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St. Louis County being sued for racial discrimination

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County for racial discrimination.

The suit, filed Tuesday, alleges the suburban Robertson Fire Protection District practiced racial discrimination and retaliation against black former fire inspectors.

It alleges two former inspectors were demoted in 2004 because of their race and because they had filed charges of racial discrimination and retaliation against the department.

"We will not permit publicly-funded employers, particularly public safety agencies, to discriminate against employees because of their race or because they complain about what they reasonably believe to be race discrimination or retaliation," said U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, in a statement.

A man at the fire department said late Tuesday that only the assistant fire chief could comment on the suit and he was not available.

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