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Frustration on all sides
Beard, the Republican from Shakopee who asked for the audit, said it came after hearing a litany of complaints from MnDOT, prime contractors like McCrossan and minority-owned contractors like Odonkor.“Frustration is what I hear from all sides,” he said.
Correcting mistakes of the past by inflicting an unfair system on businesses brings inherent problems, he said. It’s hard for businesses and MnDOT alike.
“In essence, we’re fighting discrimination with discrimination,” he said. “It’s an incredibly difficult situation.”
But failing to comply with federal DBE guidelines could potentially put millions of transportation dollars the state receives each year in jeopardy, Dibble says. So lawmakers are watching closely to see that recommendations in the audit are complied with.
“It’s not just about liability and exposure,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
Staff writer Pat Doyle contributed to this report. Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039 Twitter: @StribJAnderson