Fresno police captain seeks $900,000 in discrimination suit

FRESNO, Calif.

The EEOC has recommended the chief and his department leaders take some sensitivity coursework. This comes after an assignment one captain felt was race related.

The findings are confidential, but they're what Captain Al Maroney has waited a long time to see. Investigators with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission found at least one of the three claims he made against Police Chief Jerry Dyer was valid.

In 2007- Maroney filed a complaint with the federal agency after he was transferred to the southwest Fresno substation. The 30 year veteran felt the assignment was unfair, because the job is usually reserved for captains with much less experience. "The department's most senior captain, who happened to be African American, was then forced to go into that community to clean up that mess. That's the basis of this complaint."

Maroney says the prior captain's performance left many residents and community leaders unhappy. He felt punished by the assignment. He's hoping the recent findings will help resolve a case against the city of Fresno.

Attorneys representing Maroney are asking for $900 thousand to settle his case. The city of Fresno responded to a request for comment saying quote: "The city remains confident that the allegations in the Captain Maroney matter will be shown to be unfounded. The chief and the police department actions were reasonable and consistent with sound law enforcement practices. Chief Dyer has promoted six individuals to deputy chief, two were African American officers."

Maroney says he is not accusing Chief Dyer of being a racist, but says that doesn't mean discrimination does not exist at the police department. "I've never walked around looking for a racial discrimination issue to complain about. But under these circumstances, it is what it is and that's exactly what it is."

Police Chief Dyer could not comment on the matter since it is a personnel matter. Captain Maroney says if the case cannot be resolved, he plans to file a federal lawsuit.

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