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City Approves AFD Hiring Discrimination Settlement With Department Of Justice

Updated: Friday, May 16 2014, 06:29 AM CDT
Emotional reaction from Austin firefighters as Austin City Council approves a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The 5-2 vote came down Thursday night around 11 p.m. It stems from a federal investigation that found AFD hiring practices discriminated against minorities.

The Austin Firefighters Association, the firefighters' union, has been promising legal action that could lead to a five-year hiring freeze.
"I've done more than almost anyone in this community to diversify the department," said Bob Nicks, AFA President, after the vote. "No laws were broken and no consent decree should be granted, and the fact that the city would enter into an expensive consent decree and give power to the federal government as far as oversight is ridiculous."

By agreeing to the DOJ's deal, the city avoids a lawsuit. The settlement calls for 30 positions at future fire cadet academies for Hispanic and African-American candidates, up to $780,000 in back pay or priority hiring for some unsuccessful Hispanic and African-American candidates in the 2012 hiring process, and the DOJ can oversee the hiring process. The terms of the settlement will last at least four years.

City Council members Chris Riley and Mike Martinez voted against the deal.

City Approves AFD Hiring Discrimination Settlement With Department Of Justice

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