Fire Commissioner Harold B. Hairston
Black, Liberal Democrat, Quota Advocate
Philly Fire Commissioner Harold B. Hairston
firefighters report that Fire Commissioner Harold B. Hairston is not widely liked
by the rank and file.
It is small wonder. After all, black Commissioner Hairston has stated publicly (and
on the record) that if he had his way he would make the department over 50% black!
The Fire Commissioner is also a member the International Association of Black Professional
Firefighters which is closely allied with the black firefighters' organization called Club
Valiants (plaintiffs in the discrimination suit).
John F. Street
Black, Liberal Democrat, Quota Advocate
John F. Street
| Fire Commissioner
Harold Hairston was reappointed as Commissioner in 2000 by the current Democratic Mayor of
Philadelphia, John F. Street.
firefighters' organization, Club Valiants, has endorsed Street in his 2003 bid for
reelection as mayor of Philadelphia.
In October 2003 Mayor John F. Street's administration is being investigated by the FBI for
corruption in the award of racial set-aside contracts to Street's cronies and friends,
including Mayor Street's brother. See FBI Investigation,
Commissioner Hairston was originally appointed in 1992 by another liberal Democrat and a
friend of Al Gore's, Mayor Edward G. Rendell who, as it happens, is now the governor of
Pennsylvania and who is the former mayor of Philadelphia.
What's wrong with this picture? Do you think the City of Philadelphia is actively
defending its fire department against the imposition of racial quotas?
Not likely. A brief review of the parties to this lawsuit is in order:
- On the Plaintiffs' side of the
court order to impose quotas -- the pro-quota side -- we have the State of Pennsylvania
and the black firefighters' organization Club Valiants.
- On the Defendants' side -- the
side which is supposed to be defending itself against charges of anti-black discrimination
-- we have the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Fire Department.
But wait! Both sides are currently populated by strong advocates of racial quotas!
Do you see the problem?
Are you surprised that the Court has repeatedly refused to allow the firefighters to
present legal arguments against the continued use of racial quotas?
FBI Investigates Racial Quota Corruption
In Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street's Administration
Web Posted Oct. 16, 2003
to the Associated Press, listening devices (bugs) recently found in Mayor Street's offices
were planted by the FBI as part of an ongoing investigation into corruption regarding the
award of city contracts to friends, political supporters, and relatives of Mayor John F.
Of particular interest to the FBI are the records of several minority-owned businesses as
well as Philly's "Minority Business Enterprise Council" which determines which
Philly businesses owned by certain races can receive no-bid city contracts.
After bug's discovery, FBI took
records from city agency
[The Associated Press - October 14, 2003] "A city agency that helps
minority-owned businesses get shares of public works contracts was asked to turn over
records to federal agents last week, shortly after an FBI bug was discovered in the
mayor's office, a city official confirmed Tuesday.
"City Solicitor Nelson Diaz declined to say which specific records were taken by
federal agents, but said all were related to the Minority Business Enterprise Council
[MBEC], an agency that wields substantial power over which companies may bid on certain
lucrative city contracts.
"Diaz said he did not know why the FBI was interested in the council, or whether the
request had anything to do with the bureau's bugging of the City Hall offices of Mayor
John Street. Listening devices were found in Street's offices on Oct. 7 during a routine
"Created in 1993, the Minority Business Enterprise Council is the centerpiece of the
city's affirmative-action program for companies owned by women and ethnic minorities.
| "... firms
bidding for city contracts are required to give part or all of the work to firms certified
by MBEC as being minority-owned. The designations are somewhat coveted, as they can help a
small company forge partnerships with bigger firms that need a minority as a partner if
they are to get a piece of city business.
given that designation to a variety of companies owned by Street supporters, including a
firm owned by Ali's wife, Faridah Ali.
"Agents have also ... raided a business associated with one of [Street's] supporters,
the influential imam Shamsud-din Ali.
"The firm, Elite Services, is listed in city records as certified to provide vending
machines, food concessions, catering services, marketing services and public relations
"... in recent months agents have subpoenaed a variety of records having to do with
various city contracts, including a $13.6 million deal to provide maintenance at the
city-owned Philadelphia International Airport.
Imam Shamsud-din Ali
"Ali, 64, was born Clarence Fowler but legally changed his name in 1984. Shamsud-din
means "sun of the faith" in Arabic.
