The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, is based on the department's last round of promotions in 2006 for the lieutenant and captain ranks. It says white firefighters were passed over for less-qualified black firefighters who were ranked lower on a promotions list. Four black firefighters unfairly received promotions to lieutenant, the suit says, and one was promoted to captain.
You may recall a similar lawsuit brought by the U.S. government last year against the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Attorney Jeff McQuary says the IFP policy is identical to IMPD's policy even though the Justice Department chose not to pursue a separate lawsuit against IFD. "The two promotion systems are established by city ordinance, and they are identical," McQuary said. McQuary is representing some of the IMPD officers in the other lawsuit. He is also co-counsel with me in a racial discrimination suit brought on behalf of two former forensic pathologists for the Marion County Coroner's office against Dr. Kenneth Ackles and Chief Deputy Coroner Alfarena Ballew.
You can read the text of the lawsuit and learn who all the plaintiffs are by clicking here.