A jury's decision in 2008 in favor of Akron firefighters is coming back to haunt the city of Akron.
Federal Court Judge John Adams has ordered the city to promote 18 firefighters to the rank of Captain and Lieutenant by Monday, July 18th.
Firefighters attorney Dennis Thompson says the jury found that the city discriminated on the basis of race and age in its firefighters promotion exams administered in 2004.
The jury agreed that the city's exams discriminated against white applicants for the rank of Captain and black applicants for the rank of Lieutenant. The jury also found that the tests discriminated against candidates over the age of 40.
The Court ordered a new trial on damages for the firefighters who were not promoted. That trial begins on Monday in Federal Court.
Judge Adams also ordered back-pay for the firefighters dating back to 2007.
The original lawsuit involved 23 firefighters. Four have since retired and one is deceased.
As you might expect, the City of Akron is against the promotion ruling.
The city filed an appeal to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals over the motion, and has also filed for a stay in federal district court.
Interim labor relations director Patricia Ambrose Rubright tells AkronNewsNow.com that the ruling by Judge John Adams was not fair to some firefighters.
"The order allows the plantiffs in this case to basically leapfrog over other individuals that were on the eligibility list," Ambrose Rubright says, "who did not sue in the case, and will not be promoted."
Ambrose Rubright says the order would result in the promotions of 10 firefighters to captain, which she says is more people than the five authorized to be in that position.
Veteran Firestone High School head football coach Tim Flossie gets to keep his job for the next year, after a stunning vote during Monday's Akron school board meeting.
After a 2-hour long executive session discussing Flossie's future, board members voted 6-0 to go against Superintendent David James' recommendation, and to offer Flossie a supplemental contract to coach the Falcons football team for the 2011-2012 season.
There had been earlier reports that Flossie's contract would not be renewed, and indeed, Flossie's name did not appear on a list of supplemental contracts to be offered to coaches and athletic directors for the upcoming season.
But the board has paid a lot of time and attention to Flossie's situation, and a crowd of the coach's supporters - students, players and adults - made its way to the board meeting.
Superintendent David James and board members agreed to disagree about the situation.
"This is a partnership and we don't always agree," James said after the meeting, "but we have agreed to one thing, that we're gonna move together forward in a positive manner...and do what's best for the kids at Akron Public Schools, and that's what we'll do in this case."
Flossie, reached by AkronNewsNow.com while on vacation, thanked his supporters and the board.
"I just want to thank all the parents, and teachers, and staff at Firestone High School and the community," Flossie said, "and I'd like to thank the Board of Education for being objective and fair once they got the right information."
The coach has endured some controversy recently. He was accused of physically abusing one of his players, but no other players or other witnesses stepped forward to confirm the allegation.
Flossie did admit he used profanity in addressing the player, and agreed to undergo anger management counseling as a condition of keeping his job. He was also reprimanded by the Board.
Superintendent James mentioned that result, saying the district's goal is a "supportive" environment for all students, and they'll monitor that to make sure that's in place at Firestone.
Meanwhile, board vice president Jason Haas thought the board needed to move on to other issues.
"We have spent as a board over the last 96 hours, far, far too many, consumed with this one issue," Haas said at the meeting, "of one person, at one school, with one sport. It will not happen like this again."
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