By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, Mo. – AT&T Missouri has agreed to settle a lawsuit that accuses the company of violating the False Claims Act in connection with an Internet access program for schools.
The E-Rate program enables schools and libraries in low-income neighborhoods to gain access to the Internet.
U.S. Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller says the suit accused AT&T Missouri of colluding with school officials in Kansas City to engage in non-competitive bidding practices.
"The U.S. contended that AT&T Missouri provided false information to the E-Rate program and otherwise violated the program's requirements," Miller said.
The Kansas City School District has already agreed to a settlement with the Department of Justice.
AT&T Missouri released a statement, which says, in part, that it's committed to helping ensure all eligible K-12 schools and public libraries have affordable access to advanced telecommunications services.
The company was formerly known as Southwestern Bell. It will pay $1.4 million and admit no wrongdoing.