|By City, Newest First:
Charges Cincinnati with Reverse Discrimination
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
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
- 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
(Based on the Cincinnati Enquirer Tues., Aug 15,
2000 by Robert Anglen)
Firefighters Challenge Reverse Discrimination
"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
"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)
16 Police Officers Sue for Reverse
Associated Press Headline:
"Suit accuses police chief of promoting less qualified applicants"
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
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
- 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
(Excerpted from the Sept. 12, 2002 Associated
Press story as published by WBNS-TV Columbus, Ohio.)
Last known links:
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
"... 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
(Excerpted from the story by
the Law Enforcement Alliance of America written by Darlene Hutchinson, LEAA's Publications
Last known link:
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
"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 Clintons 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
Last known link:
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 49: Dayton Ohio police reverse discrimination.
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)
End OHIO Police, Fire and Municipal Employees