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Feds Eye Lawsuit in JFRD Discrimination

6:21 PM, Apr 20, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Department of Justice completed a three year investigation into allegations of discrimination within the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and is preparing to take legal action.

"We have determined that the City has engaged in a pattern or practice of employment discrimination against African Americans," said Delora Kennebrew, DOJ Chief of Employment Litigation Section.

The Department of Justice noted the written examinations used for promotions, "results in disparate impact upon African-American candidates, is not sufficiently job related for the positions in question," according to a letter the city received last month.

The investigation included a review of written exams and promotional practices dating back to 2004.

DOJ stated the city must change its practices and must "make-whole" African-American candidates who have been harmed.  That involves job offers, retroactive seniority and back pay with interest.

The city's General Counsel, Cindy Laquidara, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The President of the Jacksonville Association of Firefighters, Randy Wyse, declined comment as well. Wyse says the association will be prepared to speak in more detail on Monday.

The Department of Justice on Friday morning could not provide any more details on whether a lawsuit was forthcoming Friday.

First Coast News

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