JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Retro Metro filed a discrimination complaint in federal court against the City of Jackson, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba and the Jackson City Council. This comes after the city terminated its lease with the company to house their offices at Metrocenter Mall.
In July, the Jackson City Council voted to move all city offices out of the mall due to hazardous conditions, which include mold, potholes and unreliable air conditioning.
Retro Metro claims the city violated the terms of the lease agreement by voting to terminate the lease. The company said it received a written notice from the city on August 11 that the city would terminate the lease.
According to Retro Metro, the city has not made the agreed upon lease payments and has been delinquent since August 1, 2023.
While in the process of terminating the lease agreement, the complaint stated that the city sought out and signed rental agreements to lease space from white/majority owned companies, who provided the same leased space to the same city divisions and personnel that were located in the space it leased from Retro Metro.
“It is unacceptable that any city, much less one that is 80% African American, take from minority owned businesses and give to WHITE owned business,” stated Malcolm Harrison, Retro Metro’s attorney. “City officials have an obligation to stop discrimination, not promote it. We are asking the Federal Court to reinstate the city’s lease agreement with Retro Metro.”
In early August, Retro Metro sued the city over the termination of the lease agreement. A trial has been set for Monday, October 2, 2023.