Company building Warriors' new San Francisco arena being sued

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ByVic Lee KGO logo
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Company building Warriors' new SF arena being sued
The company building the Warriors' new arena in San Francisco is being sued by a minority contractor.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The company building the Warriors' new arena in San Francisco is being sued by a minority contractor. The contractor says Clark Construction drove him out of business through extortion and fraud.

Now he says he wants Clark Construction taken off of the Warriors arena job.

"We have asked the Warriors and we would want to ask the public's support for our request that Clark Construction be removed from that job," the plaintiff's attorney said.

Minority contractor Art Blacksher accuses Clark Construction in his lawsuit of fraud, extortion and discrimination. "I lost my business. I had to move back home with my mother. I've been threatened with my life," he said.

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Blacksher was a subcontractor on the massive Highland Hospital renovation project in Oakland beginning in 2009. Clark Construction was awarded the contract with the agreement that it would give 15 percent of the work to minority subcontractors.

But Blacksher says Clark defaulted on its promises to make timely payments to him, his workers and to the union, which triggered penalties and other liabilities, which eventually drove him out of business. "I literally had to beg to get paid. Vanir Company, the construction management company who assured me through their construction management person, he was working to help develop us," he said.

Vanir Construction was hired to ensure, among other things, that Clark treated minority contractors fairly. Instead, Blacksher charges its supervisor began extorting money from him, promising to expedite Clark's payments.

His lawsuit alleges that he paid more than $400,000 to the supervisor between 2010 and 2014. Vanir Construction says it had no idea its employee was extorting Blacksher and that when they found out, they fired him.

Clark Construction eventually paid Blacksher's union debt after Blacksher says he threatened suit.

Clark says it disagrees with the allegations and will provide more information later.

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The Golden State Warriors broke ground on their new Chase Stadium during a ceremony in San Francisco on Tuesday.