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A federal jury said Wednesday that Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan, the first African-American to be elected the city's chief prosecutor, discriminated against 43 white employees when he fired them in 2003.
Jurors awarded the plaintiffs about $1.9 million in back pay and other damages, a figure equal to about 20 percent of Jordan's annual budget of $10 million. Jordan said his office could not afford such a payment and that he would appeal the verdict.
"I wasn't making racial decisions," Jordan said after the verdict, repeating as he did on the witness stand that he did not know who held the positions when he arrived.
The only sign of leniency the jury showed was refusing to award the plaintiffs punitive damages. The fired employees, led by Judith DeCorte, a former legal assistant in the child support division, had asked for a modest sum of $100,000 to cover them all.
"Race discrimination is wrong; it goes both ways," said the plaintiffs' lead attorney, Clement Donelon. The verdict, he said, "sends the message to elected officials: Don't discriminate."
Donelon, a former attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, said that if Jordan had fired the entire office left over from the previous administration, "we wouldn't be here. You can't just fire all the white people."
Originally posted by Ambient Sound
Two "wrongs" don't make a "right", either. I can't get with the idea that just because people have been getting away with something that makes it ok for others to get their turn in the "getting away with it" seat.
The good old boy network and the attitudes behind it should go away, not change hands.
Originally posted by ms_Bhavn
Just wondering.... What is a good ole boy? Is this a racial slur?