Tennesee courthouse file photo

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Tennessee’s largest county has settled a lawsuit alleging a minority business program led to discrimination against white-owned companies.

The Commercial Appeal reported that a settlement approved Monday by the Shelby County Commission gives more than $330,000 to two groups of contractors in Memphis.

Filed in January 2019, the lawsuit asked that the county be prohibited from implementing its program.

The ordinance launching the program was passed after a 2016 study showed that about 88% of all prime contracts from the county went to white males, whereas only 5.8% went to businesses owned by African Americans and 5.1 percent to Caucasian woman-owned businesses.

The lawsuit called that study “fatally flawed.”

In the year before the lawsuit was filed, a report of the county’s spending showed about 2% or less was spent with minority-owned businesses.

The minority-owned business program will be ending in its current form, but it could return in the future, officials told the newspaper.