East St. Louis / Racial Discrimination
Thu July 14, 2011
Jury sides with 2 former East St. Louis officials in racial discrimination case
East St. Louis is weighing whether to appeal a federal jury's verdict in favor of two former city officials who claimed they were fired because they spoke out about racial discrimination in the city's hiring process.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that jurors in Benton deliberated about four hours before ruling Wednesday in favor of former police and fire commissioners Della Murphy and Wyatt Frazer.
Frazer and Murphy sought $10,000 each in punitive damages. But jurors awarded $15,000 apiece in punitive damages and $5,500 each in compensatory damages.
Murphy and Frazer claimed Mayor Alvin Parks didn't hire a former Illinois State Police deputy director and former Florida State Highway Patrol chief because that candidate is white.
Parks denied the allegations and says he's disappointed with the verdict.