New lawsuit is starting up against City of Bridgeport Connecticut Civil service Commission over the 2002 to present Firefighter exam.
.City is about to hire 6 felons and 6 people who failed there back ground check.
.White candidates were given bad scores on oral exam to get more minorities on top of the hiring list.
.This is a new lawsuit not to be confused with 19 candidates who already suing.
.There is only 18 open spots emails me right away. Does not matter were you are rank on oral exam.
Please email me at email@example.com
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08-23-2004, 04:49 PM #1
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- Aug 2004
New lawsuit starting up against City Bridgeport firefighter exam
08-25-2004, 10:28 AM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
Council shuns ban on hiring felons
Council shuns felony hiring ban Council shuns votes on hiring felons Measure had been scaled back from ban
By AARON LEO firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIDGEPORT ó A proposal that would have allowed the City Council to approve or deny city jobs to people with violent felony convictions was rejected in committee Tuesday.
The council's Ordinance Committee voted 4 to 1 to kill the proposal by Councilman Keith Rodgerson, D-133.
The proposal, which Rodgerson had scaled back from a blanket ban, called for a vote of at least two-thirds of the council to accept or reject an applicant with a violent felony conviction.
After the meeting, Rodgerson said he was not surprised at the decision but was glad it sparked a review of the city's hiring practices.
Rodgerson called for the change after two men with felony convictions
including one who bagged crack cocaine for the Peeler drug gang here
were placed on the firefighter hiring list in June by the Civil Service Commission. The commission is reviewing its decisions.
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A 68-year-old city Civil Service guideline, but not city law, bars people with felony convictions from working as firefighters.
Thomas Freer, R-130, cast the only vote favoring the proposal, because of his constituents' feelings.
"They don't want a felon working for them [on the Fire Department], someone who may potentially enter their homes," he said.
Fire Chief Michael Maglione has said he also opposes felons working on the department.
Committee Chairman Thomas McCarthy, D-133; and members Edwin Gomes, D-135; Marilyn Santacroce, D-134; and Carlos Silva, D-136, rejected the proposal for a variety of reasons.
"We are not the judge and the jury," Gomes said. "We are not a hiring body, we are a legislative body."
Other committee members agreed with arguments from state Sen. Ernest Newton II and Rep. Charles D. Clemons Jr., both D-Bridgeport, and a written opinion from City Attorney Mark Anastasi.
"Everybody makes mistakes," Newton said. "People get rehabilitated."
Clemons, a retired city firefighter, said, "I worked side by side with some felons I would go into a burning building with in a moment's notice."
Anastasi said Connecticut law provides standards to address hiring felons, such as the relevancy of the crime to the job, the age of the conviction and the degree of rehabilitation.
But people with felony convictions cannot be police officers because state law bars them from carrying weapons.
Felons may also apply to a state pardoning board to have their records cleared.
Anastasi added that the Civil Service director and the commission can evaluate individually each applicant with a felony conviction.
Civil Service Director John C. Colligan, who has retired but continues to work until he is replaced, has said he would never recommend hiring anyone with a felony conviction.
The controversial firefighter candidates are city residents Earl King Jr. and Edward Valderrama.
King, ranked 16th on the hiring list, testified against the Peelers at their drug and murder trials, after striking a plea bargain with federal prosecutors.
He earned a college degree in 1999 and worked for Subway as a manager and server from January 2002 to July 2002, according to his civil service job application.
Valderrama, ranked 91st, was convicted in 1986 of two counts of illegal manufacture, distribution, sale, prescription or dispensing, his application stated. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspended after he served four years and five years probation, it stated.
Valderrama now co-owns and manages two city businesses, he reported on his application.
The Civil Service Commission will review Valderrama's case in September and King's in October.
Aaron Leo, who covers regional issues, can be reached at 330-6222.
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