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OHIO:   News Articles about Reverse Discrimination against Police, Fire, and Municipal Employees.

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Ohio Police, Fire and Municipal Employees
Newest:  SEE Dayton Police Reverse Discrimination (10/15/06)

Also See:  Columbus Police Chief Sued for Reverse Discrimination (09/12/02)
See Also:  Black Race Riots in Cincinnati (04/12/01)

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Ohio (Cincinnati):
White Woman Charges Cincinnati with Reverse Discrimination (08/15/00)

          Debra Vitt is perhaps the most visible customer service representative in the City of Cincinnati.  But she's been forced to file a reverse racial discrimination complaint in a federal court due to discriminatory treatment by city manager John Shirey and two other city officials. Ms. Vitt alleges in her suit that for the past 2 years she has been subjected to harassment and taunting by 2 black supervisors in the city manager's office.  Her complaints have been ignored, she said, because she is white and the supervisors are black.

          According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Debra Vitt said City Manager John Shirey repeatedly dismissed her claims of discrimination, at one point telling her that he knows "reverse discrimination occurs, but unfortunately their side is the only one that gets heard."

          Another time she said that city manager John Shirey pounded on her desk with his fists and shouted "that he was CEO of the city, he made million-dollar deals and he did not have time for people like me or issues like mine."

          Cincinnati's EEO office was not responsive to Ms. Vitt's complaints, and deliberately stalled any meaningful investigation into her complaint, thus allowing the alleged racial harassment to continue.

          As apparent retirubition for filing her reverse discrimination complaint, Debra Vitt has been subjected to the following retaliation and continued harassment:  An anti-white racial epithet has been carved into her desk; she has been verbally abused and browbeaten, and she has suddenly been given a poor performance review which is in marked contrast to the good-to-excellent performance reviews she had consistently received during her previous 10 years of employment with the city.  She has also recently been threatened with a transfer to a less desirable job.

          Last Friday, August 11, 2000, Ms. Vitt filed an official complaint with the federal Equal Opportunity Commission, in the vain hope that the federal EEOC would be more responsive to her complaint of reverse discrimination than had been the Cincinnati EEO.  In her federal EEOC complaint, Ms. Vitt documented the racially-motivated problems she began experiencing shortly after assuming her Cincinnati job as customer service specialist in 1998.  At that time she was treated rudely by black communications officer Gina Ruffin-Moore.  Ms. Vitt confronted Ms. Ruffin-Moore about her verbal abuse.

          In Vitt's lawsuit, she documents the fact that the black supervisor, Ms. Ruffin-Moore,  acknowledged to her supervisor, Fannie Nicholes, that she had been rude to Ms. Vitt.  (Fannie Nicholes is assistant to the city manager, John Shirey.  Truculently, Ms. Ruffin-Moore implied that maybe the white lady (Vitt) simply resented the fact that two black women were her supervisors.

          Vitt's lawsuit goes on to charge that supervisor Nicholes agreed with Vitt's black supervisor, Ms. Ruffin-Moore, and said words to the effect that ""All white people are prejudiced [against black people, especially black bosses]; it's just subconscious with some. They just can't help it."

          David Chapman, an assistant to city manager John Shirey and EEO officer, told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday, 8/14/00, that the investigation into Debra Vitt's complaint is underway.  He denied that EEO investigators are deliberately slowing down the investigation, and said that several individuals needed to be interviewed in order to conclude the investigation.

          Mr. Chapman's statements are in stark contrast to the facts alleged by Debra Vitt's federal EEOC complaint, in which she says Cincinnati EEO investigators refused to interview city manager John Shirey.

          Mysteriously, after Ms. Vitt was forced to file her federal EEOC complaint, the city now alleges that city manager John Shirey was actually interviewed by the Cincinnati EEO either the week of Aug. 7, 2000, or the week of July 31, 2000.  Its disturbing that fact was not forthcoming until Ms. Vitt filed her federal EEOC complaint.

          Self-servingly, the City EEO is now using the excuse that since Ms. Vitt has filed a federal EEOC complaint his office will not proceed with its own investigation, according to Mr. Chapman.

          Most Cincinnati EEO investigations take less than 30 days, noted Mr. Mark Byrne, Debra Vitt's laywer.  According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Vitt's lawyer stated that he and Ms. Vitt have held off filing their federal EEOC complaint for months while waiting for the Cincinnati EEO to conduct its investigation.

