The City of Montebello has agreed to settle a race discrimination suit with an African American firefighter for $2.6 million.
Last year a jury awarded Captain Vernon Creswell $750,000 for racial harassment and $189,000 for retaliation. He claimed he had been subjected to the use of racial slurs and hostility by superiors and fellow firefighters alike. A battalion chief who Captain Creswell accused of repeatedly using racial slurs was subsequently fired and Creswell’s attorney was awarded $1.6 million in fees.
The city appealed the verdict, and while the appeal was pending the parties reached a settlement whereby Captain Creswell will receive a total of close to $2.6 million. He remains on the job in Montebello.