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NO Attorneys Get $3.4M For Discrimination

From a grudging reporting Associated Press:

New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan pauses during a news conference in New Orleans, November 5, 2005. Jordan quit on Tuesday, ending a controversial four-year tenure that saw him become the symbol of the hurricane-ravaged city’s inability to combat violent crime.

New Orleans, state to pay $3.4M judgment

By MARY FOSTER, Associated Press Writer Tue Nov 20

NEW ORLEANS – 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.

Although the total is less than earlier estimates of what is owed, Mayor Ray Nagin said attorneys representing the plaintiffs had agreed to the deal.

Reached out of town Tuesday, Richard Leefe, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, said any comment on the deal was premature. “We’ve just decided not to talk about it at this time,” Leefe said.

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. Long before the judgment threatened to bankrupt the office, charges had been dropped and a backlog of criminal cases moved slowly through the courts.

The district attorney’s office, with a $12 million annual budget, had struggled to find a way to pay the judgment while the city and state argued over who has responsibility for the office.

Nagin had earlier resisted bailing the district attorney’s office out, saying it would set a dangerous president, but he said this deal avoids that.

“The city is advancing the money to the district attorney’s office,” Nagin said. “They will pay us back.” …

I bet when you saw the headline that, like me, you thought it would be blacks or Hispanics suing the evil white man.

Still, given the media’s obsessive coverage of all things pertaining to New Orleans since Katrina, and especially in view of its notorious crime rate, one wonders why this story has gotten so little play.

Or, come to think of it, maybe not.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, November 21st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “NO Attorneys Get $3.4M For Discrimination”

  1. michael_gentry001 says:

    This is evidence that we can get the good results we want from science without cutting corners on ethics, The argument that we need to have all types of ethical research is the argument that sways voters,This is not a new argument that they’re making. A backlog of criminal cases moved slowly through the courts.
    Law’s process is very slow and costly for every person.
    Michael Gentry


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