Summary of Cincinnati Foot-Dragging in Debra Vitt's Reverse Discrimination Case:

  • From 1998 to 2000 Debra Vitt attempted to find an internal, non-legal solution to the continued "reverse" racial harassment to which her black co-workers were subjecting her.  But her boss, City Manager John Shirey, turned a deaf ear.
  • In April 2000, out of frustration, Debra Vitt filed a reverse discrimination complaint with the City of Cincinnati's EEO office.
  • Since April 2000 the City has refused to depose important witnesses in the case, especially City Manager John Shirey.
  • Most Cincinnati EEO investigations take 30 days or less to resolve.
  • On Friday, August 11, 2000 -- after several months of inaction by the Cincinnati EEO, Debra Vitt filed a federal EEOC complaint.
  • By a truly amazing coincidence, on Monday, August 14, 2000 -- a mere 3 days after Ms. Vitt filed her federal EEOC complaint -- City EEO manager David Chapman suddenly revealed to the Cincinnati Enquirer that City Manager John Shirey had, in fact, been interviewed by Chapman's office, oh, sometime during the week of Aug. 7, 2000, or the during week of July 31, 2000 (Chapman couldn't seem to remember the exact date).
  • Self-servingly, Mr. Chapman also stated that since Ms. Vitt has taken the step of filing a federal EEOC complaint the Cincinnati EEO office will cease its investigation into her reverse discrimination complaint.

[Commentary:  Do YOU think justice has been served?  Has Debra Vitt's reverse discrimination complaint been treated fairly and seriously by the Cincinnati EEO office?  Or is Cincinnati passing the buck and thus subjecting Ms. Vitt to many more months of degrading racial harassment while the federal EEOC repeats the anti-white foot-dragging which Cincinnati has demonstrated so ably?]

(Based on the Cincinnati Enquirer Tues., Aug 15, 2000 by Robert Anglen)
[link http://enquirer.com/editions/2000/08/15/loc_city_worker_claims.html ]


Ohio (Cincinnati):
White Firefighters Challenge Reverse Discrimination (03/10/99)

          "A decade after a federal judge threw out affirmative-action rules for hiring firefighters, eight white Cincinnati firefighter candidates are challenging the selection process.  The men have taken their complaints to city leaders, claiming reverse discrimination and saying they've been passed over for people with lower scores and women with less physical ability.

          "Larry Martin, 29, a suburban firefighter, scored 29th on the city's list of 157 eligible candidates for fire recruit classes from a test taken nearly two years ago.  He already had been skipped over by candidates who ranked as low as 108, and he wonders why.  'To score (that high) on the list, out of maybe thousands of applicants, to me was a big accomplishment,' he said.   'Getting nowhere out of that was a big letdown.'

          "Under [a 1974 affirmative action] consent decree, each recruit class was [required] to be 40 percent black until 18 percent of the entire force was made up of minorities. The city used two separate race-based eligibility lists to meet that [racial] goal.  That changed in 1990, when U.S. District Judge Carl Rubin ruled in favor of white firefighter candidates who had sued the city, claiming they were unfairly barred from jobs. Judge Rubin said the consent decree could no longer favor blacks over whites.  (Cincinnati Enquirer, 03/10/999/ by Tanya Bricking)
[link http://enquirer.com/editions/1999/03/10/loc_whites_challenge.html ]


Ohio (Columbus):
16 Police Officers Sue for Reverse Discrimination (09/12/02)

Associated Press Headline:   "Suit accuses police chief of promoting less qualified applicants"

Text:  "Columbus police Chief James Jackson is being sued by 16 officers who accuse him of being racist and sexist when he promoted a less-qualified group of officers to fill nine sergeants positions."

Facts:  (According to the Associated Press story)

  • The officers filed suit the week of Sept. 9, 2002 in U.S. District Court.
  • Police Chief James Jackson is black.
  • The 16 officers filing suit are white (4 are women).
  • Most of the 16 officers scored at the top of the sergeant's test in 2001.
  • The officers accuse Chief James Jackson of promoting from an older list of applicants in order to give the promotions to less qualified applicants, including three blacks.
  • The 16 officers are each seeking one million dollars.

(Excerpted from the Sept. 12, 2002 Associated Press story as published by WBNS-TV Columbus, Ohio.)

Last known links:
http://www.10tv.com/news/archive/091202local3386.php?story=091202local3386

Printer friendly:
http://www.10tv.com/news/archive/printlocal.php?story=091202local3386

Alternate link:
http://www.onnnews.com/onnweb/fullstory.php?record=19287

Columbus Police
Related / Background Sept. 4, 2002:

          Prior to the white officers filing their "reverse discrimination" suit against the Columbus PD in Sept. 2002, former President Clinton's Justice Department had filed an intrusive civil rights lawsuit against this police department.  Notably, Clinton's DOJ did not charge Columbus with racial discrimination, but it did require Columbus PD to record the racial data of all citizens who were involved in police actions of any type.

          In 1999 Clinton's DOJ extorted "cooperation" from Columbus PD, and in Sept. 2002 George W. Bush's DOJ exonerated the Columbus PD of civil rights violations.