"In 1970, he was convicted of fatally shooting a North Philadelphia minister in a
robbery. He served six years in prison.
"As a former prison inmate and a devout Muslim, Ali commanded respect in some
neighborhoods as "the baddest of the bad," according to Fareed Numan, an author
and researcher on Philadelphia's Muslim community.
"[Ali] also moves among the city's most powerful politicians, serving as a kind of
liaison to the Muslim community. He has helped the campaigns of such men as
John Street and Ed Rendell - and like many others who also helped, he wound up with city
work. The businesses and groups run by Ali and his wife have received a steady stream of
city contracts and government grants." [Emphasis added.]
Excerpted from the Political State
Report 10-11-03. Last known link to original story: www.polstate.com/archives/004537.html
"Earlier this year, city officials revealed that a company that held the $13.6
million airport maintenance contract, Philadelphia Airport Services, had made plans to
subcontract more than $1.1 million of the work to the mayor's brother, Milton Street.
"After a public outcry, the deal was canceled by Mayor Street, who maintained that he
had been unaware that his brother had bid for the job."
Excerpted from the Associated Press
story as published on zwire.com. Last known link:
Link to similar story by Associated
FBI put listening device in
Philadelphia mayor's office, sources say
- October 8, 2003) - "A day after a listening device was found inside Mayor John
Street's office, FBI agents Wednesday conducted a series of raids across Philadelphia,
including a search of a finance firm with a no-bid city contract to collect back taxes.
"The bugging, according to people familiar with it, was part of a wide-ranging
federal investigation into corruption in city contracts and other matters. Those same
sources confirmed that a number of raids conducted by the FBI Wednesday were connected to
"One of the FBI raids Wednesday morning focused on Keystone Information &
Financial Services, a Mount Airy business that was awarded a contract in 2002 that netted
$60,600 from the city for collection of taxes.
"The FBI also searched the Cheltenham home of an executive of the business, Imam
Shamsud-din Ali, according to a law enforcement official.
"People familiar with the inquiry said it focused in part on contracts at
Philadelphia International Airport. The mayor's brother, T. Milton Street, who has ties to
a firm doing airport business, said that he, too, thought the probe was related to the
"[Mayor] Street, Gov. Ed Rendell, and a host of other prominent politicians called
Wednesday for the FBI to tell the public whether Street or other administration officials
are under investigation. The FBI and federal prosecutors, both in Philadelphia and
Washington, adamantly refused to do that.
"[FBI] Agents raided the Germantown Avenue offices of Keystone Information &
Financial Services sometime before 10 a.m. They left with cartons of material, authorities
said. The chief executive of the firm, Marcelino Guerrero, contributed $9,000 to
Street's mayoral campaigns between 1997 and 1999.
"The vice president of the firm, [Imam Shamsud-din Ali], is the founder and religious
leader of the Philadelphia Masjid, one of the largest and most influential black [Muslim]
mosques in the Philadelphia area. FBI agents searched Ali's home in Cheltenham
Township on Wednesday, sources said.
"He's a supporter. He's a friend," Street said when asked about Ali. "I've
seen him at fund-raisers. I mean, I don't know whether he's raised any money."
"Shamsud-din [Ali] is [Mayor John F.] Street's adviser to the Muslim community,"
said Fareed Numan, a former researcher at the American Muslim Council and expert on the
local Muslim community.
"[Shamsud-din] Ali has appeared at Street's side in events in the Muslim community,
most recently last Friday during the mayor's speech at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society, the
main mosque for Arab and immigrant Muslims who are said to be lukewarm toward Street.
"Earlier this year, it was learned that a federal law enforcement task force was
investigating [Imam Shamsud-din] Ali in connection with alleged fraud at a private Muslim
school he runs in West Philadelphia, the Clara Muhammad School.
"And, in June, the Philadelphia School District gave authorities documents related to
a proposed charter school that Ali and his wife wanted to open.
"It is also known that federal investigators have been exploring contracts at
Philadelphia International Airport. In June, city officials disclosed that a federal grand
jury was investigating a $13.6 million maintenance contract at the airport. Federal
authorities had subpoenaed 25,000 page of contract documents, city officials said.
"In an interview Wednesday, [the mayor's brother] T. Milton Street said he believed
that the hidden surveillance device was tied to the airport probe. "You can't
just bug an office because of politics," Milton Street said. "You need a reason,
so I think they're using that whole airport thing as a reason to bug the office."
