A black New Haven firefighter has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the way the city scores promotional exams for fire lieutenants.
New Haven’s 2003 fire department promotional exam was at the center of a controversial US Supreme Court case earlier this year. The court found that the city discriminated against a group of mostly white firefighters when it threw out the results of the test, because no blacks had scored high enough to move up in rank.
Now a black New Haven firefighter is suing to change the way the city scores the exam. He claims the test was unfairly weighted against African American candidates. Attorney David Rosen represents the plaintiff. "They scored it backwards. Instead of giving the appropriate score for part of the test that should have gotten more heavily weighted, the oral part, they overweighted the written part. And the problem with that is that is not the best way to pick fire lieutenants."
Rosen’s client was the top scorer on the oral portion of the test, but did not do as well on the written part. He’s suing to be considered for promotion. Rosen says the case is not meant to interfere with or delay promotions for the plaintiffs in the case earlier this year.
In a written statement, New Haven Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden says – “Since the day of the Supreme Court Decision, the city of New Haven has been focused on moving forward not backwards. The city will continue to pursue better means for making future promotions in the Department”.