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Carmen Trutanich

City is paying heavily for LAFD bias suits

City is paying heavily for LAFD bias suits

The Los Angeles Fire Department has been hit with a steady stream of personnel lawsuits over the last decade, some of them extraordinarily expensive.

The City Council spent $1.5 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by a black firefighter who was deliberately fed dog food by his colleagues. Council members paid an additional $2.5 million to two white firefighters punished in that incident, who said they too faced racial bias.

Recoiling from a string of payouts, voters in 2009 established a watchdog at the Fire Department to review the agency's handling of employee misconduct cases. What they got instead were more employee lawsuits. But these cases were filed by...