Mayor: Cost Just One Impact Of GPD Discrimination Suits

6:26 PM, Feb 17, 2012   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Greensboro, NC -- The City of Greensboro has already spent nearly $1.8 million fighting racial discrimination lawsuits, which likely won't be settled anytime soon.

Seven lawsuits were filed against the City of Greensboro. Forty police officers, who said they were investigated by their co-workers just because they were black, filed lawsuits.

Several white officers have also sued the city, saying they were unfairly blamed for the alleged discrimination.

A city councilwoman has also been sued over allegations she leaked information to the media.

None of the lawyers on the city's payroll would talk about the lawsuits.

Mayor Robbie Perkins told News 2 there's no benefit to talk about them right now.

"These are legal strategies that are in the best interest of the City of Greensboro. And we're not going to give up our strategies and our edge based on speculative questions," Perkins said.

Perkins said whether the city actually goes to trial or settles the cases beforehand is up to the city council, with the attorneys' advice.

He added that the city cannot be afraid of litigation. They are prepared for it.

"If we have employees that are subject to litigation, then it's our obligation to defend them as long as they're acting in their capacity and within their authority as city employees. Otherwise, we'd have folks filing suits against the city all the time," he said.

While the legal bills continue to stack up for the city, Perkins said the effect of the lawsuits and the allegations are a lot more than money.

"The department has a budget of about $65 million a year and we want it to be as efficient as possible. So this type of disruption that this causes, does have impacts outside the direct legal costs," Perkins said.

News 2 also asked the Perkins why the city has hired and spent more money on private attorneys, instead of just using the city's own legal team.

He said the city's legal team is busy with their regular work, such as contracts, acquisitions and other legal matters. Additionally, the discrimination lawsuits are very involved and require expertise in employment and human resources. Perkins said it's actually cheaper for the city to hire outside legal counsel.



WFMY News 2

Most Watched Videos