Retro Metro files breach of contract, racial discrimination complaint against Jackson
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Retro Metro has filed a discrimination complaint against the City of Jackson, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and the Jackson City Council.
According to Retro Metro’s attorney, former Circuit Court Judge Malcolm Harrison, the Jackson City Council violated the terms of the lease agreement in July by voting 3-1 to terminate the lease agreement with the company.
When the city signed its lease with the company back in 2011, it was for a 20-year agreement.
Council members who voted in favor of terminating the lease expressed that they feel the company, which purchased a portion of the Metrocenter Mall which housed Jackson Police Department’s Precinct 2, was not providing a safe environment for employees.
The city of Jackson had also been using the space for offices and work purposes.
In August, the city sent written notice to Retro Metro that it was terminating the lease.
The city has not made the agreed upon lease payments and has been delinquent since August 1, 2023, Harrison says.
“While in the process of unlawfully terminating the lease agreement between Retro Metro and the City of Jackson, the City sought out and signed rental agreements to lease space from white/majority owned companies who provided the exact same leased space to the exact same city divisions and personnel that were located in the space it leased from Retro Metro,” Harrison wrote in a release on Friday. “It is undisputed that during the relevant time period Retro Metro, LLC., was and is a minority owned and operated company.”
“It is unacceptable that any city, much less one that is 80% African American, take from minority owned businesses and give to WHITE owned business,” he continued. “City officials have an obligation to stop discrimination, not promote it. We are asking the Federal Court to reinstate the City’s lease agreement with Retro Metro.”
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