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Mpls Light-Rail Builders To Pay US $4.6M

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department says the joint venture that built the Hiawatha light-rail line in Minneapolis has agreed to pay the government $4.6 million.

The settlement resolves allegations that Minnesota Transit Constructors Inc. submitted false claims.

Minnesota Transit Constructors was the prime contractor on the line linking downtown Minneapolis with the Mall of America in Bloomington. The government alleged the group falsely claimed it had used businesses owned by minorities and women for part of its work on the project.

Minnesota U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones says the resolution “helps to correct” an injustice.

But Dean Thomson, an attorney for the joint venture, says the settlement does not admit liability. Thomson says the companies decided it was time to put the allegations behind them.

The Hiawatha line opened in 2004.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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