The city has appealed a judge’s ruling to require stricter oversight of the FDNY’s hiring practices in order to prevent bias against minorities, the New York Law Journal reports.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis issued a remedial order on Dec. 8 appointing a court-appointed monitor to oversee FDNY recruitment, applicant screenings and discrimination complaints for the next decade. Former federal prosecutor Mark Cohen has been selected for the position.
“The City of New York shall, with reasonable diligence, take all steps necessary to eliminate the vestiges of its pattern and practice of intentional discrimination,” Garaufis wrote in the order.
Cohen will be required to provide a report to the court every 90 days regarding the city’s compliance with the order including its progress, problems, and potential areas of violation.
The city has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to review the decision as soon as possible, the Law Journal said. The city’s Law Department would not comment further.
FDNY Deputy Chief Paul Mannix, founder of Merit Matters, a group that opposes race-based hiring in the FDNY, is glad that the city is not taking the judge’s decision lying down.
“We’re very happy that this will soon move on to the appellate court and the fact that the city is following through with the appeal,” said Mannix, who does not speak for the FDNY. “Maybe, this time cooler heads will prevail, and there will be a different outcome.”
Garaufis’ decision follows an August draft order touting the necessity to immediately stop putting minority applicants at a disadvantage and is the latest step in a saga of continuing litigation against the city.
The Vulcan Society, a group of African-American firefighters who have consistently lamented diversity in the FDNY, along with the Justice Department launched the bias lawsuit in 2007 challenging the way candidates are hired.
In January 2010, Garaufis ruled that written exams administered to FDNY applicants in 1999 and 2002 are invalid due to racial bias, as evidenced by the few minorities who passed. In August 2010, he said the same of the 2007 test.