City to Borrow $78.4 Million to Pay for Firefighter Settlement

Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, October 23, 2012

Chicago will borrow the $78.4 million needed to compensate nearly 6,000 African-American would-be firefighters bypassed by the city’s discriminatory handling of a 1995 entrance exam, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday, compounding the cost of a settlement that’s already twice as high as anticipated.

Emanuel said the city anticipated the higher-than-expected tab and tucked it away into a general obligation bond issue normally reserved for infrastructure repairs and equipment purchases. {snip}


A reporter noted that the approach “sounds expensive” because the cost of paying interest on borrowed money would compound an already high cost.

“That’s one perspective. There’s another perspective. We had a Fire Department that was also found [to have] discriminated. I want to make sure that we never again have the experience we had in the past where we had policies and practices in place that discriminated,” the mayor said.

“From a management standpoint, we prepared ourselves,” he said. “We bonded for this back in the spring or summer so it wouldn’t impact the budget. I made sure we also brought a class of African-American firefighters in, and they’ll be graduating soon. And I want to make sure that the practices and policies of the past don’t ever repeat themselves and we have a diverse Fire Department.”


The price tag is double the anticipated amount because prior estimates were an “educated guess” that “turned out to be way too low once we got payroll data that allowed us to calculate actual wage increases over time,” Piers said.

The 1995 firefighter entrance exam was drafted by an African-American with an eye toward diversifying a Chicago Fire Department with a long and documented history of discrimination.

When results for minorities were disappointing, the city established a cutoff score of 89 and hired randomly from the top 1,800 “well qualified” candidates.

In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the city’s decision had the effect of perpetuating the predominantly-white status quo because 78 percent of those “well-qualified” candidates were white.


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  • Puggg

    What’s a little more red ink to a city that’s swimming in it?  Cook County, the county that the city of Chicago is in, wants a 5 cent per bullet ammo tax and to raise the price of cigs to $7 a pack to close its own budget daffy-cit.

  • jazzo

    The entire system is rotted and foul throughout, and will soom collapse.  When it does, no one will help you except your kin.  Be prepared — be ready.

  • RJS

     “Diversifying” is just an Orwellian code word for passing over qualified whites.

    Now previously unqualified blacks benefit from a lawsuit.

    How can an exam on math, human biology, emergency support procedures, government regulations, etc., be biased against anyone?
    Just study for the test!
    Lower standards are just plain dangerous for firemen and paramedics. 

    What a disaster.

  • ncpride

    Incredible. Liberals can spin this any way they want, but it all boils down to this: These blacks are getting paid because they were too stupid to pass a test designed by one of their own, and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

    • The__Bobster

      Heads they win, tails we lose.

  • JohnEngelman

    In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the city’s decision had the effect of perpetuating the predominantly-white status quo because 78 percent of those “well-qualified” candidates were white.   
    – Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, October 23, 2012       
    The higher test scores for the whites is not surprising. Unfortunately, the decision of the federal judge is not surprising either. 
    Judges in the United States have too much power. This is most evident with the Supreme Court. 

    • dhs

      The last point is most significant. I  do not know of any instance in political history where an entity has had the power of America’s federal judiciary with so little responsibility. 

      This case is a good example:  Federal judges do not have to put out fires; they do not have to raise the funds to cover the libility; they just smirk and enjoy their quasi-devine status.

  • humptydumpty

    “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” – William Shakespeare

  • Emanuel would be fighting this, but, like many pseudo-intellectuals, he sees no reason why someone has to be able to read and write in order to put out fires with modern equipment.  I think Emanuel thinks he is trully “God with us” (the meaning of Emanuel).

  • redfeathers

    A similar boondoggle was awarded by a federal judge in NYC.  It was covered here earlier this year.

  • humptydumpty

    So, I guess the moderators on Amren are politically correct. You can’t even quote William Shakespeare without having your post taken down. Oh yeah, W.S. is a dead White guy. I forgot.

