1. Archive

Company not regarded as minority-owned

Published Sep. 2, 2005

Hillsborough County no longer considers GPM Inc. a minority firm, but not because of questions about the racial background of its owners.

On Wednesday, the county notified GPM president Jonathan Graham that his company no longer meets eligibility standards as a disadvantaged, minority-owned business because its net worth exceeds $1-million.

The county did not address the issue of whether the company is actually owned by Graham, who is black, or his white partner.

"We look at the size standard first," said Spencer Albert, manager of the county's disadvantaged minority- and women-owned business program. "If they no longer meet that, there's no reason to look at any other issue."

The county began reviewing GPM's minority status _ which allowed the company to qualify for city, county and school district contracts _ after the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority decided last year the company wasn't really owned by Graham.

The Aviation Authority said Thomas B. Bradley was the real owner of the masonry company, though he only had a 49 percent interest in GPM compared to Graham's 51 percent.

GPM is one of the Hillsborough school district's largest minority firms, earning about $11-million since 1999. The company has been a key factor in boosting the district's minority participation numbers in recent years.

School spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said officials must evaluate the county's decision before determining GPM's relationship with the district.

14-month-old dies

in apparent drowning

PLANT CITY _ A 14-month-old boy died of an apparent drowning Wednesday evening in a Plant City pond.

Daniel Camelon, a neighbor, spotted Michael Oleynik in the pond behind his Townsgate Apartments residence at 1212 Goldfinch Drive, police said. He pulled Oleynik out of the water just before 6 p.m. and called 911.

Plant City and Hillsborough County rescue teams tried to resuscitate the child, who was then taken to South Florida Baptist Hospital. He was pronounced dead just before 7 p.m.

Police are investigating how the child drowned.