Minority-owned companies allege they were used to obtain Harvey contracts

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two minority owned Houston construction companies listed on pricey Harvey home repair contracts that could be worth millions claim they never knew about it.

Tuesday afternoon the two business owners joined their lawyer, mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee, to announce a lawsuit against two companies that won giant city contracts to rebuild Harvey damaged homes in the city.

The city requires about a third of the work to be done by minority or women owned businesses.

When the larger companies bid for the contract, they submitted a list of minority owned companies they intend to work with.

The lawsuit alleges two of the minority sub-contractors were never told - calling that fraud.

Leonard Williams, co-owner of Blessed Enterprises told reporters at an afternoon news conference, "It's like someone stealing your identity and taking it and using it for their gain. That's what the city did to me. That's what these contractors did to us."

Tony Buzbee, who is the sub-contractors attorney and a Houston Mayoral candidate, said, "They (the sub-contractors) have never been contacted, they knew nothing about it. They have no contract with Mr. Burghli, they have no letter of intent, they never heard of this person."

The companies being sued both tell us their lists of sub-contractors were proposals.

Neither they nor any sub-contractor had any guarantee of work.

The prime contractors claim they had communication with the subs and considered them interested in the work. Neither defendant was aware of the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon.

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