Jefferson County Circuit Judge Donald Blankenship has recused himself from a lawsuit filed by the Black Contractors’ Association of Alabama to stop the construction of the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center’s (BJCC) open-air amphitheater.

Blankenship said he recently consulted a listed witness in the case on a personal project, and he wanted to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

The contractors’ association and Goudy Construction, Inc. and Patricia Sigers filed the complaint for a temporary restraining order and injunction on May 28. Plaintiffs claimed the $50 million project should have been awarded to an “underutilized” company.

“In addition to the general antidiscrimination policy and inclusion policies the City of Birmingham passed a Resolution (proposed by Councilman Clinton Woods) to promote and ensure inclusion of Historically Underutilized Businesses or HUBs,” the lawsuit states.

The plaintiffs claim Goudy Construction was harmed by the BJCC not following HUB and inclusion requirements.

The defendants responded that there was no evidence of harm and that the company was fully aware of the bidding process. They claimed they followed the Public Works Act when bidding and awarding public contracts.

The BJCC also asked the court to dismiss the case, saying the lawsuit was only filed after the company failed to obtain a subcontract for the project.

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