Missouri Fire District Settles Reverse Discrimination Suit for $250k

A reverse discrimination lawsuit filed twelve years ago against a Missouri fire district has been settled for $250,000. Harold W. Conner filed suit in 2010 against the Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection District claiming he was threatened with discipline and forced to retire in 2008 because of his race. Conner is white.

Besides reverse discrimination, the suit alleged retaliation, breach of contract, and failure to pay for accrued sick and vacation time. The suit was filed in St. Louis County Circuit Court. In September 2017 a jury awarded Conner more than $400,000. That verdict was set aside and a new trial ordered.

The district and Conner agreed upon the $250,000 settlement last June and the case was dismissed on August 11, 2022. However, word of the settlement was only made public after the St. Louis Post Dispatch filed a public records request.

Here is more on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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