De Blasio Settles FDNY Discrimination Suit for $98 Million

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A firefighter cools down near the location of a four alarm fire at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun Synagogue on East 85th Street July 11, 2011 in New York City.  About 170 firefighters responded to the blaze which began at about 8:30 p.m and was under control in an hour.
Photo: Daniel Barry/Getty Images

Ending a court battle that lasted through a term and a half of Bloomberg, the third major leftover lawsuit he's settled so far, Mayor de Blasio today agreed to pay $98 million in back pay and benefits to roughly 1,500 members of the Fire Department who claimed discrimination. In addition to the money and previously instituted hiring reforms, the FDNY will now employ a chief of diversity and inclusion. "The brave men and women of the FDNY work tirelessly to keep us safe from harm's way — and our administration is committed to ensuring every New Yorker who seeks to take on this heroic role has a fair opportunity to join the ranks," said de Blasio in a statement. Despite a graduating class in December made up of 60 percent minorities, the department is still 84 percent white.