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Government & Politics

Akron's settlement with firefighters will cost about $3.5 million

Akron's fire department settlement will cost the city millions
M.L. SCHULTZE
/
WKSU

Akron has agreed to pay nearly two dozen firefighters a million dollars in back pay and interest. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the settlement of a decade-long lawsuit.

The 23 firefighters sued the city in 2004 saying the civil service test used for promotions was discriminatory. 

Now that the promotions have been in effect for years, I think most of the firefighters see that these guys have been good officers.

 They won in federal court five years later. The city appealed and lost at that level, too. And all the while the promotions in the fire department went into a deep stall.

The firefighters’ attorney, Bruce Elfvin, says the suit dragged on so long some of the initial disputes ceased to matter.

“Some people resented the fact that they filed the lawsuit. Some people resented the fact that they got promoted. But now that the promotions have been in effect for years, I think most of the firefighters see that these guys have been good officers.”

New promotional tests have been held. And another federal court hearing is set for next week to resolve the question of attorney fees – which are expected to reach another $2.5 million.