’m thinking skip got embarrassed after hiring 5 more (black) people for the mwbe jobs and he still didn’t get the numbers he wanted. Now he just pulls the plug on a big contract because he has egg on his face even though it’s going to hurt minority businesses skip has to save face at the expense of the taxpayers. He’s going to blame it on racism. Sorry piece of horse crap
We will probably never know the truth since the CC are going to hide behind their lawyer but be assured that Samet’s statement is probably closer to the truth. There has been a big push for the county to make sure as much as possible contracts are MWBE no matter the cost to the tax payer. The MWBE program is discriminator in itself, it excludes the small business owned by Whites, if this was the reverse you can be sure there would be an uproar from the NAACP, Simpkins Pac and others. Why not look after the tax payer and take the most qualified, low bid for the job. If you don’t think that Skip has skin in the game then you are blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.
skip please don’t take this as a compliment because it’s not you are nothing but a racist race baiting a$$hole just like the so called reverend Nelson johnson, if he’s a reverend pigs can fly, Micheal king, Anthony spearman, Al sharpton, and ben crump just to name a few. KARMA is coming skip so pull up your tighty WHITIES and get ready
A lot of money involved, this is going to get interesting
Somebody got p***ed and used that word and that tore it. EOS.
I hope that samet takes them to court over this.
You can not give people of any color over another based on their race……. what a sad time we are living in… keep that crap in Greensboro and don’t bring it to summerfield……
I wonder if Samet’s reconstruction of Claxton P.S. will be affected?
Our “woke” council prioritizes the Social Justice agenda over public safety, and the efficient use of taxpayers’ funds (even moreso when the taxpayers are federal), and the provision of services to residents (see glass recycling).
Maybe the prevailing shift in public attitudes will sweep this deplorable crew from office, the next time we’re called to the polls. 2022 was an opportunity wasted to effect serious change.
New cost will be at least 20%-30% higher in cost. Samet class company with excellent reputation for quality control , cost control and delivering on time. The county and tax payers are the losers.
Please run follow up article on cost comparison
Let’s see….do I believe Skip or Samet? Believe I’ll go with Samet. They don’t play the race card.
MWBE is another word for discrimination. Along with equity and inclusion.
I’m more concerned why Samet fired anybody for speaking the truth. That kind of virtue signaling BS is exactly why this keeps happening. I had a black client years ago that exploited that same ability as a “defense contractor” to General Dynamics where he was buying various nuts, bolts, screws etc. at Lowes hardware stores and selling them at a 4 times markup to GD. Now, they call it equity.
I want to thank ALL the commissioners for taking work from a minority worker on this project. I have worked many projects with Samet over 18 years. As a minority tradesman, Samet has kept me working all these years to provide for my family and the taxes that pay your checks. I will be voting in this next election.
Need help in filing an injunction regarding the decision to cancel this contract. The cancellation will drive up costs and extend timelines. The Council should serve in the best interest of the citizens. Real estate tax increases are already obscene. The irresponsible action is just showing how blind the Council is to the economic status of people. This action is self-induced inflation of costs.
Just have both sides apologize and reinstate the contract. And no, we don’t need more MWBE on the contract that is already bid. Reeks of corruption.