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DISCRIMINATION Woodmere refuses to settle case



Published: Sat, June 18, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The case was filed by two white police officers alleging discrimination.

WOODMERE, Ohio (AP) -- Village council members in this predominantly black community are refusing to settle a discrimination case brought by two white police officers.

Officers Amy Mengay and Timothy Ellis say they were fired last year by Mayor Yolanda Broadie because they are white.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that the officers' rights were violated and ordered the village and the officers to attempt a settlement. The officers want back pay and their jobs back.

The village voted 5-1 last with one member abstaining not to attempt a settlement. The council's refusal to settle means that the EEOC may sue the village.

A message was left seeking comment at the EEOC's district office in Cleveland on Saturday.

Alleged racism

The officers told the EEOC that the mayor fired them and allowed black officers with similar or more serious problems on their records to keep their jobs. Most of the council members are black, as is the mayor.

However, Village Law Director Janet Beck said the facts of their terminations are unique.

City records indicate Mengay, 29, got into three police car accidents in 10 months before she was fired July 15. Investigators cleared Mengay in one crash and the two others were minor parking lot accidents.

The village accused Ellis, 34, who was dismissed three months after Mengay's firing, of giving false testimony during an appeal hearing for Mengay. Officials also cited the use of a Taser gun to arrest a driver during a traffic stop as a reason for his dismissal. Ellis was later cleared in the Sept. 12 Taser incident.

In the termination letter, Broadie also criticized Ellis for not holding an office door open for her.

Ellis, currently an officer in another community, denied all the allegations against him. He said he was targeted by Broadie for political reasons.

A message was left seeking comment at Broadie's office Saturday.

Woodmere is about 20 miles east of Cleveland.




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