"But Milton Street insisted that the low-bid contract was fairly awarded, and that
neither he nor his brother [mayor John F. Street] had done anything wrong."
Excerpted from the Wed., Oct. 8,
2003 story by CentreDaily / Philadelphia Inquirer reporters Emilie Lounsberry, Shannon
McCaffrey and Clean Benson.
Last known link to the original
time-honored game of political fund-raising, candidates are given money by people with a
stake in city government, and contributors are rewarded with lucrative city business.
FBI appears to focus on 'pay to
"Since the discovery of a sophisticated bug in the ceiling of the mayor's City Hall
office transformed his reelection campaign, FBI agents and federal prosecutors have sought
a broad array of documents about city contracts and campaign money.
"They have raided three city agencies and the Center City office of lawyer White, a
major political ally of the mayor's who has earned millions of dollars from municipal
legal work. They also searched the Mount Airy office of a small financial firm that was
cut in on a modest, no-bid city contract.
"Here, so far, are the names and places that the federal authorities have zeroed in
"Minority Business and Enterprise Council. The FBI searched offices
of the MBEC, which is part of the Finance Department, and departed with records. It left
behind a grand-jury subpoena directing the head of the agency to bring documents regarding
companies associated with Ali.
"MBEC seeks to ensure that minorities, women and people with disabilities get equal
access to city business opportunities.
"Imam Shamsud-din Ali. The Cheltenham Township home of the Muslim
cleric, a supporter and friend of Mayor Street's, was searched by the FBI the day after
the bug was discovered. Ali is the founder and religious leader of the Philadelphia
Masjid, a large and influential mosque in the area.
"Agents also raided the Germantown Avenue offices of Keystone Information &
Financial Services, a company of which Ali is a founder. And they seized records from
"In 1970, Ali was convicted of fatally shooting a North Philadelphia minister in a
robbery. He spent six years in prison until the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned the
conviction in 1976.
"After he got out of prison, Ali worked to bring order to inner-city neighborhoods
plagued by violence. In recent years, he has counseled prison inmates. Last year, Street
appointed him to the city's prison board.
"Ronald A. White P.C. On Thursday, FBI agents spent hours
searching the tastefully decorated law firm at Broad and Walnut Streets, eventually
carting out about 60 boxes of documents. The boxes bore notations that included
"PHA" and "Tasker Homes."
"City Finance Department. Agents also removed about a half-dozen
boxes from this key city office where the director of finance acts as the chief financial,
accounting and budget officer of the city.
"The director, Janice Davis, oversees the Procurement and Revenue Departments and the
Office of the City Treasurer; chairs the Municipal Board of Pensions & Retirement; and
is a member of the Mayor's Cabinet and the City Planning Commission.
"City Treasurer's Office. It was searched the same day. This office
manages the development and administration of debt policies of the city and its related
agencies, and coordinates the provision of financial analysis.
"Municipal Board of Pensions and Retirement. This office also was
the focus of an FBI search on Thursday. The nine-member board, which manages the assets of
the pension system, is chaired by the director of finance and includes the city solicitor,
the managing director, the city personnel director, the city controller, and four
employees elected by members of the four municipal unions.
"Philadelphia Housing Authority. On Friday, authorities delivered a
subpoena to the authority, seeking records on businesses, consultants and banks with which
it does business. PHA, with an annual budget of $350 million, is the city's largest
From the 10/19/03 Philadelphia
Inquirer story by Emilie Lounsberry and Joseph Tanfani
Last known link to original story:
City racial quota programs for minority contractors have been repeatedly investigated for
corruption and cronyism. Black friends of the political elite receive huge
"sole source" contract awards, and white-owned contractors "fudge" the
books to make it look like they are owned by blacks or other preferred minorities -- all
because of race-based contracting quotas. Below are just a few of the many other
examples of corruption in city minority set-aside contracting programs. -- Editor.
Minority Set-Aside Programs Investigated by FBI for Corruption
Set-Aside Programs Investigated by FBI for Corruption
SAN FRANCISCO: Minority
Set-Aside Programs Investigated by FBI for Corruption
WASHINGTON, DC: Black
Cronyism and Corruption in Suburban Racial Set-Aside Programs
END Case 34: (D) Black Fire Commissioner Hairston and
Black Mayor Street