New Jersey’s Camden Borrows $1.2 Million to Pay Bias Settlement

December 4, 2009

Camden, New Jersey officials have decided to borrow nearly $1.2 million to pay a settlement that covers racial discrimination claims brought by two deputy fire chiefs.

The City Council approved plans for a $1.175 million bond to cover the payments to Terrence Crowder and Kevin Hailey, who are black.

They first sued in 2001, alleging discrimination and a hostile work environment involving Fire Chief Joseph Marini and Chief Herbert Leary, who are white.

A jury in 2005 found for Crowder and Hailey, who remained in their jobs. But they sued again in 2006, claiming the discrimination persisted and they faced retaliation.

The settlement, approved this month by a federal judge, ended the legal action. It calls for Crowder, who retired in May, and Hailey, who will retire next year, to receive $1.15 million.

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