Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Orleans, State to Pay $3.4M Judgment for Racial Discrimination Against Whites and Hispanic

New Orleans, State to Pay $3.4M Judgment
The city and the state of Louisiana will pay the bulk of a $3.4 million racial discrimination judgment against the New Orleans District Attorney's Office, officials announced Tuesday.

The judgment was awarded to 36 employees, 35 white and one Hispanic, who were fired and replaced by black employees shortly after Eddie Jordan took over as the city's first black district attorney in 2003.

Under the agreement outlined at a conference, the city will pay about one third of the judgment, or more than $1.1 million. The state will pay about $1.6 million, subject to approval by a legislative committee later this year. The District Attorney's Office, which already has paid $300,000, will pay $300,000 more.

The city and state had been disputing who has responsibility for the office.

Jordan, who was not personally liable in the lawsuit, maintains race played no role in the firings.

He resigned last week amid mounting criticism as high-profile cases fell apart, veteran prosecutors left and the city's violent crime rate soared.

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