Jacksonville, Firefighters Propose Promotions Lawsuit Settlement

The city and its Fire and Rescue Division have proposed a settlement for a lawsuit filed by the firefighter's union in 2001 over the promotion of three black firefighters from lieutenants to captains.

The three lieutenants had sued, claiming JFRD's promotion process discriminated against blacks, and were promoted. The union then sued, claiming the promotions violated the contract it had with the city, and wanted the promotions rescinded.

Under the proposed settlement, 18 firefighters would be paid $57,000 in back pay and benefits.

The promotions of the three black firefighters will remain intact, although one of those firefighters retired and another never took the exam.

A vote on the proposed settlement is scheduled at Tuesday evening's City Council meeting.

In March, a federal jury found that former JFRD chief refused in 1999 to promote four white firefighters from lieutenant to captain. Jurors awarded back pay of about $225,000 to the three surviving lieutenants and the widow of a fourth.

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