    • That’s right, if your quote involves killing lawyers.

      • humptydumpty

        Sir, that quote was taken from Henry VI, one of the famous bards best plays and you in your infinite wisdom erased it. Isn’t that what the enemies of the White race plan to do with White people, “erase” us? Let’s lighten up a bit. 

        • Why?

          Because of another Bard quote early on in Hamlet:

          “To thine own self be true.”

          Or in the case of this moderator, I have a fiduciary duty to the reputation of AR and Jared Taylor personally.

          • humptydumpty


          • Sun

            Ah, the ever vigilant mod. Making sure all the comments stay on track.

            It is an important job to block post from people who you (or another mystery mod) and a large block on Amren, don’t agree with. Not to mention glaring double standards in treatment thereof. Someone’s got to do it.

            It must be frustrating hating how you’re silenced, attacked, etc, and yet Amren has no qualm doing the same. 

            Guess Liberals need to have competition.

  • REALITY discriminates against stupid! 

  • evola33

    And who will the city of Chicago borrow the money from? Why, Rahm’s co-ethnic bankers, of course!
    Meanwhile, large numbers of Gentiles are being murdered in Rahm’s city, which has the highest murder rate of any major city in the western world, under his watch.
    Any American city or nation that is stupid enough to elect an Israeli citizen to lead them gets what they deserve.

  • Mercerian Jed

    Too bad they don’t float a special purpose revenue bond for this.  The interest payments should have beene derived from the success of BRA at organically growing the Diversity tax base in Chicago.

  • Another perfect example of needing to read the comments in the article first to get the actual story.  (It’s comforting how newspapers, even if they remain politically correct like the Sun-Times here, still allow the truths to be candidly stated in the comments.)  Emmanuel is wrong, there was no discrimination here, it’s just that whites disproportionately outperformed blacks.  “Perpetuating the status quo of too many whites”, as the judges put it, just means the city failed to sufficiently discriminate against whites.

    Three cheers for Amren (again) in bringing this to our attention, helping its readership become more informed on race matters.  We Americans would be a stronger people if we focused more on scams such as this instead of emotional irrelevancies like gay marriage.  Informative postings like these make it clear why so many left-wing groups want to shut Amren down.

  • 5n4k33y35

    This really makes me mad. 

  • Jay11

    6000 black men, who just happen to fill out a job application, will split 78 million dollars because they didn’t get hired by an organization that has more white employees than other races?

    I’m in the wrong racket!  I encourage every white male, regardless of age, ability or qualification, to fill out job applications for the NBA.

    When none of us get hired, we can sue for MILLIONS!

    Who is with me?

    • Up to my neck in CA

      $ 78,000,000 divided by 6,000 = $ 13,000 each. They will blow through this money faster than a goose can….nevermind. The corner liquor store will see a jump in Malt Liquor and Lottery Ticket sales.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

     omg.  If my place is on fire, and I or anyone in the house is trapped, I want people who are going to be physically strong, capable, and well-trained  – and I couldn’t care less if it was a white woman, a black man, or a very talented gorilla.

    The standards are there for a reason – a very GOOD reason, upon which lives may depend.

    I’m 5’3 and weigh maybe 110 lbs.  Would YOU want me to come try to rescue you?   I wouldn’t, unless there was absolutely no one else around to help.  😛  And even though I admire the role of firefighters, I’m not so jealous or zealous that I would be dumb enough to demand they lower their standards just so I could be one.

    • SintiriNikos

       I agree. Ultimately these do-gooder egalitarians probably know there are intelligence gaps but are OK with it, thinking that firefighting requires not much smarts. They are dead wrong, firefighters need to be very smart to properly do their job, it isn’t all about physical ability and strength. Conscientiousness is also a must to do the job well.

  • Yes, they were never discriminated against, it’s just that the city tried an affirmative action technique to give blacks a benefit but failed in that goal.  In the past blacks could sue for discrimination, now they can sue when affirmative action plans don’t discriminate enough against whites.