          Below are two related stories:   (1) The original intrusion by the Bill Clinton DOJ into Columbus policing; and (2) The recent dismissal of the Clinton DOJ lawsuit against Columbus PD by the Bush DOJ.   --Editor.

Feds Threaten To Take Over Ohio Police Department - Could Your Town Be Next (1999/2000 - The Law Enforcement Alliance of America)

          "A legal battle is now being waged in U.S. District Court in Columbus, Ohio, pitting the legal weight and limitless financial resources of the U.S. Justice Department against that town's right to control its own police department.

          "At stake is no less than the fate of local agencies everywhere to control their own destinies versus an emerging pattern by the Clinton Justice Department aimed at federalizing municipal police departments, not to mention the states-rights concerns and the blurring division between the branches of government.

          "Unfortunately, Columbus isn't the first victim. Already federal takeovers of departmental policy have occurred in Steubenville, Ohio, and in Pittsburgh, Penn. The police administrators in these two cities were, more or less, forced to sign consent decrees admitting their departments had participated in a pattern of civil rights violations and therefore needed the federal government to come in and run all future operations.

          "... since Columbus and the police union have decided not to sign the consent decree, the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the city to recoup all federal grant money awarded over the years. Some would call this extortion.

          "Alleging a "pattern of civil rights abuses" by the Columbus police department, DOJ attorneys filed their suit on October 21 forcing Columbus to let the federal government implement their policy changes in the city's police department, which would include training and staffing reforms, as well as new disciplinary and reporting procedures."

(Excerpted from the story by the Law Enforcement Alliance of America written by Darlene Hutchinson, LEAA's Publications Director.)

Last known link:
http://www.leaa.org/shield/winterspring2000/feds.html


Lawsuit vs. Ohio police dismissed (Sept. 4, 2002 -- Associated Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio - "A judge dismissed a 3-year-old federal lawsuit Wednesday that accused the Columbus Police Department of civil rights violations.

          "The city, police union and Department of Justice agreed that significant improvements had been made that addressed the concerns raised in the lawsuit.  "The Columbus Division of Police has made substantial alterations to many of the policies, procedures and training that we sought to change through the lawsuit," said Ralph Boyd Jr., assistant attorney general for civil rights. [Boyd is a George W. Bush appointee and has quite a more moderate approach to federal interference in local law enforcement than Clinton’s Bill Lann Lee who filed the initial lawsuit against Columbus in 1999. Editor.]

          "Columbus was the first city in the nation to go to court to fight a Justice Department lawsuit alleging a pattern of civil rights violations by a police department.

          "Similar cases in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Montgomery County, Md., and other cities resulted in agreements that imposed broad federal rules, federal monitors and the expenditure of millions of dollars by the cities or counties involved, the [Columbus] Fraternal Order of Police said."

(Excerpted from the Associate Press story by AP writer Liz Sidoti as it was published 09/04/02 by TwinCities.com)

Last known link:
http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/nation/4000755.htm


Ohio (Dayton):
Former Dayton Police Major Barbara Temple WINS $1.2 Million for Reverse Discrimination (10/15/06)

Adversity.Net Case 49:  In 2002 Dayton selected William McManus as their new black chief of police over 27 year department veteran Major Barbara Temple.  Major Temple was white.

          Shortly after the new black chief (McManus) was appointed he began a purge of white officers and Major Barbara Temple was fired.  Temple sued, and won.

          See Adversity.Net Case 49Dayton Ohio police reverse discrimination.


Ohio (Toledo):
Judge:  firemen needn't be promoted for being black! (01/21/99) (dead link)

          "Two fire lieutenants will not be promoted to captain just because they are black, a U.S. District Court judge has ruled. Charles Jones and Rico Dougherty contended in a lawsuit last year that the city had denied them their right to affirmative action because they weren't promoted.

          "But U.S. District Judge James Carr denied the request, noting in his five-page decision that of the five black captains in 1987, one had retired and four had been promoted to battalion chief. In addition, three black lieutenants were promoted to captain; two of those have since been promoted again.   'It appears that rapid promotion to higher ranking positions, rather than discrimination, is responsible for the lack of African-American captains,' Judge Carr ruled in response to the city's request for summary judgment in the case."

          "According to numbers compiled by [Chief Mike Bell], 31 of the 121 lieutenants and captains are minorities or women. Twenty are black, seven are Hispanic, and two are Native American. Three captains are white females, according to the same numbers."  (Toledo Blade, 01/21/99, by Robin Erb)
[former link *http://www.toledoblade.com/editorial/news/9a21disc.htm]


End OHIO Police, Fire and Municipal Employees


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Copyright 2002 Adversity.Net, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational organization.  For problems or questions regarding this web contact editor@adversity.net    Last updated: October 21, 2006.

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*  We use the term reverse discrimination reluctantly and only because it is so widely understood.  In our opinion there really is only one kind of discrimination.