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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Missouri Governor Accused Of Abusing Power

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Matt Blunt abused his power and racially discriminated against a state janitorial contractor when he fired the contractor for employing illegal immigrants, claims a suit filed today in Cole County court.

The suit says Blunt exceeded his powers by terminating the contract and disqualifying Sam's Janitorial from future state work. About 25 of Sam's employees were arrested during a March 6 sting by federal and state officers. Only eight have been charged and four have either pleaded or have been found guilty to possessing forged work documents, the suit states.

Blunt is accused of racial discrimination because Sam's is owned by an African-born U.S. citizen and the state contract was given to B&G Cleaning, which has white owners. Sam's owner Asamoah-Boadu claims he hired only workers with proper documentation and that the state approved his workers. He says Blunt does not have the authority to issue an executive order to cancel all state contracts with companies who employ illegal workers.

Blunt called the suit "ludicrous" in a press conference. "This wasn't one or two people that might have slipped through the cracks of employment verification, this was a large portion of his work force," Blunt said. "I am confident that we have taken the appropriate action, the sort of action that Missouri taxpayers expect and deserve their government to take." The suit seeks to reinstate nine canceled contracts, void the company's ban from future state work and damages.

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