But the company that had begun preliminary planning before Ackerman pushed it aside - Security & Data Technologies Inc. - had guaranteed to provide 33 percent of the work to a minority contractor and 34 percent to a firm owned by a woman, according to e-mails reviewed by The Inquirer.
The SDT guarantee is documented in a series of e-mails to the school district and in internal district e-mails, including one sent to Leroy B. Nunery II, the deputy superintendent, six days before Ackerman took action Sept. 23.
In meticulous detail, they describe SDT's plan to include minority- and women-owned firms in a project to install surveillance systems and command control centers at 19 schools classified as persistently dangerous.
The e-mail traffic makes it clear that companies run by minorities and women would have received the bulk of the work on the surveillance job.
In a draft of a resolution to the School Reform Commission sent to Nunery on Sept. 17, Myron Patterson, chief of school safety, spelled out the specific percentages allotted under the SBT plan:
"MBE participation for all installation . . . will be 33%," Patterson wrote. "WBE participation . . . will be 34%." (MBE signifies minority-owned enterprise, and WBE stands for businesses owned by women.)
Shana Kemp, a district spokeswoman, questioned whether SDT and the district staff were serious about the proposal to include minorities and women because they had failed to complete a minority-participation form and attach it to the draft SRC resolution
. That requirement, she said, dated to 2003 and was implemented because several firms owned by white businessmen had failed to fulfill their commitments.