Three Atlanta Fire Rescue firefighters, two white and one black, sued the city three months after an April 2010 promotional exam. They did so as part of a class action lawsuit on behalf of 160 others who took the same test to become a lieutenant in the department.
Their claim, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Joel Anderson, is that five black firefighters who were part of the same study group, scored among the top eight on the test because they were provided answers ahead of time by two assistant fire chiefs and members of Brothers Combined, the Atlanta black firefighters association.
The paper reports the city could have to invalidate the old test and provide another. They also face the possibility of providing back pay and attorney's fees. There was a hold placed on the promotions of the five firefighters in question because of the lawsuit.
Atlanta officials are considering an appeal, according to city attorney Robert Godfrey, who believes that ultimately the city will be vindicated.
Here's more from Anderson's article:
The lawsuit also accused the city's Human Resources Department of conducting a "superficial at best" review of the cheating allegations. "The DHR review was nothing more than a whitewash," the plaintiffs alleged.
Godfrey dismissed those allegations, saying the plaintiff's case "basically centered on the idea that you couldn't be an African-American in 2010 and do well on a test."
Parks said the verdict should be a warning to city officials that they need to address corruption within the fire department.
"My clients took on the top four people in the department," (attorney for the plaintiffs Lee) Parks said, referring to top Fire Rescue administrators named in the suit. "Think what would have happened to them if they lost."
Do you want to sell a rig? Click HERE to find out how with SellFireTrucks.com.