Chattanooga City Council Expected to Approve Settlement of "Bobby Rodgers et al. versus City of Chattanooga" during Tuesday Night's Meeting

Reported by: Amy Katcher
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Updated: 7/16/2013 7:18 pm
(WDEF) The seven-year-old racial discrimination suit, Bobby Rodgers et al. versus the City of Chattanooga, may finally reach a resolution.

     City Council Chair Yusuf Hakeem said, "It's been troubling that it's had to go on for this long.  You know, I guess the law is clear and we've just, have not been able to communicate and come together.  But as a result of this council, and this Mayor, we've been able to move in the direction that we resolve this situation."

     The ten plaintiffs in the case say the Police Department refused to promote white officers in 2005 because there weren't enough minorities that qualified for new ranks.  In those days a standard test determined who got promoted. Rodgers and the others had the highest scores.  But the officers said then-Police Chief Steve Parks froze promotions, since not enough minorities qualified.

     Steve Dobson represents all ten police officers.  He said during a hearing in the case, "But since he was not a lieutenant, he couldn't take the captain's test. So his career path has been interrupted and he will never get back on his career path with his contemporaries."

     If the Council approves the deal during Tuesday night's meeting, the ten plaintiffs will share a $725,000 settlement.  Chairman Hakeem expects that to happen.  He said, "I don't know of any problems that would prevent that from happening.  And I think all of the council is of the mindset that this is something we need to get behind us."

     And several of the officers received promotions after the suit was originally filed in 2005.  Chairman Hakeem added, "There's a new process in place when it comes to promotions and we're going to look at training and a lot of other things.  How we review the laws and so forth.  We want to be all inclusive.  That's what we're striving for."
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