City overrides EEO report in firefighter case

The city has overruled a recent determination by its equal employment office that a veteran firefighter was denied a promotion because he was black.

In a March 31 investigative report, EEO Director Jacqueline Humphreys determined that Augusta Fire Lt. William Dickerson had been refused a promotion because his name was on an expired list of qualified candidates, while other white lieutenants had been promoted from an expired list.

Deputy Administrator Bill Shanahan said Wednesday he disagreed. “Based on the information that was collected, I don’t think the fire department did anything wrong,” he said. Around 2006, the department was ordered to change its policy and make the lists valid for two years, he said. But first, a remaining firefighter on an undated list was promoted, Shanahan said.

“Since that policy was created, they have followed that policy,” he said. However, the department is reviewing plans to implement an outside test for promotions, Shanahan said.

City Administrator Fred Russell said officials do not believe Dickerson misrepresented facts in making his February complaint to the EEO office.

Report backs firefighter in discrimination case

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