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Firefighters allege reverse discrimination

January 1, 2008
A reverse discrimination suit filed Tuesday in federal court against the Indianapolis Fire Department is the second bias claim made against the city in a year.

The newest suit in the Southern District names 20 white firefighters who allege they were passed over for promotions to lieutenant and captain in favor of less-qualified black candidates. The case is Glen Scott, et al. v. City of Indianapolis, et al.

Brought by 19 men and a woman, the suit names the city and Indianapolis Fire Department Chief James Greeson as defendants. Plaintiffs want back pay, damages, and changes to the department's promotion process.

The suit says the IFD ranked candidates based on test scores and interviews, but didn't fairly look at ranks in making promotions to captain and lieutenant spots.

Unlike a previously filed suit initiated by Indianapolis police officers last year, this latest suit doesn't have support of the U.S. Department of Justice. In July, the DOJ sued the city on allegations that six white officers where discriminated against when denied promotions while white female officers and black male officers were promoted. The EEOC investigated both departments' cases. That case is pending in the Southern District and is set for a status conference March 17.
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