Fed Judge Demands Hearings Because They Cheered Trump

In a recent development that has caught the attention of many, Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis cited an incident involving members of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and wants hearings.

Garaufis cited the booing state Attorney General Letitia James and chanting in favor of former President Trump during a promotion ceremony last month.

Judge Garaufis has ordered FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh and the city’s Corporation Counsel, Sylvia Hinds-Radix, to appear before him at a status conference. This meeting is scheduled to discuss the settlement in the Vulcan Society of Black Firefighters’ case against the FDNY in May, highlighting the gravity and ongoing nature of this issue.

During the last status conference on March 14, Vulcan Society President Regina Wilson brought to the judge’s attention an incident where FDNY members exhibited behavior that she described as vile. This incident occurred on March 8, during a promotion ceremony at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, where Attorney General Letitia James was booed, and chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” were heard as she took the stage.

This behavior not only sparked an internal probe but also led to Commissioner Kavanaugh issuing an apology. Wilson expressed her concern, stating, “This behavior is who this department is. Not all of them, but a large portion of them.” She elaborated on the challenges faced by Black members of the department, emphasizing the lack of support and the horrific nature of having to work in such an environment.

“I don’t know if you had an opportunity to just see the vile nature of these members even when we were at Christian Cultural Center where they started booing and saying ‘Trump, Trump Trump,’ while Letitia James was at the podium,” Wilson said. “This behavior is who this department is. Not all of them, but a large portion of them. So when Black people go to work and have to deal with this and you don’t get any help or support really from the department, it’s horrific.”

Judge Garaufis has demanded hearings.

“Get the EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] office straightened out. Take some of your brilliant lawyers from the Corporation Counsel and put them in there and start holding hearings. That’s not a request, that’s a direction,” Garaufis responded, according to N.Y. Daily News. “I’ve lived in New York City all my life. I know what the problem is. And believe me, front and center is what happened the other day. This doesn’t have to do with politics, this has to do with race.”

The FDNY’s struggle with a backlog of EEO complaints, which are supposed to be fully investigated within 90 days, was also highlighted. The department’s current staff shortage, with just half the investigative attorneys compared to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, exacerbates this issue. The FDNY is taking steps to address this shortage by assigning EEO cases to attorneys in other bureaus and the Law Department while working to hire more staff.

Hmmm, I wonder why they have a staffing shortage?


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