John Peter Smith Health Network officials didn’t take kindly to being characterized as ho-hum on minority hiring (“JPS Under Microscope,” Nov. 13, 2013).

“JPS … is an equal opportunity employer,” hospital spokesperson J.R. Labbe said. “In hiring and procurement, JPS follows all requirements established for governmental entities.”

Larry Kemp doesn’t think so. He’s an African-American entrepreneur who owns the Fort Worth-based Kemp & Sons landscaping company. For several years, JPS contracted with Kemp to maintain various hospital properties. Last year the contract was up for bid again, and Kemp and several other companies submitted bids. But JPS pulled that bid proposal, Kemp said, and then re-issued it without notification. He tried to find out what happened but said hospital personnel spurned his inquiries.

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