A federal jury in Louisiana said Wednesday that New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan, the first African-American elected the city’s chief prosecutor, discriminated against 43 white employees when he fired them in 2003, according to the Times-Picayune. Jurors in a civil court trial awarded the plaintiffs about $1.9 million in back pay and other damages. Jordan said he would appeal.
Eight days after taking office, Jordan fired 53 of 77 white workers who were not lawyers — investigators, clerks and child-support enforcement workers — and replaced almost all of them with blacks. More than 40 fired employees filed suit, and in July the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined that there was reason to believe Jordan had been racially biased, which paved the way for the federal trial. After about 16 hours of deliberations, the jurors sided with the plaintiffs on almost every count, awarding an average of about $45,000 to each.