THE BRONX - Despite reaching a multimillion dollar settlement over racial discrimination complaints within the city's parks department, civil rights attorneys say they plan on combating similar practices throughout other city agencies.
The city agreed to shell out more than $21 million to former black and Hispanic park workers that had filed a federal class-action lawsuit. Attorneys have now set their sights on other departments they say discriminate against minorities.
"Virtually all of them have the same horrible racial statistics as the parks department," says attorney Lewis Steel.
City agencies like the transportation and sanitation departments are accused of unjust business practices such as unfair salaries and lack of administrative promotion. A meeting with Mayor Bloomberg has been requested by the attorneys to address the issues. The attorneys say if they do not hear from Bloomberg by mid-year, they will not hesitate to pursue further legal action against the city.
"The real deal is most city agencies do not reflect the diversity of the city," says Brandon Ward, president of the group Blacks in Government.